Reminiscing of 9 Hours at The Airport with A 2 Year 10 Month Old Kid and What We Could Do

By miyosi ariefiansyah (bunda taka) - October 10, 2021

Once again, I write that for me the important point of traveling is in the lesson, and not about having to show it off on social media or the like. As I am writing on this post about my waiting time at the airport for more than 9 hours with my son who at that time was still not even 3 years old yet. I learned a lot about sabr that doesn't mean we do nothing, but sabr is about what we can do while waiting. :)

When I moved to Japan last year to follow my husband who were studying in Tsukuba University for a master's degree, I had much time to wait at Soekarno Hatta airport from 3 pm until 12 at night. If I added up the waiting time for Malang – Jakarta flight, It might even be more.

Some of my friends asked, "What're you doing at the airport for 9 hours with kid? Does he get tantrum? It's so boring, right? I can't imagine,"

It is not to be imagined, but done. Wkk. To be honest, when I knew I had to wait for so long, I felt confused. LOL. I didn't know what I would do with Taka. It might not a problem if I was alone, but with kid? The condition as if forced me to have many ideas in order to Taka wouldn't get tantrum.

I had a thought to rent an inn near the airport. But after thinking again, it seemed more complicated and made me get troublesome. That's why I finally decided to not go anywhere while waiting for my next flight to Japan.

Please, don't ask me why I took two flights (Malang - Jakarta and Jakarta - Haneda) with quite a long time interval.

My considerations at that time were:

1. I deliberately took a night flight from Jakarta to Haneda which incidentally fits Taka's bedtime. So, I could rest or just watched a movie because Taka was fast asleep.

2. It was related with picking me up from Haneda airport. If I departed from Jakarta at 00.01 am, I would touch down Haneda at 9 am local time. That was right time because my husband needed about 1,5 - 2 hours to reach Haneda by earliest bus from Tsukuba Senta. We didn't have to wait too long to meet, right.

Meanwhile, the last flight from Malang to Jakarta with the airline I chose was at 1 pm. It was meaning I arrived in Jakarta at 3 pm. Actually, there was different last airline from Malang I could choose. But that was meaning I had to move to the international terminal which was located far away. It didn't matter if I went solo and didn't bring many things. But since I took kid and I had a lot of luggage, I prefered taking the same airline (Malang - Jakarta & Jakarta - Haneda) that didn't need to change terminal building. I only needed to moved from domestic to international terminal that was at the same location.

The consequence of the choices I made based on the considerations above, I had to stay and wait for 9 hours or more. But, if I compared it with other options, It's already the best for me. Yes, every choice has consequences, right. If we want to enjoy something, we have to be willing to fight for it, right.

So, what did we do during our 9 hour waiting time at the airport and how could we not get bored?

1. We enjoyed the walk from where the plane landed to the baggage area. It's far, isn't it? It's perfect to enjoy with kid. There was no need to rush, we were not being chased by anything. I could also use that moment to explain things if he asked.

2. I tried to involve Taka in every problem solving. Of course, it's age-appropriate. But at least Taka understood what he was going through. For example at that time, I faced some problems:

My luggage had arrived earlier. I couldn't pick it up at the baggage claim, but at the airline office which is located near baggage claim. Apparently, my luggage was carried the previous flight. Taka had time to ask why he didn't pick it up in the baggage claim because it had been like that all this time. He understood after I had explained.

The next problem was I hadn't been able to check in to the international flight because boarding was still nine hours later. Check-in could only be done at 7 pm. Meanwhile, beside taking a kid, I also carried a lot of stuffs. Of course at that time my son just asked what was happening. I also explained that we couldn't enter the international terminal yet so we had to look for luggage keeping service because there wasn't locker like in Japan. Fortunately, I found what I was searching, so we could be free to go anywhere without having to carry many things. I explained that to Taka.

3. Eating, buying snacks, and similar things were a must. Kid who was hungry would be angry and couldn't be cooperated.  

4. We explored the surroundings of the check-in place. 

5. I tried to be patient when the Taka slept in the sling. Yeah. He started sleeping after done many activities. At the same time, checking in had allowed. LOL. I brought luggage while carrying a sleeping boy. But, it's true that in difficulty there's ease. My condition like that actually smoothed the check-in process at immigration. No intimidating questions. I got friendly and warm smile as if giving encouragement.

After checked in, my struggling was not over. I still had to wait another four hours for boarding. So, I did steps above from number 1 – 5 to make Taka stayed calm.

1. When Taka woke up, he asked where he was. While explaining many things such as our currently location, he walked and enjoyed the surroundings.

 2. I involved Taka to think through the problem we faced at that time, such as when the expectation and reality were not same. We expected we would at the gate near the Playground, so Taka could play while waiting for the boarding time. But, in fact, I got a gate that's located in the corner. There's nothing to attract kid. I told Taka that he could still play other toys he was bringing. 
3. I made sure Taka was full so he would stay happy and didn't get tantrum.
4. Again, we explored the airport. There are a lot of foreigners around. Taka had time to chat with one of the grandmothers who had just had a vacation in Indonesia. She felt excited she could chat with Taka because Taka reminded her of her grandson. Chatting with people was also a form of exploring, right?

Nine hours at the airport with kid can be a way to strengthen the bond between the two of us. Just enjoy it! Alhamdulillah, everything went well and smoothly. Thank God. It's true, just do it, don't complain. :)

  • Share:

You Might Also Like


Makasih udah ninggalin jejak yang baik ya, Teman-teman! :)