In my last blog post, I wrote about my first toddler free travel since Zoey was born. In contrast, this post is going to be about the worst flight that I have ever taken with Zoey. Even though it was a relatively short flight to Taiwan (about 4.5 hours), it was worst than the first leg to USA (Singapore – Narita) last year where Zoey had a high fever and cried for a lot of the flight. At least on that flight, I had Irene with me.
On my flight to Taiwan on Thursday night, Zoey and I were seated next to the window with 2 of my friends were in the row behind us. She had fallen asleep shortly after take off and I had her lying on my lap. About 1 hour into the flight, I moved her slightly so she could be higher up on my lap. As I moved her, I felt something warm and sticky on my hand. I carried her up onto my chest and she basically started puking all over me and herself. The puke was chunky half digested pasta mixed with milo – her dinner and supper.
The puke was everywhere.
It was on me, my jeans, my seat, her clothes and the floor. Fortunately the majority of my carry on items were in a small suitcase in the overhead compartment. I had opted to put the bare essentials into a simple recyclable bag for this trip. So this recyclable bag was slightly splashed with puke, but the contents were safe.
I had to nudge my friend Lynn who was seated behind me to wake up and help. The guy seated at the aisle looked relieved when Lynn suggested to swap seats with him. I got Zoey to stand on the seat while Lynn found a fresh change of clothes for her. After Zoey was in clean clothes, I took off my top and put on my windbreaker, the only extra piece of clothing I had on my carry on. I cleaned my jeans and seat as much as I could before getting Zoey to sit down again. We called for the air steward to help with the cleaning. All they could do was pour some packets of coffee powder on the puke that was scattered around the floor and cover it with napkins. They also attempted to spray some air freshener around our seats. The end result looked somewhat like this.
Not long after we settled down, as I hugged Zoey to me, she started heaving again. Before I could do anything, she had once again puked all over me and herself. Fortunately, now Lynn was on the aisle seat so she could help me get the next set of clothes quickly. This time I rushed into the toilet and attempted to wash off whatever I could. However it was simply too puke soaked. I contemplated just wearing my bra for the rest of the flight. Lynn kindly offered me her spare t-shirt when she saw how bad it was. After getting Zoey into clean clothes, once again we sat back down.
Before we had even gotten comfortable, Zoey puked again. This time I was quick enough to turn her around and get a puke bag for her. She dirtied her own clothes and got some of it on my jeans, but not my top. At this point, I had 4 different patches of puke stains on my jeans. I decided to ask the Scoot staff if they had any spare clothes for me to change into. They didn’t, but they managed to give me a blanket that would normally have cost $15. I used this blanket to wrap Zoey so she wouldn’t be sitting on my puke soaked jeans.
In total, she puked not once, not twice, not thrice but FOUR times on the plane, plus one time in while we were in the immigration line!!! To everyone who said I am KIASU (overly anxious) to pack 3 sets of clothes for Zoey on flights, I have to say I am really glad that I did have enough clothes for her. Never mind that I didn’t have enough for myself, it was important that she didn’t have to be in dirty clothes.
I was also very fortunate that the Taipei Taoyuan airport has shower facilities next to the baggage carousel. This meant I could strip both myself and Zoey, take a hot shower and change into clean clothes. All of our puked soaked clothes ended up in these 2 bags which was 1 load of laundry on its own.
From this experience, here are my 3 tips on flying with toddlers.
- The longer the flight, the more prepared you have to be. Normally when we are on 1 or 2 hour flights, I pack 1 set of clothes. Because this was a midnight flight that was going to take 4.5 hours, I packed 3 sets. I am really glad I did.
- Request for the aisle seat. Normally we would be seated in a row with Irene at the end. So getting in and out would have been easy. On this flight, we were on the window, which made it hard when I needed to get stuff. Fortunately the guy agreed to swap seats with Lynn so it made going to the toilet for clean ups much simpler.
- Bring at least 1 set of clothes for yourself. I normally do carry an extra T-shirt with me whenever I am going on a flight as toddlers tend to be messy and Zoey often spills stuff on herself and on me. However, this was the first time I had needed to change pants. I’m planning on at least packing a pair of shorts in the future.
At the end of the day, I am glad Zoey was fine for the rest of the trip. She slept after the shower and woke up ready to conquer Taipei, so at least the entire trip wasn’t ruined. Plus she learnt how to puke into a puke bag, so in the future she will not puke all over herself again.