Thursday, August 20, 2009

Will they bring us drinks?

Both the Junior Grendels are young travellers - 7 and 5. They have flown once before at ages 3 and 18 months so our only memory of travelling on an aircraft is a nightmare of screaming baby and sobbing toddler. I am sure it could possibly have been traumatic for the other passengers on the plane but no one was more traumatised than us.

Junior Grendel Number One has autism and at that point was had very limited language skills almost to the point of being non-verbal and when stressed he had a small range of ways to comunicate - his usual reaction was to scream - we called it a 'meltdown' and almost nothing could break through to him during one.

These episodes were utterly heartbreaking and you would imagine that he was totally closed off to the rest of the world and yet he seems to have an amazing memory of the trip.

One part I remember is that when we boarded the plane he looked around at business class and said - "Daddy, this is nice" eliciting laughs from all those already comfortably ensconced in their 42 inch pitch recliners while we ushered him to the rear of the aircraft.

He also remembers the cabin crew and a few weeks back when we were discussing the trip he uttered another gem - "Dad, while the servants bring us drinks this trip like they did last time?"

Once we stopped laughing I explained the role of the cabin crew and begged him NOT to refer to them as servants (I can't imagine any term more likely to guarantee a frosty reception).

Sill, I'm glad he at least has some fond memories of travel and one of the reason that I am looking forward to this trip is to banish some of the memories of the last one - his behaviour is usually very much that of any boy of 7 so I don't think we'll have too much screaming on this flight - apart from Mrs Grendel during turbulance.

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