Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's my aeroplane.

Actually, no, no it's not.

I just read an article on Yahoo! where parents are bellyaching about airlines creating 'baby ghettos' on the back of a plane so that the crying and general shenanigans won't upset other passengers.

...The parents complain that their seat assignments get screwed up and they're constantly at the mercy of  other travelers to help their families stay seated together.
...They complain that spacious seating - best for privacy in diaper changes and facilitating squirmy toddlers - is too expensive for families to afford.
...They complain that they get the stink eye too often from other passengers.
...and that the airline won't check their big stroller, only their small one.

Allow me to introduce a foreign concept:

Don't. Fly.

Duh, emergency situations will present themselves where 'it' (the fresh hell that is flying with a toddler) can't be helped. Where you have no other choice. And friends, you'll just have to white knuckle it through, but...

Did you not think your life would change when you had children?

Did you think you'd be able to do everything you used to do as a goofy, stink-eye-doling, cheap Chardonnay-sipping, business class-flying single or couple, whose heads you skim with your diaper bag on the way back to the 'baby ghetto' at the back of the plane?

Seriously, shut up.

If you're flying for 'convenience' to be where you want to be for the holidays or for vacation in a timely manner, suck it up.  You're making the choice to go there. And while, yes, you did acquire three super human abilities shortly after the birth of your child - an impervious shield to the atrocities of poop, vomit and screaming - others have not. And those three things? Bad for business.

Don't tell me you haven't winced at the sound of a crying baby before you had one.

Yep, I'm lookin' at you.

...If you want to avoid the small quarters, the hours in the airport, the stink eye, the 'no privacy' for diaper changes, pack up your big ass minivan, arm yourself with juice boxes and Goldfish crackers and drive to your destination. If you do it just right, you might even have enough space for that mobile home you like to call a jogging stroller.


  1. Thank you Courtney! I have to admit I do administer the stink eye when I travel, but I only reserve it for parents who are being so rude about their wailing child or allow the kid to run up and down the aisles la la la. I also give the stink-eye to the a*holes who conk me in the head with their over-stuffed carryons and don't notice b/c they're running to the exit before the plane's even arrived at the gate. Usually crying babies are the least of my gripes when I fly.
    Incidently on my trans-atlantic flight to Paris (en route to Istanbul) there was a 14 month old in front of me (since the row ahead was bulkhead) and although he was a little fussy, I was surprised to see how accomodating his seatmates were (complete strangers) to hold, play with, make faces at, and assist the parents. Even I got in on the cooing action. Regardless of children, I think if more passengers were helpful, observant, and polite airtravel experiences in general would/should improve. -Jessica Meaux

  2. I've only had a problem once with a toddler who kicked, threw stuff, pouted, pretty much tore up my seat all the way from Milwaukee to Phoenix.

    All I want to see is the parent making an attempt to appease and get it to stop. I'm only stinky about it when they seem oblivious or happy that we are dealing with their kid and taking a mini vacation from it in their head.

    But this woman did the smartest thing I've ever seen...she asked if she could buy me a drink. :)