Keeping Mum

Dita De Boni looks at the trials and tribulations of being a parent.

Plane drain

1 comment

It would be hard - neigh impossible - to write a blog today about anything other than travelling internationally with a child.

Which is what I did this morning. Four hours to Melbourne with a seven month old. I am still standing, despite having to get us both up at 4am, fed and out the door and through customs and so on for the 7.30am departure.

It is so much easier travelling with a baby than a toddler, naturally. A toddler drives its parents and everyone in the near vicinity mad because despite wanting everyone's attentions, the toddler invariably ignores attempts to coochie-coo it, or keep it distracted, or show it a cool new book.

Whereas a baby can be held and ga-gagged at by hordes of people who are always assured at least an interested look, if not a peggy-toothed smile in return.

It almost makes up for having to declare every teaspoon of baby food and having the nappy cream confiscated for being a security threat (this actually happened to me at Heathrow Airport! I'm sure readers have plenty of other tales of security gone mad).

My daughter performed fairly well on the flight although she refused to sleep, sent a whole tray of breakfast (including yogurt and milky cereal) flying to the floor and bit me while I tried to pacify her by breast feeding.

On the upside, she charmed the poor woman who drew the short straw and sat next to me. So it was mostly good.

And, pursuant to a former blog of mine, I am happy to report that my car seat arrived completely unscathed at Melbourne airport, without any packaging or special care, despite the fact there was no insurance on the blasted thing.

Thank you so much Air New Zealand!

*****

A colleague has pointed out a strange anomaly that's emerged during the election campaign from one Helen Clark, Prime Minister.

She asks why Miss Clark has let an extension of paid parental leave quietly slide - something that would surely affect thousands of working women, mothers and would-be mothers - while leaving the pre-election lolly scramble for, say, students.

Not that students aren't a fairly worthy cause, but an extension of paid parental leave might have the doubly desirable effect of keeping mothers with their babies a bit longer, while also cementing Miss Clark's reputation with many women voters (not to mention perhaps allowing them enough time to get themselves organised to return to work ... which is what she has said she wants).

It's baffling, and annoying that working mothers don't get their share of the bribery. A virtual chocolate fish for anyone who has an answer to this one!

Pictured above: Passengers delayed at an airport make calls to friends and family. Photo / AP

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