Trying Toddlerhood and Flying
In a Facebook post I announced that the Munchkin and I had made it back to the UK, 17 hours of flying without a seat for him. Joy upon joy.
I hinted that perhaps our trip had not been the smoothest, and after whizzing the story by the TT (Trying Toddler) team I thought I’d share it with you. So… make yourselves comfy.
We said goodbye to daddy bear at Perth airport at about 9pm, checked our suitcase and headed through security. Only got stopped for a quick bomb swab (on the munchkin no less!) but otherwise uneventful.
Munchkin became obsessed with the escalators and we rode up and down and up and down and I only nearly lost him once, so I was feeling pretty proud of myself.
He started to get pretty cactus as we were boarding the plane, and other than the usual “oh F#@K it’s a toddler on my flight” looks, he dealt with take off really well and settled in to sleep. He did a cracking job of sleeping for all but 2 hours on the flight! Winning!
We landed in Doha, grabbed our courtesy stroller and off we toddled through security again and to find the gate for the next leg. We found the parents room near our gate and I gave him a full change. Head to toe. Our flight was moving through to the departure lounge so I popped him in the stroller and headed for the gate. I could see the gate from the parents room. So close I could read the name badges on the attendants.
It was at this point that munchkin decided to throw himself from the pram and headfirst straight on the impeccably polished floor. Smack!
After a not so quiet “F#@K!“ I grabbed him off the floor and held him close. Taking a swift peek at his head I could see the egg had already come up! He was screaming, I was trying to hold back the tears. People from all over the place rushed to ask if we needed any help.
“No, no, we’ll be fine. Thank you” I was so F#@King close to being home, I was tired, smelly, holding a screaming toddler. Just let me passed please and I’ll hop on my plane and be out of your way.
Ummmm… no. Paramedics arrived on bicycles and they told me straight out we weren’t getting on the plane. I could F#@King see the plane!!! The took us on one of those little carts through the depths of the airport to the on site hospital (never knew that was a thing!) where he was assessed by a lovely doctor who obviously thought I was a compete F#@Ktard for not strapping my son into a stroller.
He said we weren’t going anywhere today. Munchkin needed to be monitored. Off we went again through the twists and turns of the airport to a holding space for ‘displaced persons’ (those are my words. It was where they keep people you see on TV who aren’t allowed to enter the country)
What were we going to do? I was on my own with my son in Qatar, in the geographical middle of my families, bawling my eyes out! Were we going to have to stay at the airport until the next flight tomorrow morning (bear in mind this all happened before 7am local time!)?
Thankfully Qatar came to my rescue! They put us up in the swankiest hotel I have ever stayed in. Gave us vouchers for food within the hotel (I swear down I had THE best pizza from room service!) and transferred us to and from the airport. The doctor and airport hospital called numerous times to check on Munckin’s condition. They even came and assessed him again before we flew. (When we went to the information desk to say we were to meet the doctor, the guy said “oh you’re the mum who’s baby fell out the stroller?” News travels fast. “Yep. Yep. That’s me. Mother of the year”
On the day of our flight (the new flight) they met us before security, walked us through and straight to our gate (perhaps to ensure I didn’t abuse my son again!).
I honestly couldn’t have dreamt of better service. They were incredible. They went above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you Qatar Airways and Hamad international airport.
…told you to get comfy!!!