The Most Favourite Thing About Our Holiday

We have been in Dubai for almost a week now and soon it’ll be time to come home. Little Z had been absolutely loving it and taking it all in his stride. In fact, some days and in some ways it’s like he’s a completely different child.

My very fussy non eater EATS here! Properly eats. Some days one of the first things he does is ask for food. This is amazing for him. He’s mostly asked for pizza or chips for breakfast, which we’ve not yet granted, but this is like music to my ears. I just hope this is something that’s here to stay.

We are staying in a hotel which is completely centred to families and thankfully has about a bazillion children’s activities. It also means it has about a bazillion other children all running around and causing havoc. The staff are just amazing though. Little Z now constantly runs into the arms of most security guards (of which there are many dotted around) and other staff. Each enjoys chucking him in the air and he screams with delight. This is not something I want to take back home with me. I don’t think I have the energy to stop his attempts at running into every strangers arms. Still, here it’s a wonderful sight and has boosted his self confidence no end.

Being surrounded by a bazillion children has its advantages, especially at dinner. The other night we met the girl version of Little Z. She was like a carbon copy in character. Having been seated at the table next to them Little Z and Girl Version Z ran through their obligatory rituals of smiling shyly at each other, followed by playing peekaboo, pointing and calling each other “baby!” and then flinging food around and giving their wipes a sneaky lick…followed by some defiant not so sneaky shoving into mouth when told not to lick them. We’ve not seen them much since that might but it’s very reassuring to meet another toddler that behaves the exact way as your own toddler.

The hotel has some indoor aquariums that stand at about 80ish feet tall. They house some amazing species of fish and sea life. Little Z asks to see them about 3 times a day and will spend ages saying and waving hello to each one and telling them to “come here!”. They sometimes oblige if they’re feeling generous.

But his absolute, most favourite thing about the holiday so far? That would be the escalators in the shopping malls. His face is a complete picture any time we pass one and he can barely contain his excitement when standing on one. Of course, as soon as we get off at the end he wants to immediately get on one going in the opposite direction. We once may have got on them 4 times in succession to avoid a very loud public tantrum.

So basically we could have just taken him to the Trafford centre for a few hours.


Letting A Toddler Loose On A Plane

We are finally going to do it. After nearly two years with Little Z we are going to go on holiday, abroad. With a toddler…on a plane.

Is this insane?

I think I was ready when little Z was about 6 months old to be honest. The much more cautious OH wasn’t though and my options at that point, in my head, included:

1) Run off to New York on holiday with a baby by myself

2) Wait for the OH to be ready.

Despite my meticulous planning, in my head, I reluctantly put away the dream of having a solo (well, plus a baby) adventure in New York and waited for the much more cautious OH. Boring!

The OH was ready when little Z was about a year old. New York New York here we come!!! Oh but no…New York was veto’d. What?! Boring!

Then something happened. I suddenly wasn’t ready. Taking a newly walking Little Z on a plane? And abroad? With foreign waters and sicknesses and possibility of getting ill? Suddenly New York going abroad was a bit daunting. So I put it off, quite a while, till I was ready.

Now I am ready! Well…to be honest, I want to go before we have to pay full fare for Little Z once he turns 2.

New York has taken a back seat (apparently its a bad idea with a toddler. Hmph!) and we’re off to sunnier climates 6ish hours away with a beach to entertain us all for a whole week.

So my first dilemma is…how do you entertain a toddler on a plane for 6 hours??

So far my entertaining plans include taking the iPad, some snacks, hoping he has a long nap, possibly handing him over to any cabin crew that comments he’s cute, and letting him look out the window at clouds (are clouds entertaining?).

I keep having visions, though, about the consequences of letting a toddler loose on a plane. This post was actually going to be titled “Get that mother cuddling toddler off this mother cuddling plane”. But that’s a bit harsh…right? I’m very slightly worried about him running riot and us running around after him for 6 hours.

My visions include…

Toddler kicks chair in front repeatedly for entertainment till passenger in front gets a bit huffy.

Toddler refuses to sit strapped in during times of turbulence and has an epic tantrum.

Toddler runs around aisles during turbulence with one of us chasing after him whilst trying not to tumble over on shaky plane.

Toddler gets angry that Wifi won’t let him watch his favourite Sesame Street YouTube clips and flings iPad across plane hitting someone on the plane. Possibly causing injury.

Scenes like that Airplane movie from the 70s when everyone’s screaming (ok that’s a bit dramatic).

Toddler demands to be let off plane to go “outside to Paaaaaarrrrk!!” repeatedly.

Toddler requires nappy change and has tantrum in those tiny cubicles. Passengers watch cubicle as lots of clanging and banging is heard.

Toddler cries for most of journey because his ears are popping / he hates the pressure / is feeling poorly 😦

Toddler causes enough noise for cabin crew to offer us places in the “much quieter” First Class. Hurrah!!

Toddler sleeps entire journey and loves the inflight entertainment.

Toddler is utterly well behaved and even wants to “share share” his toys with neighbouring passenger.

Toddler wants to play the following (his most favourite) 58 times in a row and drives neighbouring passenger crazy

We all walk off plane frazzled and dreading the flight back in 7 days time.

So…how DO you keep a toddler entertained on a flight?