Thank you, kind strangers

I have recently returned from Dubai, only a short 2.5hr flight, but it’s still hard work on your own. Annabelle used to be such a sleepy head but nowadays she is in to everything and on a plane this generally means pulling passengers’ clothes, trying to snatch food off their trays and sticking her hands in her own food.

Waiting to board at Mumbai's new airport

Waiting to board at Mumbai’s new airport

Both the flights I took to Dubai and back again were daytime ones. I thought Annabelle would take her naps onboard, I was wrong. Instead I just had a fidgety overtired lump to manage instead of a calm and sleepy princess. I am sorry to say that on the way back my child was THAT child. The one we all roll our eyes at wondering what could possibly have possessed their incapable parents for even thinking about flying with IT. She screamed on and off every 15 minutes for 15 minutes. For the whole flight. Excellent.

Just lulling you into a false calm...I'm gonna let rip on board

Just lulling you into a false calm…I’m gonna let rip on board

However, I was surrounded by such kind strangers. It genuinely reassured my faith in the human race. I was sitting at the front, in the four sets in the middle of the plane. I had the aisle seat on the right hand side. To my left was an Emirati woman and her aged parents. She spoke little English and seemed rather stern at the beginning of the flight. To my right, across the aisle, were two Indian gentlemen, business partners in a children’s toy empire. Before the plane had even taken off (we were delayed on board for 45mins) they had Annabelle on their laps, playing with bottles, the menu, paper, their watches, glasses…whatever. Annabelle was in her element.

Towards the end of the flight when Annabelle was becoming increasingly irritable (and irritating!) the Emirati women took her from me. Allowed me to nip to the loo even. Bliss. I came back and found her using her abaya to play peek-a-boo, a very sweet sight. She even made sure I got some food from the stewardess and insisted I eat every last crumb, I felt mothered by her and it felt good.

Once the plane landed, Annabelle’s screams had died down and all the passengers were standing itching to get off, a gentleman from the seat behind me lent in and said to Annabelle “weren’t you a good girl eh?” and I thought “were you even on the same flight as me?”. Not one person scowled at me! So, thank you all, kind strangers.

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