Monday, July 16, 2007

Separate Flights for Babies? Sounds Good to Me

Last week, a flight attendant kicked a mother and her 19-month-old son off an airplane. She apparently became annoyed when the boy said, "Bye-bye, plane," too many times.

At that point, the flight attendant told the mother, "You need to shut your baby up."

Needing to impart even more maternal advice, the flight attendant said, "It's called children's Benadryl." And she put an imaginary bottle to her lips and tilted it in the air.

The mother said she wasn't going to drug her child.

Eventually, the flight attendant said the mother threatened her. She asked the pilot to return the airplane to the gate, where a police officer waited for the mom and tot. No arrest was made; no ticket was given; and the mother denied making a threat.

As far as I know, the airline hasn't responded. To be fair, we don't know the flight attendant's side of the story.

However, with that information alone, many AOL readers sided with the flight attendant. Among their suggestions to deal with situations like this in the future:

1. Children (and I'm assuming their parents) should be forced to fly in the back of the plane.

2. No more "modern" parenting. I guess that in the old days, parents made their kids chug Benadryl on the runway.

3. Children should not be allowed to talk until age five, which was the rule when this lady was growing up. (How charming her parents must have been.)

4. Children should fly on separate flights entirely.

My favorite is number four.

A separate flight would be just what the doctor ordered.

This would mean that I wouldn't have to listen to the loud lady behind me at the security checkpoint, yell, "I hope I don't have to sit next to those kids!"

Nor would I have to sit next to the young couple that takes turns saying what annoys them about each other for the entire flight. Which sparks a delightful conversation about drug addiction and co-dependency. But never gets too serious because of occasional tickle fights when one of them drops something.

They didn't have children, so they wouldn't be on our flight.

There would be no announcements made over the loud speaker about my child specifically. Too many toddlers would be out their seats to make mine stand out.

Nobody would stare at my baby when he puked as if he did it to personally insult them.

Nor would anybody be secretly wondering why my four year old was talking. That's not supposed to happen 'til age five.

Of course, many people traveling without children are very nice. Often, they're a lot nicer than I am at the end of a two-week vacation with the kids and after waking up at 4 a.m. to make our flight. But now I'll wonder if some of these people secretly want my toddler arrested the first time he makes a peep.

So, sure, babies on our new, segregated flight would be crying and laughing and talking loudly. But at least they'd be under the age of 18, which is more than I can say for some people on airplanes.

Also, not having grumpy people on board would improve kids' behavior.

Because guess what? Children want to drive crotchety old grownups crazy. It’s a lot of fun.

Here's what the typical two year old would be thinking when the flight attendant grew angry.

“'Bye-bye, plane.'


'Bye-bye, plane.'


Wow. Look at that. It’s like the clapper. Only instead of clapping and lights, it’s ‘BYE-BYE, PLANE’ and Anger.




Anger. I'm a puppet master!”

If the flight attendant had smiled at the tot, he probably would have gotten bored and done something else.

Instead, she kicked him off the plane.

Hey, we all have bad days. I just hope the flight attendant's temper tantrum makes her more sympathetic to kids in the future--even the ones throwing fits.


Anonymous mom said...

Unbelievable! I thought everyone felt like me- I wish I could hold the baby for her for awhile!

6:39 AM  

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