I am - without fail - always the bedraggled airport traveller. You know the one - too many bags, a totally unkempt (bordering on homeless) appearance and always seemingly on the edge of a breakdown (usually of a suitcase, but occasionally emotional as well).
Apparently an inability to travel in style runs in the family. Check out baby D's shambolic appearance on our latest adventure, about to board a flight from Genoa, Italy to London.
If I thought that airport travel would be easier with baby D the second time around (we took her to New York when she was three months' old), I was insane. Baby Diana, as a three-month-old, needed breastmilk and my bed to sleep in.
Now, as a nine-month-old, she has lots of baggage of her own. (Plus, she needs to stand up and try to play with the person in front or behind us throughout the duration of the flight these days).
I had to pack a suitcase overflowing with all kinds of baby food, snacks, follow-on milk powder and plenty of bottles and sippy cups. Except, idiot that I am, in my frenzied rush I didn't put any of that stuff into an actual suitcase, and instead tried to carry it on the plane with me in a reusable shopping bag. Of course I was stopped and searched, which was unpleasant, but less bad than having to sample six of the meals, which I also had to do.
Since we were staying in a B&B, we got baby D a travel cot which doubles as a playpen when we're in London. It folds up rather nicely but is still quite bulky, and we also had a suitcase weighing over the prescribed 23 kilos and stuffed entirely with D's outfit changes.
We were ready for every possible weather and activity inevitability, whether D would be required to pose in a straw sunhat and romper for a Riviera-style beach look or bundle up in a sweatshirt and woollen hat against colder temperatures.
And we had lots of everything - enough for two-plus outfit changes per day. Better to be over the weight limit ad safe than sorry, I thought. (Yes, we're still having poo-through-the outfit issues).
Well, we were over the weight limit and STILL managed to run out of clothing for Diana (this is after having to buy her an outfit to get home in).
The babygro and leggings made it all the way to the airport, but upon hearing that there was a strike that day of airport staff and our flight would be delayed by two hours, Diana promptly destroyed that outfit (including her cardi).
I dug out the first non-filthy items I could find (we still had all our luggage since the staff were on strike) and dressed her in a floral romper and a pink sleeveless denim jacket before panicking that Diana would freeze to death on the plane. I rolled up her socks so they were knee-highs and gave her my jumper. Which is why it looks like my baby's wearing lederhosen.
No wonder she's crying. (Although she may have just realised that we're about to run out of food and prepared milk, which also happened on the flight).
I have a solution, though. Only travel with baby locally from now on.