Toddlers and Flight Delays

“I’m so excited!!” says seasoned traveller Big Brother Riduan.

“This can’t be happening!” My engineering-super calculative alter-ego screamed really really loudly inside my head.

At the check-in counter we found out that we’re in for an 8 hour delay. How are we going to get through this!

We’ve been travelling as a family ever since Big Brother Riduan was 2 and a half months old. Little Brother Atief is following close in his footsteps too. So that line coming out from my now almost 4 year old excited toddler would have normally sent me and my husband high on a parental ecstasy. But today, that sent chills down our back.

With nothing but our hand luggage with us, we started to device our own strategy on the fly.

Strategy #1: Cheap and Cheerful Drugstore Toys are Your Bestfriends

You know what I’m talking about moms and dads. One of those plastic-super-artificial-excuse-for-a-toy that you vow never to buy for your toddler because you are going to raise your kids on montessori wooden toys... are going to save your life today.

Cheaper than cheap, they can entertain your toddler for the first few hours of flight delay. And you can find them in any of the drugstore/shopping marts in Malaysian airports. We did bring 2 (ahemm …educational) toys along but the novelty of a new toy can keep toddler tantrums at bay. 

I used to really hate buying these kinds of toys. But I’ve learnt on certain occasions to just go for it!

Side note: We conveniently lost the plastic-flash-light toy a few hours after arriving at our destination. Since it was so cheap, we mourned at the loss of the cheerful little flashlight for a little while but after a couple of minutes later we forgot all about it.

Strategy #2: Fill up those tummies!

Luckily my husband always carry around a magical number of vouchers to be used when occasions call for it. PLUS MAS Airways gave us 4 food vouchers worth RM20 each to spend food in any of the restaurants in the airport.

Armed with the food voucher, we headed off to find a quick bite for the kiddos (focus on the kiddos!) and then we headed towards the airport’s Golden Lounge (we got vouchers for this from CIMB. Thanks CIMB!) and spent the next 5 - 6 hours entertaining the kids with different kinds of food and enjoying the free Wifi they provided.

Strategy #3: My Aha! Moment. Embracing my children’s energy.

I used to be the kind of mom that gets embarrassed very easily when my kids do pretty weird stuff in public. When the run around amok, I apologised to anyone that are watching. When they opted to jump and roll and jump and roll instead of walking, I apologised. When they would break out into singing songs, I apologised. I would apologise for anything that my children would do in public. 

But then a moment just struck me on this long flight delay that…they are not going to be kids forever. They are not going to have not a care in the world forever. This moment would last for a couple of years and then it will be gone. MasyaAllah. Thinking about it now makes me cry. So at the airport, I made a promise to myself to let them be kids and enjoy the childhood that few have. Not many kids travel as often as they do. Probably the entrepreneurial life that me and my hubs chose to live shapes how my kids are. Its not a bad thing, it pretty good actually.

InsyaAllah that’s one of the few 2016 New Year’s resolution that I have made for myself. I am chosing to keep it and get better and better when travelling with my kids…and hopefully my next little one will enjoy the same lovely childhood as their elder brothers had.

If you can read the Malay Language and would like to have complete joy when travelling with babies, please do download my free e-book. Have a fabulous trip everyone!

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