“And when I heard the Captain welcome us to our flight to Paris, France, I knew I was on the wrong plane.”

If it was anyone else other than Anne telling me this absurd travel tale, I wouldn’t have believed it. Anne, however, is one of those rare people who are usually so very alert with such mental acumen, that you never dispute their word. The departure airport shall remain unnamed, but she had managed to move right through all the security and ticket checks and instead of boarding her international flight to Toronto, Canada, she found herself taxiing down the runaway on a plane bound for Paris, France. Apparently she had a moment’s pause (Paris!) before informing a flight attendant of the bungle. As they taxied back, another announcement issued forth requesting that if there was anyone else who should not be flying to Paris, would they please disembark at the terminal.

And that, Dear Reader, is what woke me with a start one grey morning this week. If a muddle such as that can happen to Anne, why not to me as well? In planning a trip to glorious, summer-drenched, history-seeped, culture-immersed, food-rich Europe, I would pass by Alert Anne as a companion and choose instead my young son Buddy-Boy. And hence I find myself wondering, what if I become caught up in the muddle and kerfuffle of leaving on an international vacation and I board my Condor flight to Europe, without my baby? Absurd, yes, but these are the things that wake a young mother in the wee hours of morning. If the wailing soul doesn’t achieve it himself.

Waking in a panic, I relive my nightmare; see myself buckling the seatbelt, settling in with some new magazines and admiring the modern and ergonomically designed seats as the plane roars into take-off. Just as I’d begin to anticipate the delicious in-flight snack, I’d realise with a lurch that the reason my complimentary coffee was so enjoyable was that it wasn’t being swatted at, grabbed at and inevitably ruined by the joyful antics of an infant. My baby.

Buddy-Boy. Left behind somewhere in the Whitehorse terminal.  I imagined Buddy-Boy missing the flight, missing the holiday and then what else could I do?  I’d just have to fly on. Enjoy myself as best I could. I think this is what he would want. Anyway, here comes my glass of wine, about to be relished, free from interruption.

Thus I suggest to you, Dear Reader, that instead of taking my infant son to Europe as my travel companion, I see myself taking my infant son’s toy, Sophie Giraffe. She made itthrough security and all the ticket checks. She quietly boarded with me safely nestled deep in the diaper-bag. She may be a child’s teething toy, but I posit she’s also a young mother’s best travel companion.

Together we would land in Frankfurt and she would provide lovely peaceful company as we holiday together. Sophie would bear silent witness to my bliss during a hearty Bavarian meal in Munich’s Hofbräuhaus. Perhaps we’d take a quick trip south to the French Alps in order for her to pay a taciturn tribute to her own birthplace. On returning to Germany we would slowly make our way north, pausing in Lübeck to gaze in wordless wonder at the famous seven spires in medieval Old Town. From there it wouldn’t be far to old Rostock on the Baltic Sea. Here we would purchase a souvenir for absent Buddy-Boy in the form of a Baltic Amber Teething necklace. Sophie Giraffe would offer her soundless support of my thoughtful choice.

With relief and perhaps a touch of disappointment, I am happy to report that Condor airlines have assured me that I could never leave my infant-son behind. They are governed by strict security regulations, ensuring I would be reminded of my carelessness well before take-off.