Tuesday, January 30

Babies on a Plane

(I think some people might prefer the snakes)

Last week M. and I took a trip to Kansas City to visit the family. The question this begs, of course, and that I keep hearing, is "How was the baby on the plane?" The simple answer is that she was fine. To be fair, though, M. is an exceptionally well-behaved baby, and I wasn't expecting it to be a problem. However, that is not the only reason M. was well-behaved. I spent the 4 hours there and the 4 hours back making sure that she was entertained and happy the entire trip...and it was EXHAUSTING. As I explained to Ian: "Imagine that you have to sit on the couch with M. for 4 hours without watching TV or lying down. Imagine that you have to keep her from fussing for that entire 4 hours." Not pleasant. But that's the responsibility of being a parent...preventing your child from being a pain in everyone else's ass. That is why this apparently newsworthy story about the family who got kicked off of a plane because their 3-year-old was throwing a tantrum pisses me off so much. It makes the rest of us look bad. It is kids like that who caused people to look at me on the plane as though I were wearing a burka while fingering suspiciously large fingernail clippers. I was flying Southwest, an airline that has an open-seating policy. I boarded first (because that's the big perk of flying with an infant) and then had to endure getting the fish eye from every passenger who boarded after me. (This is, I might point out, an excellent way to get a row of seats to yourself.) And you know what happened? Upon landing, I got comments from strangers after every flight about how good my baby was, what a pleasure it was to fly with her, and how they wished every baby could be so good. I hate to deny my daughter her props, but I like to think that I had something to do with that. Thank you, Tracy, for being a responsible parent and making sure your baby was happy and quiet no matter how exhausting it was to you. Thank you for not letting your baby scream as though that was your God-given right as a parent. Thank you for being a decent and considerate human being.

Oh, you're welcome world...you're very, very welcome.

I wish I could send flowers to that flight crew who kicked that family off the plane. Why is it that some people think that parenthood allows them the opportunity to behave like assholes? That nobody else on a plane (or in movie theaters, or in waiting rooms, or in restaurants) matters but them? And that nobody can say anything about it without being stigmatized as some sort of child-hating, evil bastard? And hey? Where's my frikkin' free ticket for being a good parent? Why do the assholes get to fly wherever they want courtesy of the airline and I just get a pat on the back? Because assholes profit, my friends, assholes profit.

M. and I prepare to board for her first flight

1 comment:

BellWookie said...

Isn't it a great feeling to get those pats on the back? Séamus has always been a good traveller & he even got kuddos back in August when I flew with him at 20 months old. And it is exhausting to entertain them for so long. Kuddos to you!

And may I say that I am sincerly jealous of the Peet's you are standing in front of? I got a taste of that when I was there in August & miss it a lot.