How to Fly With an 18 Month Old
Sunday, October 29, 2006 posted by Henri
Ok so we've taken a few flights now with the kid. We've gotten pretty good at it now so here's our guide to air travel with children. Step one is very very important...stop giving a flying crap about what anybody thinks. Kinda hard at first but eventually it gets funny. There are people you will encounter on a plane that have never had kids or have been blessed with angels that don't cry. A few of these people feel that you are personally insulting them by bringing a soundmaking device onto their flight. You can spot these people by their tendency to sigh loudly, roll their eyes, or continually look back at you as if you're ignoring your cell phone ringing the Macarena at Princess Di's funeral. The first look back and I usually try to give my "Hey man sorry...I'm doing me best here" look. The second look back or loud sigh and I'll respond with my "Haha kids man wow" still giving my I'm-doing-my-best-here look. Third sigh or third look back at me and now you've done it...I'm kicking your seat for the rest of the flight and blaming it on the kid. I'm throwing peanuts at you and asking you to keep you seat upright every two minutes because it's making my kid cry. I'm asking you to stop breathing so loud because it's making my kid cry. I'm asking you if you bathed today because your smell is making my kid cry. I'm asking the flight attendant to find you another seat because your evil child-hating aura scares my child. I'm asking you if you'll help me change my kid's diaper on your seat. I'm talking to you in Korean and getting mad that you don't understand me like that dude on Lost...and I barely even speak Korean...but I can keep asking you where is the bathroom or why do you look like a monkey. And the thing is...I've been that guy...the pissed guy on a flight. I remember thinking to myself when I was a younger man..."Why don't they do something?" or the best one..."Why do they just sit there and let their kid cry?" And I think God heard me thinking that and he said "meh okeydokey you get a kid next" And now I know. Sometimes your kid just has to cry...and you know that there is nothing you can do about it. And unfortunate as it is...other people on the plane/elevator/bar/DMV/Driving Range/Congo-Line just have to deal with it. This is not to say that I don't empathize to a point. I know it's disruptive to have a kid cry...but at some point you gotta realize...hey sometimes life sucks and your stuck on a plane with a baby that can not be soothed and no matter how loud you sigh, bitch or moan...it's not going to make things any better. In fact it might start mysterious peanut attack. But here's what we do to keep our kid from crying.
1. Sony PSP with Wiggles or Baby Einstein or a loop of Badger Badger Badger on the memory card.
2. My Quiet Book....um I thought all books were quiet. Anyway the kid likes it.
3. Lots of other books.
4. At least 8 bags of Teddy Grahams
At the Terminal:
While waiting for our flight the Conman starts campaigning for Mayor of the Airport. We make sure he's wearing something cute and we let him loose to work the crowd. He loves people and loves introducing himself and joining ongoing conversations. We don't know who we're going to sit next to on the flight so we let him work the whole airport. It lets him run around and expel energy and also hopefully by the time were on the plane everyone knows him already..."Oh hey there's Senior Conman the Future Mayor of the Airport...he's got Charisma! He's got my vote! If he starts balling his head off it's OK by me!"
At the seat:
Start passing out Teddy Grahams to your neighbors and those in front and behind you...it softens em up. Keep an eye out for potential assholes...they usually don't like Teddy Grahams.
Because of the no liquids/gels security these days...always fill up your bottles after the security check. If you rush to catch your flight and don't have time to fill up at the terminal, for godsake fill up on the plane in the lavatory sink before takeoff because feeding your kid two bags of Teddy Grahams and then realizing your out of water during takeoff when you're not allowed to get up really really sucks.
During the Flight:
Wiggles or Badger Badger Badger Loop...wow it's like crack.
Teddy Grahams until you can't Teddy Graham no more
Read all your books
Make up stories involving the characters of the flight safety information
When all else fails...babies love Scotch.
If people get mad that your giving your baby Scotch...just do it in the bathroom.
Hey Dad I think I got this Mayor of the Airport thing wrapped up. Hmmm jumping straight to the Scotch are we?
Oh dear God they call this swill Scotch?! Quick someone give me a Teddy Graham!
Ahhh...my world stops when I see the Wiggles. Everything is good now. My Southwest wings rock. Watching the Wiggles is like floating on a cloud and being hugged by God. Dad said Burroughs said that, I think....Hmmm what is my Dad saying? He's counting...10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1....
Good trick...that's why he's called Dad and I'm called baby. Hmmm I'll put up more of a fight on the flight back...and I'm laying off that Scotch.
Labels: Parenting Tips