Use Caution, as Children May Shi(f)t in Flight

I won’t be blogging much lately because I’m on vacation. Actually, it’s the first family vacation in 4 years that my sister and I are allowed to come on. When most people think “family vaca”, they think Florida, Hawaii, or somewhere tropical or beachy. Our last family trip was on a cruise…. to Alaska. This year we’re in Washington State, on the North Olympic Peninsula. I can’t wait for our family reunion in Antarctica.

The trip here was quite an experience. I’m a very cranky traveler, so much so that I should probably be prescribed something for it. The flight from Louisville to Baltimore was fairly decent, and I managed not to burst into tears over taking my shoes off for security. However, on our 5+ hour flight to Seattle, things got a little hairy. As we were waiting to board the plane, I scoped out our future plane-mates. A large number of them did not reach my minimum age requirement, and so I knew there would be a high probability that I’d spend the next 5 hours dodging fruit snacks and slobbery goldfish. Before I could ask anyone for some precautionary wet-naps and a few Ambien, our boarding group was called.

My dad held back and let a few families go in front of us. I was surprised by his chivalry, until he turned to me and said, “Better let the kids on first. Then head aft to avoid them.” From the extensive spaceship knowledge I’ve acquired through Battlestar Galactica, I fortunately understood exactly where aft was.

Taking my dad’s advice into consideration, we chose our seats and got settled in. The flight attendants began cracking jokes over the intercom, obviously trying to make up for the fact that the only thing they had to feed us for the next 6 hours were peanuts. My mom sighed and said, “Oooohhh, this is going to be such a fun crew,” as if we were sailing across the Atlantic with the cast of Friends.

A woman plopped down in front of us with a 4ish year-old- girl and an infant. The infant crawled over the seat and looked at me, as if he expected me to give him a treat. I glared at him to discourage this behavior. I wordlessly put in my ear plugs and strapped on my eye shades to let him know that under no circumstances would this sort of interaction be tolerated during the flight.

30 minutes into the trip, things got ugly. The infant had a serious situation going on in his diaper, and unfortunately, since we had taken my dad’s advice, we were indeed sitting aft of the child. After realizing that this woman was not going to be doing anything to fix the situation, I decided I’d best find a way to defend myself. I moved my black silk eye mask down to cover my nose and mouth, pulled my hood over my head and tied it tightly around my face. I stayed like this for the rest of the flight, receiving several questionable glances from concerned passengers and suspicious flight attendants.

I’d like to say this diaper situation was an isolated incident, but it was not. I’m considering reporting this woman to child protective services, because clearly she had her infant on the Master Cleanse diet. Her other child was not as bad, but she did drop a few grapes and sticky snacks onto my carry-on bag. She kept looking out the window and asking, “Are we in the air?” And 5 minutes later, “are we still in the air?” I  don’t see any academic scholarships in this girl’s future.

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