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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Adventures in Baby Flying

When I fly, I can't help but to think of the miracle of life.  And when I'm done thinking about bacon-wrapped scallops, flying usually makes me think of kids.  They're everywhere these days, but when they're in the airport, on the airplane, occasionally I'm forced to cohabit with them.

With babies on the plane, I try to be understanding.  Appreciative even.  Logically speaking, we, the human race that is, need babies to keep this whole clown show going.  I mean, I’ve watched the National Geographic Channel.  I know how it works.  Some of us must simply bite the bullet and agree to pump out and wrangle these knee-knockers for the good of mankind.  And I suppose, conceivably, these same people also have cause to fly at times.  So when I see a tired mom plodding down the plane aisle, baby draped about her neck, toddler dragged belligerently behind her, I give her a little nod of appreciation.  She usually seems pretty creeped out by this, but I think she knows what going on.  She’s carrying the load.  She isn't some selfish miscreant totally lacking in social consciousness and self awareness, she's a modern day Frodo Baggins, bearing the ring to Mordor for the good of all Middle Earth.  Thank you Mama Frodo, thank you for your sacrifice.

That being said… there were some seriously annoying-ass babies aboard my recent flights back to school.  For anyone about to take off soon, you might just want to jot down some quick notes here for a rough guide book into Air Baby Land. 

"I've had enough of these mother f^#$@!* babies on this mother f^#$@!* plane!"

First, let's talk about the white tiger of babies on a plane, the rarest of rare, the double pink Starburst in the baby pack that make all the rest look like lemons--the sleeping kid.  I love this kid!  He gets aboard and some combination of recycled air and fat guys grazing his head as they pass through the aisle conks him out.  The same thing happens for me.  This kid should get an award for his valor in service, an accommodation at least.  He should get to fly in the cockpit with the pilot, he should get to be the pilot, he should get to be the president!  Hail to the Chief, of my heart anyway. 

Then there is the classic stereo-crier; the kid who sounds like he’s being punched in the face for the entire trip.  The crying kid on my plane never stopped sobbing and screaming, exploding at the mouth with snotty, gurgling discharges.  She sounded like she was drowning, literally drowning in her own tears and snot, crying out in labored pig squeals.  And she was angry about it.  She actually sounded angry, she sounded like an angry pig, like she was trying to express her outrage over being forced into this pressurized metal tube and was pissed off even more because no one was getting that.  Some babies cry out in fear and confusion, but not Baby Angry Pig.  She was straight pissed and wanted everyone know it.

Baby Angry Pig approximation.
I also had a Narrating Kid on one of my flights.  A Narrator Kid isn’t upset like a Crying Kid or unconscious like the harrolded Asleep Kid.   He’s fine, but feels compelled to spend every moment on the plane babbling.  Flying with a Narrating Kid was like flying with a dysfunctional Garmin that tells you exactly where you are at that very moment, every moment. 

“We’re moving!  We’re moving!  We’re moving!  We’re taking off!  We’re taking off!  We’re in the air!  We’re flying! We’re flying! We’re flying! We’re flying! We’re flying! We’re flying!  We’re eating peanuts!  We’re flying!  We’re flying!  We’re flying!  We’re landing!”

The Narrating Kid on my flight was so fucking excited about every moment of his life that I was begrudgingly envious of him.  I wished that I could be as excited about anything as he was about everything.  But mostly, I was annoyed.  Unfortunately, like the Crying Kid, the Narrating Kid’s parents were too busy visualizing the glorious day when they would release their burden into the bowels of Mount Doom (college) to have the social awareness necessary to have asked their kid to just shut up for a second.  Where's a Ring Wraith when you need one?

But again, it’s a small price to pay for the continuation of our species.  I might have to put up with the Angry Pig and Kid Garmin for a few hours, but their parents have years left with these guys who will eventually morph into Biting Kid and then finally Kid Who only visits once or twice a year because he’s just really busy and last week he had this thing, and see, it just makes more sense to wait another two months until Christmas and God, can you just let it go already!  That kid sucks.   

1 comment:

  1. When they're babies and they cry all the time and need you to feed and/or change them every twenty minutes, they're with you twenty-four hours a day.

    Then they grow into the age when they want you to arbitrate every one of life's little injustices for them ("Justin hit me!" "Emily's cookie has more chocolate chips in it than mine!") and they're with you twenty-four hours a day.

    Then they grow into the age when they lie on the sofa all day watching TV or plugged into an iPod, or, more likely, both, and pretend they can't hear you and they're with you twenty-four hours a day.

    Then they blossom into mature and sophisticated adults with interesting lives and provocative insights. When this happens, they want to get the hell away from you as fast as possible and never come back.

    It's all part of the great Circle of Life.