Recently, our local paper did a piece about kids on airplanes. It recounted the story of a family who had been kicked off and Alaska Airlines flight because their three-year-old had a tantrum and refused to stay buckled. The writer, Julia O’Malley, recounted her own tale of struggling with a crying baby on a long flight.
We’ve all been there. Our worst travel experience was a trip from San Antonio home to Savannah. The trip to Texas had been our first with all four children. Taryn and John were 10 years old and Reese and Jackson were six months. It was a spur of the moment trip to attend Dallas’ Grandmother’s funeral. To our surprise the trip; Savannah to Atlanta to San Antonio wasn’t bad.
But the return flight was a perfect storm.
The boys started out tired, having spent four days with new people, trying to sleep in a new place. We got to the airport only to have our flight cancelled. We rebooked for several hours later and we couldn’t sit together. Since we had two lap babies we could not sit in the same row, but on the way there we had either been next to each other or behind one another. On the new flights we were ten rows apart. Dallas, Taryn, and Jackson then ten rows back me, John, and Reese.
Reese cried the entire trip. He cried. And cried. And cried. I cried. He was exhausted and couldn’t get comfortable enough to sleep. Luckily, everyone around me was calm and kind. But I know everyone on the flight did not feel the same way. I know what they were thinking.
“I would never have let my children cry like that!”
I read it in the comments in the Anchorage Daily News article over and over. People long past raising a family claiming they “never” did this or that. Yes you did, you just don’t remember it. You can’t possibly remember what you did twenty years ago.
I can’t remember what I did twenty minutes ago.
And if you think your kids are perfect? You’re wrong. When I was a young mother, stressed out over Taryn and John’s behavior my mother told me, “You should be glad they misbehave for you. If they didn’t you would think they were perfect. You don’t want to be that mom who thinks her kids are perfect.”
Thanks Mom, I am glad I’m not that mom.
No kid is perfect because kids are unpredictable. No matter what you do or how much you try to teach them, they’re still unpredictable. All kids are ticking time bombs, waiting to explode and ruin your day.
Those of you who have to fly, assume you are collateral damage before you book your flight.
People take kids on airplanes. And to restaurants and stores and baseball games. And they don’t always behave. But I bet if you think about it, you’ve had a lot more flights/dinners/shopping trips that were not interrupted by kids than were. You just only remember the few explosions.
They’re a fact of life. Get used to it.
If you really don’t like kids, maybe you shouldn’t tell people not to bring kids around. Maybe you should avoid places typically inhabited by kids.
My gang of ladies went to the Alaska Zoo this weekend. We were quite a crew. Five women, four kids in strollers, eight kids walking. It was like a school field trip, without the collective bargaining rights. The kids were excited. Kids get excited about everything.
So excited, they hardly focused on the animals. Their little brains were on overload. “We’re going somewhere! We’re going to the zoo! My friends are here! Polar Bear! Fox! Moose! Snack, I need a snack – ooh an Owl!”
At the black bear some of us stopped for a minute. My friend Jackie pushed her stroller along the bridge that curves past the habitat. Some of the kids followed her and leaned over the rail, trying to get the bears attention. Jackson acted like Jackson.
Two women on the bridge loudly said, “I don’t know why you can’t bring your dog here, they’re less annoying than the kids.”
Really? You’re annoyed with kids at a zoo? Zoo’s are for kids! What are you talking about?
Have we really reached a point where kids can’t act like kids at a zoo? How are kids supposed to act at a zoo?
Here’s a tip: If you don’t like kids, don’t go to the zoo.
If you really hate kids, don’t go anywhere. If you do, expect disdain from parents. I promise, you don’t hate my kids as much as I hate arrogant people who think they know more about raising children than everyone else.
Just so you know, my friend Jackie fired right back at them, calling them out for saying our kids were annoying. Words were exchanged. I noticed the woman who said kids were annoying had a swastika tattoo on her foot.
You know what’s more annoying than kids? Racists.