At the moment I'm operating in survival mode. #1 Hubby is in Bali on a work conference. I'm so enjoying the "merry" phone calls home, from the pool bar, after a lengthy indulgence in the free drinks his company have so thoughtfully provided. The only reason I'm not exposing the kids to some new "shed words" when he rings all loved up and tipsy, is because I know that it's my turn next.
On Wednesday I'm out of here for 2 whole weeks.
No kids. No hubby / 4th child.
I'm hopping a flight to KL with nothing more than a handbag as my cabin baggage. Seriously. It'll be the first time in 6 years I haven't flown toting an enormous entourage of - not only kids, but also cabin baggage - toys, food, clothes, nappies, wipes, medication (mine and theirs), sedation (mine, ok also theirs), and anything at all that passes flight laws for hand luggage (short of the kitchen sink) just in case I may need it in-flight.
And I'm not even kidding. Seriously, I am every flight attendant's worst nightmare. I board the plane and they have to find storage for everything I'm toting. And, thanks to the 3 kids, I get quite a generous cabin baggage allowance.
But this time - just a handbag. And a small one, at that.
This time, I'm even taking a book with genuine intent to read it. Not to use it to hide myself from other disgruntled passengers, pissed that my kids are disturbing their flight.
Or, most often, to hide myself from my own family, avoiding eye contact at all costs.
Once I hit KL, I'll have a night to let the joy of child-free bliss sink in. With the assistance of the airport hotel cocktail bar, no doubt. Then I shall retire to my room. Alone. There will be no chicken nuggets ordered via room service. No porta cots. No frenzied baby-proofing of the room. No unplugging the phone so we don't have ANOTHER bill for international dialling (yes...that's right...Miss5 was a Miss4 who claimed to not know her numbers very well, but she managed to dial SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE, to the tune of $48.57 US the last time we were in Thailand).
Anyway, at this stage - the most exciting aspect for me is the fact that I will be able to waltz in to the airport - excited, fresh, relaxed. Not hunched over, shoulders squared, determined, stressed, anxious.
There will be no stress over when each child last did a #2, because it's hard enough using a plane loo as an adult - you try cramming in there with a child. Especially one that requires use of that demonic baby change table.
I can browse the duty free outlets without lugging my entourage.
I can board the plane WHENEVER I WANT. I don't have to go first and herd my lot along like cattle. And I don't have to worry about counting the cabin baggage, or finding a place to store it all.
I can't wait.
Checking in for one, please. That's right, just me and my handbag. No accompanying minors or small island nation worth of cabin baggage.