Thursday, January 17, 2008

Babies on Laps

It’s a long flight from the motherland. A really long flight. My first leg had been great, I had been upgraded, and got to sit in a wonderful seat that reclined and massaged me at the same time. So with a little excitement I bored my next plane, wondering what new adventure it would bring.

I got to 27 A.

And I looked around confused. It was my seat, but there was already a woman, with a cute kid on her lap and about four different bags in the seat.

I smiled as sweetly as I could, and asked her if she was in the right seat. Yup. She was in the right seat and the baby was going to be on her lap for the entire journey.

Ok then. So I jump over the bags, which incidentally are under my seat, sat down, and the baby and I began to get to one another, lots of smiles from her, lots of silly faces from me.

And then the plane starts to move and Baby Mo Mo, decides that nope this isn’t where she wants to be, and the screaming begins. And it goes on and on till we land, eight hours later.

The mum half an hour in gets fed up. She tries shoving Pringles up the kids mouth, and a bottle, (which shuts Mo, Mo up for about 5 minutes) and eventually looks at me pleadingly, so I offer to hold her for a bit.

Poor Mo Mo was absolutely stinky from her last journey, and all around us, fellow passengers were giving me the “poor you” look. Mummy Mo, Mo then takes off for about twenty minutes to the wash room, whilst I try in vain to quiten down Miss Mo Mo.

Now, I fully identify the need to not pay for a seat for the kid, however, can you not bring a little bassinet for the kid to sleep in, and can you not sit in the first baby designated row so that you have more space?? And isn’t there some cutesy little medicine you can give your lil one, to make the journey easier?

Or am I just a horrible childless, single girl??


bitsandgiggles said...

I think they can take a dose of baby benadryl or something. It should be mandatory...but then again, I'm single and childless too. I've always said that I'd happily pay more for a guaranteed kid-free flight.

The OE said...

Perhaps the baby was part of the disguise and the mother was really a secret agent who went on a 20 minute covert operation while you watched the baby. Pure genious!

Ali's Zay said...

"Horrible"? Surely you jest. I think you showed surprising sensitivity and compassion. And I think Mama should have been better prepared. What she put you through was very wrong. If it means anything, I'm a father.

Peace and Love,

Ali's Zay (

GC said...

I read somewhere that one of the greatest shock a parent has is that they, in reality, can exert very little control over their children.

I think you did well. Very nice of you to hold her. People tend to assume that young women like babies a lot and that isn't always true. Most people like their own children--but for other people's children it's often a toss up. Who knows their idiosyncrasies? What faces make them laugh? Why won't they stop screaming?!!!

Now, on to the rest of my essay.
WHY DO PEOPLE INSIST ON TRAVELING WITH SMALL CHILDREN? WHY? Maybe I'm the horrible childless single person. I say, make grandma come to you. Get Auntie Maysie to keep the baby while you fly to the ends of the earth. Have thanksgiving at your house this year. Send Uncle Billy Bob a video of y'all; He can watch it over and over again.

I say if a kid can't talk and understand when you say, "hey, this is the part where your ears are gonna pop"; or they are too young for chewing gum--well they need to refrain from traveling by air except they are being taken to a children's hospital for life-saving surgery.

Grant Miller said...

I've always wanted to say you're a horrible childless, single girl, but never found the courage.


Jumbie said...

Why people travel with children...?

Sometimes it can't be helped, and its worth the hassle.

For example, I'm stuck in university, and with exams and vivas every 3 weeks or so, I cannot afford to travel to meet my family.

My sister made the effort to travel and meet me here In England with her 2 yr old... and it was worth the trip for me to bond with my nephew.

Your generalisations is a bit drastic, but I respect that it is your opinion... just think though that someday it may change for you.

aarond said...

Hahah, I understand the need to travel with kids. When my grandparents in Trini wanted to see their favorite son's new child (at least I say he was their fave) my parents HAD to take me across the waters to see them - no choice there.

I know alot of Jamaican parents secretly (or not) give their kids a little white rum 'to ease the journey'

CP I have not kept up with you like I should; Are you doing any carnivals this year?

Id and Ego say hi, they are just too cocky to do it themselves!

Miz JJ said...

She should have given that baby some benadryl. I know people don't like to 'drug' their babies, but other people don't want to hear your kid scream for 8 hours either. Give a little to get a little.

Jumbie said...

Actually Benadryl is recommended by certain doctors I know. Not because of the 'drugging effect'. It is because Benadryl is an antihistamine, and assists in relieving the pressure in the ears at landing, high altitudes and take-off.

Remember small babies and little kids can't consciously make the decision to swallow or yawn, and therefore they suffer more than us. Hence the crankiness.

Abeni said...

Sometimes you just have to take babies along. Then pray they sleep for at least quarter of the trip

Mad Bull said...

I am one of those people who has taken a small kid on a flight. What do I have to say about it? Curse all you want to, you still have to suck it up! ;)

I am not sure that I would have held the woman's stinky baby though. My yute is my yute and I wouldn't ask no one to hold him. Don't ask me to hold yours.

Radmila said...

I too get frustrated when small children fuss and bawl during long trips...especially if they're seated directly next to me.
I think that the mother was pretty balsy to drop the child on your lap and escape...and you showed infinite patience for that.

Why do people travel with children? Because people move far, far away from the people they love...and their children are only children for a short time once.

I was once told that we were lucky to live in Canada, such a prosperous country...but response from one person in the room was...yes, but these children are robbed of being in the breast of family. Having your granny, and grandpa, cousins, uncles and aunties close by.

I tell that to myself when there's a screaming kid on a train or plane. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It's what your ipod is for.

Stunner said...

One of the worse things is to have a crying baby on a long flight!I'm sorry but I wouldn't be holding no stink baby and baby or no baby I don't take kindly people sitting in my seat!

Christie said...

It's called Dramamean (sorry about the spelling) and all parents should have it handy. I'm not making any car trips with 3 kids without it. I feel bad for you. I got stuck next to a lady with 3 kids and I pretty much had to watch one of them the whole flight back from California.

Bush Babee said...

First, It's glad to have you back. I forget how few people comment on my blog until you left.

But about your post...

I've been fortunate enough not to to be on a plane with a child even traveling with one. Although, I've never been upgraded either...


Jdid said...

you're just being are a horrible childless single girl

that said the mom shouldnt have pawned off the child on you.

and yes people with kids have to travel sometimes it cant be helped. perhaps you can suggest a children's only flight so you are not inconvienienced.