There are some things in life that are universally regarded as a stupid idea; hula dancing in front of a lion, playing Russian roulette with a semi automatic weapon, and taking three children under 5 on a two week trip to the other side of the world.
Having just returned from the last of these adventures I can promise you I know what I'm talking about. Next time, I'll be grabbing my grass skirt and heading to the savannah; I can only imagine it will be a less painful experience than our flight home.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.
On the flight out I had forgotten to pack a change of clothes for the children.
Thankfully the God of Travel was smiling on us and we arrived grubby, but largely unscathed. I wasn't going to chance my arm on the return journey so I dutifully packed not only a change of clothes for the children, but a bib for Miss Olive so that she could eat without me having to find her a steady supply of non staining food.
Am I the only one who does that?
Anyway the point is I felt confident that I had this shit nailed. We had even planned an evening flight for maximum sleep potential which meant I could nurse Miss Olive asleep on take-off and post her into the sky cot I had fought to book.
"Awesome", I thought, "I am a travelling QUEEN, pass me the vino dear, I've got some films to enjoy".
And enjoy them I did, for exactly 2 hours until I was jolted from my screen by an extremely cross looking Miss Olive glaring down at me from her sky cot.
It was clear within seconds that I was going to have to get out of my seat, collect Miss Wobble-lip and do some good old fashioned bobbing at the back of the plane. The hideous alternative was that she was going to disturb every last one of the now sleeping passengers for the next 5 hours and we were going to be offloaded at Dubai and have to hitch-hike the rest of the way home.
So I grabbed our sling, the now bawling toddler, and ran for the area by the rear stairs.
Once I had her securely fastened to my front I bobbed, and I swayed, I shushed and I patted, but Miss Olive would not be comforted.
And then she did something she has never before done.
And not the little burpy puke of a baby, I'm talking a full on Exorcist-esque projectile vomit.
While strapped to my front in a sling.
I looked at the stewardess who was standing a few feet away with helpless terror. She looked back at me with a frozen wide eyed smile that let me know passengers like me were her own personal vision of hell.
The toddler was wailing, I had somehow forgotten how to untie a sling and I had pools of curdled milky vomit over every surface in a 2ft radius; myself included.
A sleeping Keith was a clear 20 rows away from me down a sleeping cabin, AND wearing earphones so my shout-whispers went unanswered.
I can only assume the lovely hostess went to fetch him because just after I had managed to remove the dripping toddler from the sling and stand her on the change table in the toilet he appeared at my side.
He did well to stifle his laughter.
Faced with a puke drenched wife and a pouting toddler ice skating in her own gastric juices, I'm not sure I would have been able to say the same.
He was even generous enough to lend me his hoody, which was a relief because remember, I had packed spare clothes ... FOR THE CHILDREN.
That felt like a foolish oversight as I stood helplessly while cold sick slowly ran down my stomach from the pool that had been deposited in my bra.
The only tiny ray of sunshine was that this gave me a bona fide excuse to go shopping once we landed. Our next stop being Dubai, a country known for modesty and understatement, what could possibly go wrong?
There were many shops at Dubai airport. All but one of them proudly displayed price tags that gave me stabbing pains in my left arm, but there was one contender, and it was optimistically named "Gifts from Dubai".
Believe me when I say I have never spent longer choosing an item of clothing.
I even changed my mind twice about which t shirt to buy because in what I can only assume was a poorly judged attempt at cross cultural outreach, it appeared as if the cast of TOWIE had been put in charge of the entire "Visit Dubai" clothing range.
Miss Olive gave her verdict on my wardrobe addition just as we begun our decent into Sydney by vomiting over me again.
This time I didn't have the heart to care for longer than it took me to break out the wipes. Nor did I have the energy left to care about inflicting my stinky vomity baby on a plane full of people for the final three hour flight.
Misery loves company people! Who's up for a repeat performance in 2015?Suggest a correction