Wednesday 3 November 2010


I’ve never been off to war – and frankly do not want to be and wish we could do away with it altogether – but I’m thinking that traveling with an infant is something similar to planning a complex military operation. It takes strategy, tactics, effectively carried out maneuvers, and of course a willing and able general to see it all to fruition. Sadly, in this case, that is me. I am presuming that generals in battle are usually well slept, well informed, and well equipped to deal with whatever comes their way…I am none of those things. Sh*t. I’m screwed.

Well despite this general’s lack of sleep and brain power, I am going to have to combine a bit of preparation and strategy, a bit of reliance on subordinate troops - in this case the unsuspecting passengers at the airport that will be pulled into this mission to help carry it out, ATTTTENNNNTION! And a bit of spontaneity. And this last factor is key, cause in war (and travel), anything can happen.

The day of course starts with the planning and assembling of one’s equipment, and despite the average infant’s size, they need more kit than an army of forty men. I kid you not. From what it takes to feed them, dress them, and diaper them, you must then times that by at least three, as any general worth her salt has to be prepared for the unexpected and inevitable. That of course includes explosions (from the King’s rear end of course); land mines (this includes leaking bottles, lotions, potions and what have you); unexpected enemies – security personal insisting I take apart positively everything; and uncooperative soldiers – which of course includes those who walk on by me and the King when the elevator (lift) is out of order and I can’t get all our stuff down the escalator!

You then move into the first of many maneuvers or skirmishes if you will, which entails getting from the house to the airport. This requires strength, sweat, and sheer will to get all the crap into the car, or on the bus, train, what have you, and then make sure you have all the stuff you started with once you reach the check-in desk. By the time I get to the train which takes me to the airport, I have already broken out in a sweat, the King has decided his car seat is a death trap and wants out, and people are already beginning to feel sorry for me as I look way in over my head. Damn it, I’m a General, pull yourself together!

Then of course there is crossing the secure and impervious checkpoint – i.e. airport security. Nowadays, this is almost the worst part, especially for a well-organized and well-oiled military operation that has been put together by a meticulous General. In short, one must dismantle positively everything, lay it all out on a conveyer belt, break down a pram, practically disrobe herself, and all the while hold a small child that weighs more than a Labrador (The King is a weighty adorable beast). And if that’s not enough, then the proud General must drink from a baby bottle to prove that they’re not trying to bring down a plane with sterilized water.

Once on the plane, it’s all about maintaining one’s composure, occupying the subject at hand i.e. the King, and making sure the other soldiers within the battle (the other passengers) – do not plot a rebellion and have you thrown off the plane for making too much noise. I’m talking about the King of course, not myself. Cause at this point, I have one eyelid barely open as I struggle to remain awake.

By the time the plane begins to descend, I can almost taste victory. Almost that is. At this point the general still has to round up the equipment, go through yet another military checkpoint (immigration), choose a means to get to the end destination (this requires more trains, buses and taxis), and then celebrate like hell when victory is within one’s grasp. Victory of course entails liquor, a pillow, and an aspirin. Not necessarily in that order.

Bon voyage.

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