9 1/2 hours: We were pretty busy at the airport, thought we had plenty of time but by the time we bought some essential purchases for mummy and grabbed a bite to eat it was time to board. We were one of the last ones to board and a little nervous about the seating but I'm delighted to say we were completely spoilt with four seats for just two adults and Oliver... Thank you Richard Branson!
It was a new plane with all mod cons, tv, music, games & children's entertainment more than you could ever manage to watch, what a choice! The staff were very helpful & even polite when Oliver decided to catapult himself off Dadda’s lap on to mine before the seatbelt sign went off - oops sorry!
1hr Pots and more pots I'm surprised at how calm the flight is, but the staff seem, fresh and in control, it makes a huge difference. We started off by calmly sitting & playing with a few brightly coloured Tupperware pots I found in Waitrose. We've already lost one sauce bottle and a blue dressing pot. These have vanished under the seat so Dadda might have to get down and look for these later.
2hr’s Distraction Oliver’s usual nap time & we woke him up earlier this morning, so he is exhausted! We move on to the mini aqua draw as there is no sign of sleep and watch some postman pat on the iPad. Dadda does a few laps of the plane & a few more friends are made.
3hr’s Busy Lunch Lunch is great as the process of serving drinks and then lunch takes a good 30 minutes, Oliver didn't eat the food but he enjoyed interacting with the lovely air hostess' and the bread roll in a sealed packet became a good distraction.
4hr’s Oh No! Oliver has a melt down as he is so exhausted but despite lying down, making him a den out of one of the supplied Virgin blankets to sleep under and us both trying to hold him, he is not sleeping. Luckily the melt down is short lived & a few of the surrounding passengers give a few words of support.. Deep breaths!
5hr’s Snacks and distraction Still no sign of sleep so we concentrate on a good feed, Oliver has a few yogurts a sandwich and a few bowls of dried Cheerios - his favourite! We meet the children sitting in front who are a great distraction when he's grumpy but also who are too excited about their new friend & want to play when he's about to drift off. Oliver is grumpy now & his eyes are looking heavy and red, he keeps asking to go to bed.
6hr’s Oliver & Dadda get fractious Still no sign of sleep & hubby's getting tired too, another mini melt down, so I down tools & take Oliver for a walk, drinks for everyone & on our return I re-introduce the tupperware pots but with a small box of raisins & we are entertained moving them into the different pots, lids on & lids off.
7hr’s Attempt the sleep again We decide quiet time is better then nothing so out comes postman pat again & we have about 15 minutes of calm, he's asking to go to bed which makes me feel terrible, we play games on the iPad and freshen him up to prepare for another sleep attempt.
8hr’s And finally! We snuggle him down and he sits calmly, then had a cuddle with mummy & then finally has a melt down, it was a stressful 10 minutes but I decide we are going to sleep He eventually nods off, we were very lucky to have some kind & understanding people around us, who give us knowing reassuring glances and smiles after he finally nodded off. It's about 20 minutes before the stewardess approaches me to discuss food on the return journey & he wakes up! He's very upset & hot so I strip him off and hand him over to Dadda and he eventually nods off again. Dadda is exhausted too & falls asleep, they have about 25 minutes when Ben flinched and Oliver wakes again. He comes back to Mumma for a cuddle and a shush and gently the mood evolves to smiles again, thank god!
9 & 1/2 hr's The descent The final hour or so was a breeze, a walk around, a freshen up a clean outfit, pack away the toys, a chat with his new friends and a play with the interactive TV(bowling was a hit!) and the excitement of the decent was amazing!
Oliver was wide awake for passport control & the 1hr 15 drive to Nanny & Grandad's, the surprise was amazing.. When Nanny came to answer the door we hid & as she approached the door Oliver said Boo! What a lovely surprise.. I’m delighted to say that despite staying awake until 8.30 US time Oliver slept until 5, had a quick cuddle with Mumma and then slept again until 7.30, Best boy - Michelle X