Blog Archive

Friday, May 29, 2015

Good child/bad child: Travel edition

Last weekend, we traveled by air to California to visit family in a sort of "last hurrah" before Trevor is born. I knew that Audrey would be a handful on the plane, as she did not have her own seat and she does NOT like sitting still. But this was really our last chance to take a trip like this, since before we know it we'll have TWO kids which means TWO strollers and TWO car seats and TWO pack-and-plays and there's just no effing way we are trying to travel with all of that shit. Not until the kids are older and Audrey is actually sleeping in a bed and pulling her own damn suitcase.


We went into this with our eyes open, expecting the worst. The flight was only 1:30 long from gate to gate, so we hoped that even if it was the most terrible experience of our lives, at least it would be over fairly quickly. And all in all, it wasn't the most terrible experience of our lives, but ... yeah, let's just say we're glad it's done.

Good child: 
She didn't cry on the plane

My biggest fear was that she would have a screaming fit on the plane. Babies can cry, but toddlers can WAIL. And if her ears popped painfully, or if she wanted to run around but wasn't allowed to, or if another passenger had something she wanted but wasn't allowed to have (like an iPad), I knew that she would just lose her shit, because that's what very young children do. The thought of a toddler meltdown at 30,000 feet was terrifying enough to keep me up nights for a week leading up to the trip.

I call this photo collage "literally the worst torture I can imagine"

But she didn't cry. No wailing, no tears, no shrieking. We were not "those people" on the plane, and for that, I thank Audrey with every fiber of my being.

Bad child: 
She kicked the f*** out of the seat of the guy in front of us

But for the guy sitting in front of us, we were "those people" so hard he probably spent his entire Memorial Day weekend bitching about us. That's what I would have done if I were him. "F***ing kid kicked my seat for the entire flight, and you know what the parents did about it? NOT A GODDAMNED THING. I swear, the entitlement these days!" I would have moaned later on as I relaxed on my friend's patio with my feet up.

The thing is, it's hard to notice that your kid is kicking the seat in front of you. Audrey was sitting on my lap and we were playing her puzzle game on my phone, or reading books, which meant that I couldn't see her feet because the phone/books blocked my line of sight. So she would stretch her leg out and puuuuuuuuush it hard against the guy's seat, but by the time I noticed, who knows how long she had been doing it?

And then, even when I noticed, how the hell was I supposed to stop her? I'd pull her foot back off the seat and tell her not to do it, but then what? If she stretches her legs out straight, she's gonna kick the seat. I tried turning her sideways, but that was uncomfortable for everyone involved. I tried tucking her foot tightly between my legs so that she couldn't do it anymore ... but that lasted all of eight seconds before she pulled her foot out and shoved it right back against the guy's seat again.

So I guess, if you're ever flying and there's a lap baby sitting behind you kicking your seat, try not to lose your mind over it. And maybe gently inform the parent that it's happening, since as I discovered, there's a chance that they haven't even realized.

But if it's a long flight, feel free to lose your mind. Because that shit is seriously annoying.

Look how cute I am though?

Good child: 
She didn't cry on the plane

But, did I mention, she never cried a single time on the plane?

Bad child: 
She consistently bothered the same family in the gate area at the airport because they had a stuffed animal that she liked

There was this family traveling on the same flight as us, with two daughters that were probably 12 and 16 or so. And the 12-year-old had this thing that was like a stuffed animal that you fold in half to make into a pillow.

And Audrey saw it, and she was OBSESSED with it.

Every time I put her on the ground at the gate to let her run around, she just ran right back over to this family and tried to touch the stuffed animal. They were really nice about it, and let her touch the stuffed animal and poke its nose, and they kept insisting that she wasn't bothering them, but COME ON. I think they were just being nice to me so that I wouldn't feel flustered and embarrassed about my kid's total refusal to leave them alone. I would literally carry her to a different part of the airport, but as soon as I set her down she just sprinted back to this family like some kind of homing pigeon.



Good child: 
She didn't cry on the plane


Bad child: 
She made a giant mess of goldfish crackers

We had a package of whole wheat goldfish crackers.

Jesse wanted to eat some.

Disaster ensued.

Audrey would not just take one goldfish at a time, and she wouldn't take them from our hands. Instead, she insisted on reaching into the bag herself, pulling out handfuls of crackers, and then trying to shove them all into her mouth. Crackers kept falling on the floor, but I had zero ability to bend down and get them. (seriously, have you ever tried bending down to reach the floor in a cramped airplane seat while 6+ months pregnant and with a toddler in your lap? It simply can't be done). We tried to pick up the crackers as they fell, but we couldn't get them all.

But then, Audrey's lap-squirming reached fever pitch, so I stood her up on the floor in front of me instead. She was pleased with this arrangement, and continued stuffing her mouth with goldfish.

And then she stepped on one of the dropped crackers and smashed it into powder, grinding it into the carpet of our lovely 737 aircraft.

When we finally landed and were able to stand up and move around, I picked up the 5,000 goldfish that had fallen on the floor, on our seats, between our seats, and down my shirt. I then scraped up the smashed goldfish as best I could with just my fingers as a tool, but it was definitely still a mess. Because my fingers are not vacuum cleaners (by the way, evolution, where were you on that one??)

Imagining this ground into my carpets hurts my soul a little.

I'm so sorry, Southwest Airlines. It will never happen again, though, because as I mentioned, WE ARE NEVER DOING THIS SHIT AGAIN UNTIL WE DIE.

Good child: 
She didn't cry on the plane


Bad child: 
She held the piece of protein bar I gave her in her hand until all the chocolate had melted

After we had trashed our seating area with stupid goldfish, I got hungry and pulled out my Luna bar. As usual, Audrey wanted in on that sweet action, so I broke a piece off and gave it to her. At this point, she was standing on the ground in front of Jesse.

But instead of eating the piece immediately, she just clutched it in her little fist until the thin layer of chocolate had completely melted over her entire hand. Then she shoved the piece in her mouth, getting chocolate all over her face as well.

It was such a disgrace that I thought it was actually photo-worthy.

All I had on hand was a couple of dry napkins, which I knew would be no match for all this melted chocolate, so I had to resort to desperate measures: I made her give me her hand and then I stuck her fingers in my mouth one by one and sucked the chocolate off them. She giggled because it tickled; I did not giggle because I know where her hands have been and now they are all up in my mouth oh god I have hepatitis for sure.

But it worked. Once I had removed the worst of the chocolate, the dry napkins were good enough to finish the job and clean up her face. And I had cleaned all the chocolate off her before she had a chance to smear it onto Jesse's pants, my pants, her own pants, the airplane seat, the carpet, her hair, the other passengers, or the flight attendants. I'm thankful every day for that small mercy.

Again, though, I'm sorry about the goldfish powder in the carpet :-(

Good child:
She didn't cry on the plane

She also didn't poop, even though she kept repeating "poopoo" and then farting and making us really REALLY nervous. It was too close for comfort.

So, overall, she was a nightmare to travel with and we're not getting on another plane as a family for at least ten years ... but she didn't cry on the plane, and you simply can't put a price on that. 

Overall, I give the entire experience a 7/10. If she had cried, though, rest assured that it would have been a straight 0/10. That goldfish in the carpet ... ughhhhhh.

Here is Volume 1 of Good Child/Bad Child, and here is Volume 2 if you're interested. And if you're not, GO EFF YOURSELF YA BIG JERK. 

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