Travelling with kids is bad enough but travelling with kids in an airplane is as bad as it gets. No wonder some of the airlines have banned children from their first class seats! Logic says that as a parent it should anger me, this discriminating policy of a certain airline, targeted at parents of little innocent children. But at this point I am beyond logic. Hey, if it’s a pain for me to travel with them; their own mother, can’t blame you for not wanting them around puking next to you just when you are about to settle for a nap in your spacious, fully reclining, comfy first class seat.
So understanding the other people’s point of view is just one part of the story. The other part is my own story, the actual sufferer in the whole air travel business. The person who gets ugly glares from people when her kid wails and screams loud enough to beat everybody’s eardrums at take off. The mom who desperately tries to balance a food tray and a toddler on her thigh in an economy class seat. The monster who looks like she is about to smack (but she dare not !!) her 4 year old who has just overturned a bowl full of peanut snack on herself and finally the loser who has resigned to fate and let the journey take its course.
I have been through some really long journeys in a plane with two kids and it hasn’t been as bad as I have made it out to be above. BUT it hasn’t been pleasant either. I am not going to go ahead and say “it was a great 17 hour plane ride with the kids, they had a blast and so did I!!”
And I have learnt a few lessons as well, one of them being turning a deaf ear to accusing tones and a blind eye to those “looks”. On one such recent journey we landed with not one but both seats such that made the long travel with kids impossible. One of them didn’t have a working television and the other seat’s TV couldn’t be pushed out of the arm rest. A 16 hour flight and two kids with no TV to entertain and all I asked for was that one of the attendants atleast try and pull that stubborn equipment out. What I got was a cold look and a “we won’t stoop low enough (literally) to pull that TV out for you, deal with it” kind of an answer. Fine, I returned the glance which said “don’t blame me if the kids find out an alternative entertainment “.
At the end of that terribly long flight as I was securing my handbag and my children before disembarking, the same attendant came by and made a face looking at the area we had occupied for nearly a day. Surveying the bits of paper and food she commented “Wow, did a hurricane just pass by here?” holding out a huge trash bag, waiting for me to make her job easier. “It probably did since there was no television” I said and started walking towards the door. That was probably the closest I ever came to returning a favor.
p.s. Finally we shall reach “The Store” next…