Thursday, August 6, 2009

Note to Traveling Parents

It seems every time I get on a plane these days, there is a parent who is traveling with 1-2 small children who don't seem to get that children cannot be still for 3+ hours, no matter how much you shush them.

A few months ago, I went on a flight with a young mother and her two sons, I'm guessing 3 and 5 years old. a 5-6 hour flight, and she had NOTHING for them to do the whole time. I felt so sorry for the poor boys, who I'm sure were getting sooooo restless. The whole flight, she just said to them, "SIT. DOWN." or "STOP IT." I thought, if they have no toys, no coloring books, are not allowed to get up and run around for a few minutes, what do you think is going to happen? They are going to fuss, we are talking about little boys here!!! She basically wanted them to sit completely still the whole time. Whaaaa?

Yesterday, I was on a 3-hr flight and a mom was holding her ~1 year old baby. She was sooo in love with her kid, and he *was* cute. You could tell she's a new first time mom though. This kid fussed for a long time, just kicking his legs around and squirming, and I thought...lady, this kid needs to stretch his legs! The more he squirmed, the more she tried to swaddle him with a blanket and hold him tight. She endlessly wrapped this blanket around him while he kicked his way out of it. And I'm like, this kid needs some activity!

Anyhoo. That's just my random advice to people.


Toaster Sunshine said...

My parents drugged me.

"Oh, your nose is stuffed up!" (It wasn't) "Have some Benadryl!"

And I was a well-behaved child. Although this could also, perhaps, partly explain why I have absolutely no sleep schedule as an adult.

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

I was once on a 10 hour trans-Atlantic flight, in an aisle seat. These two kids were running back and forth along the aisle, nudging me (and others) in the arm almost every time. For like an hour and a half. The flight attendant kept coming back and telling the parents to get the kids to sit down, for safety reasons, but they blatantly didn't care, as long as the kids weren't bothering them. Just clueless! There has to be a happy medium between strapping them to their seats and letting them run riot like that...

Nicky said...

Having just completed flights 11 and 12 with my not-quite-one-year-old, I'm going to say: how in the world can you get on a flight with a kid and not bring toys?!? We over-packed our carry-ons like crazy, for every possible contingency we could think of, to try to make him as happy as possible for as long as possible. We also spent large portions of the flights standing in the back of the plane and bouncing, because there's a little more room to move around back there.

However, I'm going to tentatively jump to the defense of the woman who was continually swaddling the baby. It was probably naptime, and the kid was fighting going to sleep because there were interesting things to see on the plane. The mom was probably trying to settle him down and get him to sleep, to avoid a meltdown later. Sometimes all the kicking and moving around is NOT a sign of needing activity, but instead is a sign of being over-tired. Been there.

Thankfully, though, my kid is awesome on planes. Standing-ovation-from-other-passengers awesome.

microbiologist xx said...

I wonder the same thing about the parent(s) hauling their 1-5yr old kid(s) around the grocery store @ 10-12pm, all the while getting irritated with the child for acting the way children do when they are being drug around the grocery store 3+ hours past their bedtime.

PhizzleDizzle said...

Nicky, I read your reports of being uber-prepared for LL's trips and I so wish everyone else was like you!

I was just on another plane trip recently, and this time there was a screaming 2 year old across the aisle from me. She was literally screaming or crying the whole time, to the point of people craning their necks to stare at the mom. She was sort of prepared...I think she had a few books...but the kid was a lap child, so there was no seat for her and she just sat on her mom's lap for 6 hours and fussed. It was horrible for everyone within 20 feet....yikes.

On the one hand, I was thinking to myself, saying "Stop it. Stop crying" in a quiet calm voice 300 times (literally, she just kept saying it) is not working...the 259th time is probably not going to make a difference, try. something. else.

On the other, I am not a parent so I don't know what could have been done better, if anything. The way I hear it, sometimes kids just freak the heck out.

All I know is, it was very hard to sleep on that plane ride, and I was very tired. Sigh.