Robbie and I left for Lexington this morning. The four hours it took to get to Lexington from Boston were among the longest of my life. And I’ve had some pretty long four-hour stretches.
Our flight to Detroit was packed. And it started off so nicely, with a man saying, “You sure are cute, but I hope you aren’t sitting anywhere near me on the plane.” Thanks, buddy. Really. Can you not see that I am embarking on this adventure by myself with a child who does not want to be held? I’m bagged down with a stroller that I’m trying to fold with one hand while carrying a Toy Story 3 backpack, my purse, and said child. And now you want me to worry that you actually are going to be near us as I follow you down the aisle and you keep getting closer and closer to the back — where we’re sitting?
Luckily, the family in front of us was wonderful. The lady, Debra, turned around to see who was kicking her seat, and I promised I would try to keep it to a minimum. She told me not to worry about it; she’d been kicked hard by her own children when they were little and knew what I was going through. That same woman kept me company back in the flight attendants’ galley, where I escaped to during a particularly emphatic power struggle.
It was when I was standing in the aisle, waiting to deplane, that a man behind me brought the whole idea of flying to a new level. “Soldiers and babies: that’s who needs to be in first class.” I’m not sure if he meant babies should be in first class to give the mothers a little more room and understood what I was going through or to give the rest of the plane a break. Either way, I second the motion.
My daughter's ears are terrible on flights, so she always screams in pain during lift off and landing. When she was two, I was flying alone with her and as usual, she started screaming. I tried sippy cups, straws, chewy candy, and every other trick I had read about for helping her little ears. I was rubbing her head in my lap when a woman came up to me and said, "Have you tried soothing her? Sometimes that works." The woman was lucky that I was out of energy at that point, because I could have STRANGLED her!