We've travelled twice to France now with both kids in tow. Last year Jacob was 7 months and Reuben was almost 3. I decided to go with the boys in the car with my parents who were driving down. Reuben was fine, though he was at the only just potty trained stage so there were endless rounds of 'Reuben are you sure you don't need a wee?' Jacob however had never got used to being strapped into a car seat as we hadn't had a car since he was born. If he was asleep he was fine, if he was awake he screamed. There was a serene moment as we drove through Paris, both boys were asleep and I contemplated waking them up to see their first view of the Eiffel tower in the distance...but I didn't.
We stopped over for the night in Orléans. I had a sleepless night in between the two boys (there we no cots available and Reuben didn't want to sleep on the bed on the floor.) Reuben is a wriggler when he sleeps and with Jacob on the end I was worried he might fall off the bed.
By the end of day 2 of driving I vowed that we would never go down in the car again. So this year for our trip at Easter we decided to fly. Reuben, now 3 and a half, we knew would be fine. He had his Thomas magazine and gingerbread biscuit, and was going to sit with my mum (close but not too close, so that when Jacob started screaming they could pretend not to know us!) Jacob, now 14 months, we were worried about, and Andrew and I armed ourselves with just about everything we could think of to keep him occupied...books, toys, food...but to our amazement as soon as the plane took off he fell asleep. I actually got to read my book.
The journey back however was another story. An overtired Jacob cried while Andrew tried to rock him to sleep at the back of the plane ,dodging the air stewards who were trying to serve people with the trollies. He was just about asleep when the seatbelt sign came on and we were back to square one. By the end of the flight even the kids in front were trying to entertain him with a ragged looking Winnie the Pooh. It was not a successful flight and I am now thinking that in the Summer maybe we should drive down?!