I didn’t have a choice. Even though I swore I would not do it again until she turned twenty-seven or I was tased with a mysterious memory-erasing-ray-gun, I flew again with the baby and once again, things were less than ideal.
I had originally gone into my day of travel with a feeling of optimism, hoping that unshakable positivity would carry me through and we would all emerge from the experience having learned something valuable. This of course, was ridiculous.
There were delays. Many, many delays. Airport Applebee’s Breakfast Soft Tacos were consumed, and beverages were spilled on freshly pressed travel blouses.
And yet. Even after we went into the family washroom and the big bag I had hanging off the stroller made it flip over when I took the baby out, sending my huge coffee flying, soaking my precious travel documents, as well as my phone, pants and feet, and then I had to put the baby down to pick everything up and before I could stop her she crawled through a bunch of coffee and sticky urine puddles next to the toilet and then put her fingers immediately in her mouth and eyes…consequences unknown—I was still largely able to maintain my composure. Thanks to the miracle of Antibacterial Wet Ones.
Even after all that I was still able to handle the day with aplomb. You know, until we got on the actual plane.
Listen, I realize that I am traveling with a baby and no one wants to sit next to me. Honestly, even I don’t want to sit next to me. Because I will admit it; traveling with my baby can be challenging; like giving a raccoon a Pepsi and then strapping it to your chest for multiple hours at a time.
But I am going to be sitting next to someone, and it might even be you again, former seat mate in 12A, so let’s try and make this as pleasant as possible, shall we?
Here’s what I will do:
1. Ensure that my baby does not touch you or encroach on your private space, even though doing so may require a Herculean effort on my part (a.k.a. ‘sweating my balls off’ to keep the baby contained.) It’s worth it, for your safety and comfort.
2. If my baby poops, I will dispatch it immediately (see: above re: personal encroachment) in the restroom, and not on the seat beside you.
3. I will try and keep the baby as amused, quiet, cute, and tidy as possible (see: above re: ‘sweating my balls off’)
AND you don’t even have to pretend you like babies.
But here is what I would like in return:
Human decency. Please don’t *shudder* and *roll your eyes* dramatically when I sit down next to you. Or call your super-cool business friends to passive-aggressively complain and get all huffy about sitting next to a lady with a baby. At the moment, the baby is sucking on an ice cube and really couldn’t give a flying fuck about you, so what are you so worried about?
For that matter, what makes you think you’re such a great seat-mate? Is it how you took your shoes off to aerate your sweaty business-man feet, or how you passed gas like, fifty times, but still acted like it was a big deal when a cheese cracker accidentally got flicked on you? I know you have pie charts to look at and Successories posters to visualize, but do you think you could cut us a little slack over here while we try to ensure the survival of the human race. You came out of a vagina too, busy business man. And you were covered in goo. A fucking cracker fell on you one time. Can you handle that?
So please, next time, say something. Anything. Because don’t let this preppy little cardigan fool you–I am ready for a fight and you are just the man for me. And when the air marshals come and drag me off the plane, and my crying children ask me “Mommy, why did you have to spend the night in jail”, I will answer them honestly “Children: the complete Douche-Nozzle in 12A drove me to it.” And it will have been worth every second.
(But mostly I just sat on the airplane toilet sniffling angrily and nursing the baby.)
p.s. the nicest person I ever sat next to on an airplane was Kathie Lee Gifford of the Today Show. No joke. She didn’t know me from the TV Box or anything, and was just a delightful, helpful, warm, and kind person to a tense new mom traveling alone with a six week old baby. I will never forget how truly helpful she was. So helpful that if I accidentally flicked a cracker at her she probably would have retrieved it for me or ate it. Okay, she most likely would not have eaten it but you get the point.