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I'm stuck at 30,000ft with my tiny terror

It was 4am, I remember. I was in the back galley of the airplane. Suddenly, I heard loud music. I couldn't believe one of the passengers would be ignorant enough to play music when everyone else was trying to sleep on the way from New York to Dublin. I walked down the cabin and saw the culprit. He wasn't drunk as I had expected. Just very small and cute, playing his music on a toy with flashing lights.

Of course, there was no point saying anything to him, especially when he looked so delighted with himself, but I did say to his granny, upon whose knee he sat, "you'll have to turn that off because the other passengers won't be able to sleep".

I don't know how the granny entertained the child for the rest of the flight, but I didn't think any more of it until recently when baby Gary and I took a short flight which felt like a long haul.

First of all we had a five-hour delay at Dublin Airport so all the baby's food supplies had gone by the time we boarded. We were seated beside a man with a completely bald, shiny head and Gary thought it was fun to bounce his rattle off the top of it.

"I'm so sorry," I said and then moved to another seat. Thankfully, there was a free row of seats down the back of the plane. I laid Gary out on the row of seats hoping he'd fall asleep. No such luck. Instead, he climbed up and the next thing I knew he was yanking a pair of sunglasses off the head of the passenger in front.

"I'm so sorry," I said again. I seemed to keep saying it throughout the flight. Like when Gary threw his dummy among the passengers in the cabin and everybody had to lift up their feet so I could locate it.

"Next time, I'm leaving you at home," I hissed into his ear. He didn't care. The little rascal knew I couldn't put him into his cot for the next couple of hours and he wanted to party. He got a sandwich from the cabin crew, took it apart and smothered his fingers with butter. Then he smeared butter into my hair. Great.

When one of the air hostesses picked him up to admire him, he grabbed her breast. Actually, I think he was probably trying to grab her name badge that was pinned to her breast, but it was still really embarrassing. As we exited the plane the crew smiled politely. "You're lucky you're so small," I whispered in baby Gary's ear. "If any other passenger had behaved like you, the airport police would have been escorting them off in handcuffs."


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