Here’s my step by step guide on getting through airport security for those travelling with three small children.
1) Neck the fruit shoots and other drinks that you forgot to get rid off prior to entering the secure area. Split into your designated child/adult team.
2) Hand passports and boarding cards to airport staff with your mouth as your hands will be utilised elsewhere; either holding a child, plastic bags with fluids in them or holding a travel bag.
3) Act stressed and flustered while letting the kids run around and you will get yourself through the express lane. No one wants a loud family hanging around clogging up their flow. Don’t make it look easy.
4) Gesture to other half to start folding down buggy. You may wish to practice communicating to each other whilst holding passports in your mouth at home.
5) Fold down buggy. Ensure you really know how to fold down the buggy in 3 seconds flat, whilst holding a child. Practice this at home.
6) Throw buggy at nearest member of staff. Watch them drop their shoulders as they realise it’s a double buggy which will not go through the metal detector. Hold position until directed by said member of staff (if they are still talking to you).
7) With one hand take off your own belts. Then take all shoes off. This is no time for practicing our parenting skills; just get in there and take the shoes off yourself. There is no time for pissing about and letting them practice getting their shoes off, trust me they will take their time.
8) Get ready to tell some porkies.
“Mum why do we have to take our shoes off”
– “so they can check our shoes are clean. They wont let you on the plane with dirty shoes”
Do you really want to be sat on a plane for 9 hours explaining why they would be looking for bombs in shoes. Believe me a four-year old will ‘why’ that one to death. You will need to lie.
9) Proceed to X-Ray belt and place all items on plastic trays. You will probably need about fifty-five due to the amount of crap that you will be carrying.
10) One Parent walks through the metal detector first. Remaining members of family hold position until said parent has stopped beeping and has been felt up.
11) First parent signals to other parent who directs first child through metal detector. First parent summons the child through like they are competing in the agility course at Crufts; “here boy, come on boy, there we go, good lad. Whose a good boy then”.
12) Direct other child to follow. Yes they can walk, skip or crawl through the metal detector. Any fucking way just get through the metal detector.
13) Remaining parent carries toddler through the metal detector whilst other adult catches the other two children and walks them to the end of the X-Ray belt.
14) If you are lucky the buggy has now been bomb and drug swept and is now ready to strap small toddler back into it. Get this done first. Securing toddler is the priority. If it isn’t ready, then be prepared to do the rest one-handed whilst holding the toddler. DO NOT PUT THE TODDLER DOWN.
15) You may be required to taste baby food and milk. Follow instructions quickly as you will immediately be needed to help other half at the end of the X-Ray machine. Sick a little in your mouth for having to taste such crap.
16) Re-join other half as he catches the plastic trays as they whizz off the belt whilst holding onto the two small children.
17) Usher all children to a less crowded area as other parent begins to throw all the items in your direction as they come of the X-Ray belt. Spend the next half hour re-dressing everyone and putting all bags back together. Hopefully you can remember which bag had what in it, otherwise your system for surviving the long haul flight is screwed.
18) Headcount and bag count. Boarding Cards, Passports. CHECK
19) Signal to other parent that you are good to go and proceed through to Departure Lounge.
20) WARNING; you may be at an airport where they usher you straight through Duty Free. if this is the case Advise all children to keep hands in buggy at all times and not to touch anything.
Congratulations you are now though security.
For more Threesypeasy Holiday Memoirs, please see Part One; Preparing for the family holiday