In my continuation of writing about first experiences, this one is perhaps the most exciting.
With adopted kids, in order to travel abroad you need a passport, and for that you need an adoption certificate, which in turn requires you to have full parental responsibility, and a judge signing off on the adoption order.
Our adoption order went through in September last year, and we have been planning this trip for some time.
My brother lives in Europe, and rarely gets back to the UK, so we jumped at the chance to visit him now all three of us have valid passports.
The flight we planned was about 2 ½ hours, which is long enough for a toddler, and we encountered a few initial problems.
The first of which was my son’s lack of respect for the rule of keeping your belt on during take-off and landing. As with every other aspect of his life, anything new is worthy of his complete exploration, so trying to reason with him about keeping still in the seat was falling on deaf ears, and he was wriggling around, desperate to see out the window.
The poor fella in front of us soon realised his relaxing flight to Eastern Europe would be no such thing as our son took his frustration out on the only thing his feet could reach… his seat.
Once the seat belt sign went off however, my son was up like a greyhound and putting his hands in places no toddler’s hands should go.
With the added pressure of potty training, my wife was wise to book our seats next to the toilet which is where we took the boy at the first opportunity. Unfortunately, the limited space meant that my wife couldn’t sit him on the toilet, and help him at the same time with the door shut, so everyone in line of sight of the toilet enjoyed my son’s first mile high wee.
Mid-flight was fine, and quite frankly the boy took to the whole journey incredibly well. Of course loading the IPad with movies helps, but he took everything in his stride, and behaved without causing too much upset to the stag do contingency in front of us; (Probably helped by the party’s intake of alcohol prior to take-off.)
Everything was going fine right up until our final 5 minutes of descent, when as the under carriage was clicked into position, our son’s ‘potty training’ kicked in and he felt the sudden urge to be naked, as he often does these days.
Instead of keeping this to himself, he felt it prudent to communicate his wishes to everyone south of row 15:
“I want to be naked”
Came the confident announcement from the seat next to me. The screech of the tires hitting the tarmac thankfully halted the pregnant pause after my son’s verbal outburst, but I could still hear the sniggering from various seats.
Said his mum
“Keep your clothes on and you can have a surprise.”
I have been on several flights and never made it as far as the cockpit, but my son managed to charm his way in first time.
In actual fact, it was my wife’s exceptional negotiating skills that achieved this, as she persuaded the flight crew to let my son explore the cockpit once the engines were switched off, and everyone else was safely in the terminal.
My son, whilst amazed by the flashing lights and computer screens, I think was too tired to fully appreciate what he had just experienced, so after 5 minutes we thanked the pilot and made our way to baggage reclaim.
The whole experience could not have gone any better. My son didn’t show any signs of anxiety, he had no accidents, and he behaved impeccably. For something that could have gone wrong, in so many ways, once again our pride was over flowing as he ticked another first experience off his list.
Then he hit the emergency button on the belt at baggage reclaim. The alarm screamed into life, and I was face to face with armed security.
Damn it, so close.
Our thanks to Easyjet, who made our son’s first flight such a pleasant experience.