Now, by no means am I saying that it was pleasant, non-eventful, or even encouraging. No. That wouldn't be truthful. But I didn't at any point have to nip off to the toilets and pop a quarter valium...so that's a pretty good indication non?
Not that there weren't frequent, numerous (well actually too numerous) toilet visits. Dumpie got it in his head quite early on that he rather enjoyed hanging out in the loo, and thus, deviously conspired to spend as much of the next 8 hours in there as is humanly possible.
Luckily we were sat next to the loos. Unfortunately they stank. Luckily I brought enough nappies for the three major 'accidents' of the stinky variety which occurred. Unfortunately he became transfixed with the loud toilet, the hand pump of scented gel wash and the manifold rolls of loo roll, paper towel and other things in there that are clearly geared toward the interest of a 2 year old.
It would start with the persistent tugging of my sleeve, a grimace, and a moan of, "Mama me sick. Me throw uuuuuup."
So I'd grab the stinky chicken under the arm, elbow people out of the way apologetically, then spend the next ten minutes or so in the tiny cubicle with him as he giggled, showed no signs whatsoever of being ill anymore and then to appease me, would do a half-hearted spit in the metal bowl before washing his hands for the fourth time with much glee.
I wouldn't be exaggerating if I confessed that we probably spent a good 1/4 of the flight in there (much to the consternation of the other passengers).
No, what really made the flight bearable and so unlike our last, was the fact that they miraculously gave us bulkhead seats, and being a new plane, there was TONS of room and hence Dumpie was able to jump up and down, deriving much amusement from the new, touchscreen media players. At one point he even made a makeshift bed for himself on the floor amongst all the spilt apple juice and abandoned Hula-Hoops, and gave me a half-hour of unadulterated peace in which i was able to almost watch part of a bad Hollywood movie ("He's Just Not That Into You"...trite trash but a novel experience to actually 'watch' something).
We did almost miss the flight though. After eating lunch we had wandered into W.H. Smith to purchase a few magazines before we boarded. I was busily scanning the shelves, trying to find a cover that did NOT have a certain page 3 girl plastered all over the front with her gigantic breasts stuffed into something tacky and pornographic.....when....all of the sudden I looked up and SHE was standing beside me...stuffed into something tacky and pornographic....and holding the same magazine as I...muttering to herself and her quickly expanding audience of gaping-mouthed onlookers, "This is all garbage...all lies..."
Well I don't know about that, but she certainly lived up to her deliberately crafted image. Up close she looked like a transvestite. (Or is that just me and the fact that I fail to see how one might choose to dress like a frontrunner in a pole dancing competition when one is choosing ones outfit for air travel....?)
Dressed in skintight black tights, her toothpick, liposuctioned legs appeared impossibly bow-legged and totally out of proportion with her barely contained, 'ginormous' mammaries. She was also freakishly tall on account of her uber-high black patent platform stilletos, and ridiculously matt black hair which stood up a good foot higher than her head in a 'K.D. Lang-ish' coif.
Egg stood there beside me, staring up at her in awe, momentarily forgetting to beg me for the bag of Maltesers he stood clutching in his left hand. Dumpie (good lad) didn't have one iota of interest in her, and was merely straining to reach for one of those stupid, over priced kiddie mags with the silly gifts glued on front (and the paper density which ensures it will rip as soon as opened and turn into useless confetti within minutes of handing over your five quid).
The store quickly filled up with celeb spotters and hapless punters and so I made for the check-out with some difficulty. Ms. Price quickly squeezed in right behind me and ensuring that all eyes were on her, then began a loud, annoying conversation on her mobile with someone who may or may not have been her estranged husband...letting out a stream of uncouth adjectives whilst pouting and prancing in a most nauseating way (can you tell I'm not a fan?)
As a result it took a good fifteen minutes to get to the till and when I finally did, the quiet little man supposed to be serving me had to brought back to the present by the banging of my fists on the counter as he stood staring transfixed by lust at the cartoonish character at the next till.
All this to say that as we finally exited into the main terminal at last, I saw that beside our flight number the red light was flashing "FLIGHT CLOSING". Whoops. I then saw that beside gate 42 it said, "20 minute walk" and then I thought, "Uh oh".
We ran the entire way and miraculously made it. It helped that the plane was delayed. It also helped that several other passengers had apparently been in the vicinity of W.H. Smith as well.
Onboard, shortly after take-off, Dumpie discovered the harmonica which Auntie Mo had kindly packed in his little 'Back-Bag' to amuse him for the plane ride.
Misjudged? Well...I don't know that the other passengers on flight 849 were particularly enthralled with his random and periodic harmonica playing, but on the other hand he actually wasn't that bad on it so....
(Although in retrospect, I don't think the big black fellow sat behind and to the right of Dumps particularly enjoyed being 'shot at' for the duration of the flight by the 'harmonica gun' wielded by Dumps, complete with sound effects and mutters of, "I kill you!....I kill you...boom-boom-boom".)