Catching up with family and friends brought to an end a wonderful holiday. But then we had to get home. Andrew had gone back to Melbourne a couple of days early to get ready to go back to work leaving me with the joy of flying back with all three boys. The boys are quite used to flying, Casey’s been on over 50 flights in his lifetime so he knows the drill. My sister dropped us off and as we waved goodbye I received a text saying the flight was delayed by two hours. With our ride already down the road and on the freeway there was no turning back options. We’d also arrived super early as I didn’t was a repeat of our past holiday flight experience!
So I checked in our bags and headed to the departure area. Computers and Iphones out we quickly used up the 500MB of free Airport Internet, so we moved to Qantas and used up their Internet instead. Three hours later we managed to board. After several rounds of musical chairs, figuring out who needed to sit next to whom to create least yelling and fighting, we were away. I love flying Jetstar as they have individual Ipads on offer, perfect for entertaining my three aspies. Much to my delight I had pre-ordered four of them, so we were all able to chill out and watch what we wanted. Accept Archie, who decided to play UNO against other factious online players.
This year we decided that the boys needed to have at least one session at the kids club so that Andrew and I could enjoy and night out together. The kid's session was for four hours but my boys only lasted two and a half. Just long enough for a quick Teppanyaki at BeniHana and to be outside the resort when the call came in that my son NEEDED to be collected. Ten-year-old Casey had the security of a mobile phone so that he could text me if he needed me. And he did, about 20 times. During dinner. But I was grateful, at least I knew how he was coping.
Archie had his own adventures in the surf; after being slam dunked by a wave and convinced that he nearly drowned, he’s vowed NEVER to go swimming in the ocean again. His decision was only cemented with Casey being stung by a Blubber Jellyfish. The sting wrapped all the way around his tiny white leg. As Andrew went to the recue and carried Casey up the beach all I could hear was, “Am I going to die? I’ve got so much to live for!” I reassured him that he was going to be fine and tried very hard to contain my giggles. Oh the drama!
Back at the resort Bailey hit a few home runs. He made a friend in kids club, who happened to be from Melbourne, and he remembered him when he found him at the pool later in the day. Although he had asked about ten other seven to ten year old boys if there were his friend, he found the right one in the end and they were like two peas in a pod. Except when it came to milkshakes, where Bailey, who was already in a holiday food induced behaviour spiral, took in upon himself to ask for soy milk as he’d already had too much dairy and it was sending him a bit “crazy”. Bailey took responsibility for his own food choices. A proud parenting moment.
Christmas day this year was spent with our Melbourne family. I loved playing host and catering to my 90 year old Mother In Law’s Christmas Menu of Roast Duck. The boys all had their own menu of hot dogs and Strasburg sausage shaped as Christmas trees, with tomato sauce, on the side. Christmas was very merry and led into the countdown to our Queensland holiday, at our favourite place Paradise Resort.
Routine and predictability are what my boys thrive on so for the past five years we’ve gone to the same resort for our annual holiday. They won our loyalty five years ago when my oldest boy started screaming at the table as they had put spiky lettuce on his nuggets and it was touching! The waitress reacted in equal crazy proportions by grabbing the offending green leaves, throwing them on the floor, stomping on them and declaring “How dare the chef put green on your plate!” I was sold from that moment on; my kids were accepted there.
Throughout the year Archie had been begging his older brothers to tell him what the F word was and after much persuasion Casey told him it meant “fool”. So Archie, now a competent reader, had read and chosen the character name F*%k, without any idea that it was rude. It was an obvious choice with Neil and Nate being the alternatives. I calmly pressed the hostess button and the charming Melinda, who happened to look exactly like Archie’s speech therapist, came to the rescue.
“Sorry to disturb you, by I think my son’s Ipad has a flat battery, would it be possible to change it to another one?” Then Archie chimed in, “Look! I won again! F*%k won again!” The hostess’s reaction was priceless as I quickly educated her that Tuck, from Robin Hood, actually had a brother and his name was F*%k. You don’t hear very much about F*%k, he’s one of the quieter Merry Men. Happy to play along with the charade Melinda quickly exited with the offending Ipad and returned minutes later with a “fully charged” Ipad. Fully charged and censored for random Medieval characters, like F*%k.
We landed in Melbourne and dealt with disembarking down a flight of stairs onto a loud dark tarmac and through Casey’s squeals as parts of his Lego Sand crawler, carried all the way to Queensland and back, broke onto the bitumen. Once in the terminal Casey discovered one of the 3296 pieces from his Sand crawler was missing. One piece, and he couldn’t find it. By this point I was desperate for the bathroom, as Bailey had been six times on the flight thanks to drinking too much pool water, I hadn’t had the chance.
So juggling three boys, one in semi meltdown mode and a full bladder I was stopped by a lady. Being approached by well meaning strangers isn’t unusual for our tribe, most just like to pass on a word of encouragement. This lady passed on something different, a gift voucher from Jetstar, to help celebrate the festive season. She said that she had been watching us, and thought we deserved a gift towards our next flight. Despite my constant efforts to not look like a pack of circus performers it turns out that standing out today, may have been a good thing.
Holiday over, we’re happy to be home again. Thanks to Jetstar we’ll be doing it again soon. Next time I’ll know to look out for Tuck’s brother, before the rest of the plane hears of his online UNO success!