Wednesday, 21 October 2009


Now is the time for a shout-out to all those parents who experience air travel with their kiddos. Gillian, for one, impresses the hell out of me with her negotiating skills, patience and constant attention to our kids during the several medium-haul flights we have made as a family. Just like an average day at home then! Meanwhile, when flying, I’m reduced to a mere observer - a product of trial and error familial seat assignments: Ferg on the window, Gillian in the middle, Effie on the aisle... lonely ol’ me across the way. And there I sit listening to my ipod and reading magazines (and blissfully passing around what turns out to be the last remnants of our family’s anti-air-pressure-chewing-gum to my fellow row passengers). And although on our last flight, Chicago to Seattle, I did play some American Girl Go Fish (who knew?) with Effie and helped Ferg build a K’nex motorcycle this really is nothing compared to the continuous attention Gillian gives to Fergus.

For some reason Ferg has never been the type to sit back and watch a movie on the plane. He prefers building/playing with stuff and looking at books, all with Gillian constantly assisting him and pulling out new items from a seemingly bottomless supply of surprise in-air distractions. It is impressive, though I’m sure disheartening to Gillian, that Fergus can put together a Bionicle in under five minutes. I need a nap just thinking about how much work this is for her.

Cramming anyone into such a tightly confined space as a plane seat for four hours is annoying and uncomfortable. For someone as peripatetic as Fergus it is just plain cruel. However, Gillian has developed a rhythm that seems to work for our kids. Which is why it was a little deflating to have the lady in front of Ferg announce to us, immediately upon Ferg’s joyful arrival at his window seat, that she was very tired and needed her sleep and that we had to be quiet. It was 7:15 pm! Actually it wasn’t deflating at all – it was shockingly funny and, bwahaha, a call to arms.

At one or two moments during the flight I would say that Ferg wasn’t exactly playing “quietly” - he was, after all, deeply involved in a battle between two opposing transformers - but still, to hear him shushed several times by grumpy-puss was rather hilarious. Hilarious because it is not in Ferg’s make-up to even remotely hear “shhhhhh” let alone respond to it and, oh by the way lady, you should see him when he isn’t happy on a plane (Ferg bests Tim Booth)! And hilarious, as opposed to annoying, because little did she know that we had just spent ten straight days listening to many a strangers’ need to comment on his feet and you know what, poopy pants, we’re kinda hardened to all that now so why don’t you just shut up, plug some headphones in your ears and join our little society. We’ll continue having fun and meeting our kids needs here in the back.

Woops, this was supposed to be a kudos post and looky here, it’s turned into a rant. Must work on that.


Rachel said...

Gillian, as we all know, you rock. :) It sounds like, as far as Fergus goes, this was a relatively easy flight, but I know that "easy" still means that you are constantly having to keep it entertaining for him. I am so impressed by your forethought, as noted several times on your Chicago trip. I guess it made things less stressful for you that Fergus was having a "better" trip than the notorious "I WANT TO GO HOME!" flight of 2008, but when you have such a cranky pants seated in front of you, it kind of makes you long for a shout or two to let her know what sort of thing she might have experienced. ;) Still, I'm really glad you guys had such a "good" flight. Does that mean you are up for another cross-country flight to visit us again? Hee hee hee. I'm already envisioning a future visit to do some of the things we didn't get to do!

Rachel said...

Wait, somehow reading that, I didn't how that sounded. Let's change it to this:

Gillian, if you didn't know this already, YOU ROCK! :)


Carolyn said...

I want to see Gillian tap dancing in a sparkly outfit for the entertainment of the whole plane...not just Fergus. ;)

And really, doesn't poopy-pants KNOW to pack F%$@*#ing ear plugs if she really wants to sleep. I mean, really. That deserves a verbal berating on her lack of proper planning. Shessh.

Gillian, I ditto Rachel's rock!