Saturday, August 4, 2007

An Advanced Apology to the Passengers on Flight #504

Fellow passengers,

I would just like to state, for the record, that when I am travelling alone, I am a sane, quiet woman. My luggage is neatly stowed, my drink does not spill, my volume is low. I read my book or make pleasant small talk. I am even willing to switch seats for your comfort and convenience. I am your ideal flight companion.

However, when I am flying my family of six cross-country, all bets are off.

In my 8.5 years of parenting, I have taken many flights with children. Very few of them have gone smoothly. In fact, most have been quite turbulent.

There has been throwing up, diaper malfunctions, earaches, seat kicking, colic, fistfights, temper tantrums and, on one memorable occasion, an 18-month-old in a spica cast who screamed the entire 4 1/2 hour flight.

On our most recent family jaunt last fall, one of my two-year-olds threw up all over himself and me. We had packed "light" and had no extra clothes onboard. "Luckily" for us, we had a layover in Cincinnati and were fortunate to find what we thought was a onesie in the "bargain" section of the airport gift shop. He perked up immediately, but looked slightly ridiculous wearing a girl's leotard in 35-degree weather.

By the time we reached our hometown, shoved our 48 pieces of luggage and the carseats and stroller and cranky kids into the car and drove home, we were exhausted. We couldn't wait to get everyone in bed, grab a cold drink from the fridge and relax.

However, the minute we opened the back door, we realized this was not going to be a night for relaxing. Our fridge had died the day we left and after seven days was now full of rotten cheese, stinky meat and rancid butter. The long night got longer and our love for family travel sank to record lows.

So, tomorrow's flight will be our first chance to try again. I am hoping it goes smoothly. I have spent several days (and at least $200) filling my kids' backpacks with toys, snacks, games and books they will enjoy. I am happy to pay for your beverage or rent you some earphones for the in-flight entertainment.

I have seen the latest trend in traveling with children...and it scares me to death.

So, please fasten your seatbelts, look out your window, try to be tolerant and just be thankful you're not in my seat!

Thank you and have a nice flight.

9 comments:

Mique said...

You are such a great writer- I love reading your posts!
Good luck on the trek (not fun!).....and have a great trip!

Kelly said...

oh gab! i totally feel for you, and i only have 2 little ones.having just got back from a trip where we took several LONG plane flights i can totally sympathize. it sounds like you are prepared as you can be... toys, books, snacks. i brought along our ipods, loaded with lots of movies too. anyway... good luck! have fun!

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

May you have the best passengers, stewardesses, and children's behavior. You are brave! Enjoy the trip. Wish we were coming!

mama jo said...

good luck and remember at the end of the ride is a fun vacation...

Rochelleht said...

I have had some seriously bad experiences flying with kids. We have flown a LOT. I remember my first time in first class, I had just one baby and she had a blow-out and rode the rest of the trip in a diaper. CLASSY! But in all our crazy experiences, no one has ever been rude. Most people are very kind.

Good luck!

lainakay said...

Good luck! Traveling with children is definitely a challenge! I can't believe that a crabby, bad stewardess can get a whole plane turned around for nothing. What a crazy story! Hope that the staff on your flight is helpful, like they're supposed to be!

gab said...

thanks everyone! we made it here safe and sound...only one kid threw up en route...here's hoping for a smooth return! more later

Melissa said...

Just found your blog today through Mique's blog. I totally feel for ya! Our not-quite-two-year-old had a blowout on a plane and she was wearing a pull-up that her dad didn't know you could rip the sides of, so he pulled the nasty thing down over her legs. Twenty minutes later (I made him take her to the lavatory because he was on the aisle) he comes back with her onesie in a barf bag, and she is wearing overalls with no shirt, like she's from the bayou or something. At least the next time, we only had vomit to deal with :)

Shaka said...

shocking! i know i'm a bit late to the story but i can't believe it. i don't know what i would have done in that situation! glad all went well for you!

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