Every time I step aboard a flight, I admire the space utilization measures the flight designers have taken. I am not sure that aero-dynamic designs appeal to me as much as the food trolley cart design or the way those trolleys slide neatly into closets designed for fitting one. If it was possible for a machine to compress us all into capsules and place us in an economy seat; I am sure the airline industry will be the first to embrace and implement such a strategy. The food trays, the trash compactors, the restrooms – they all seem to be tailored just about your outer seams. I think they expand and contract too. I mean when I go alone into the restroom,there seems to be just enough elbow room for me. When I go with my baby to change his diaper the same closet somehow takes on more space to allow for an inquisitive infant springing forth from my arms to ‘explore the surroundings’ and still not eject us out the door.
The most recent trip with my family to London and Scotland were done with the following as hand carry:
Daughter : 1 count
Infant son: 1 count
Diaper bag: 1 count
Backup diaper bag items in suitcase: 1 count
Spare clothes for all involved: x+3 count (I may be partially OCD, but I have seen a baby with nothing but a diaper on my travels because he wet his dress and vomitted on the spare one within 3 minutes of the flight taking off)
Stroller : 1 count
Car seat: 1 count
Laptops: 2 count
Book + Kindle etc (I am optimistic that way)
I can’t begin to explain the hash we made of things before settling down. The husband would deftly shove the suitcase in bin 2 , then pile our coats before placing the laptop bag and hang on the bin handle to close the bin, only to find that 10 minutes later, I’d want the backup fruit from the suitcase lodged at the bottom of the whole pile. The poor man may have grunted a couple of times, but it was lost in the melee. We were clearly spilling over our surroundings with just one person’s food. To think they served a whole flight full of people without tying bibs on anyone; not to mention spilling food on themselves or anybody else is amazing.
Another point to consider is that usually in flights, I rely on a combination of books and in-flight entertainment systems to tide me through the tortuous international travels, but this time I could have travelled on a bullock cart stowed in an airplane and I might have had had an easier time managing my little one. At one point when he slept, I squished myself into the seat without waking him up and tuned in to the in-flight entertainment with disastrous consequences. This I tell you after standing at the back of the flight near the restrooms for 2.5 hours continuously. So, you can imagine how relieved I was that he fell asleep. The details are still foggy, but somehow while plugging the ear-phones on, my sleeping little one managed to tie his shoe lace into the whole thing. This is the exact moment when the stewardess thought would be a great time to serve food. So, now I had the exit row seat with the in-flight entertainment screen pulled out, a sleeping infant with his shoe laces inexplicably tied to my headphones, the bassinet carrier open for placing my food tray on and a glass of juice in my hand. A more peaceful domestic scene one cannot see on flights. The stewardess flashed a partly sympathetic- partly ‘Good – now stay that way’ smile at me and moved on with her bulky trolley.
Then, the baby kicked in his sleep. I wonder whether you’ve seen these you-tube videos with card packs flopping down. Some poor soul spends hours building a castle of cards and then pulls one card off the beginning and the whole thing flops down nicely. It was like that.
Peaceful scene -> baby kicked in his sleep -> Kick tugged at ear phones and flopped earphones on eyes -> Eyes temporarily hit with ear-phones involuntarily moved hands spilling o.juice on adjoining areas,but deftly avoiding sleeping infant -> Avoided sleeping infant, but hit husband just when spoon with dal and basmati rice to hit tongue -> Basmati rice flying in flight with varying degrees of speed for the accompanying dal.
A loud silent roar erupted from the husband, but he managed to contain it. One does not awaken sleeping tiger cubs even if one’s basmati rice flies into the overhead bins of nearby flights.
To cut a long story short, we emerged victorious, if slightly dirty and stained from the flight. Anyone wanting to see me or my family are most welcome to come and visit me at home. I am happy to entertain!
PS: I loved this picture of the sleeping cub – so here it is.