Bobby’s first flight

Slide 2_BobbyBobby has always liked to have both his feet on the ground. “That way, I know where I am,” he explained. He isn’t even very happy climbing up the ladder on the baby slide in the playground although he enjoys slowly and gently tumbling down the other side.

So we realised his first flight in a plane would be difficult and scary – for him as well as for grot boy and me. When nervous and upset, Bobby becomes very agitated. He wriggles and squirms and asks over and over again, “Do you think I will be alright? Can I go home, please? What is happening now?” And some airline passengers don’t like to be disturbed by children, or even teddy bears, when they fly. I was also worried that the chocolate we’d given him as “encouragement” to get on the plane might end up all over us and the other teddies.

As we sat on the tarmac and heard the plane’s engine rev, Bobby became even more agitated. “What if the plane falls out of the sky?” he asked. “Ccino said it happens all the time and showed me lots of pictures of planes crashing to the ground.”

(Lucky for Ccino the plane windows don’t open or I might have thrown him out of one. He might be the baby in the family but he is the expert in causing mayhem.)

To distract Bobby from what was happening, grot boy devised a new game: he and Bobby flapped their arms to help the plane take off. As the effectiveness of this game started to wear off, grot boy encouraged Hephie to help them. “If Hephie flaps his big hephalump ears too, then we’re sure to stay in the air,” he reassured Bobby.

Plane window_Bobby and Hephie“Besides, Hephie’s a jumbo just like our plane* so he knows all about flying,” grot boy explained.

I could hear Dwight groaning, “That is the worst ‘bad dad joke’ I’ve ever heard.” And while I agreed, it had the desired affect of keeping Bobby calm.

After many flights now, Bobby is quite comfortable with planes, provided he can flap. But I’m still learning not to be embarrassed as grot boy and Bobby flap their arms, faster and faster, as we accelerate down the runway and rise gradually into the air, not stopping until we’re all cruising above the clouds.

* A jumbo jet

©, 2014


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