I write to you from the comforts of my own home after a lovely family trip to London. This was not a vacation as we took the children. We had a great time. Except on last night’s flight home.
Now, lately there has been banter on the internets about banning kids from things like airplanes, restaurants, and upscale hair salons. (The last one is my idea. How can I get my hair did and get a little tipsy with little ones about?) I am against banning the wee ones except for the aforementioned drinking opportunity that my husband doesn’t know about. There are kids in the world. You may not like them, but you are bound to run into one or two. Just like you are bound to stand next to the talkingest person ever at the post office when you really just want to stare into space and not think for the 5 minutes you have alone. Unless you go hermit, you will interact with annoying people. Even annoying crying babies.
This is my stance, and I’m strong in it. So, I need a solution that deals with children on planes who are beyond annoying. Children who make you wonder if you could talk the whole plane into a murder and cover-up.
As I mentioned, I was in a good mood going into the flight even though it didn’t leave until 8:30pm and arrive in Poland at 11:30pm. I knew we had the next day off from work and school and that the boys would probably sleep on the plane a bit.
Waiting in line to board, we saw several other families with kids, including a family with two little boys. The boys looked to be about 18 months and 3 or 4. I should have been cautious as I saw the father actively encouraging them to wrestle and generally run amok. I assumed he was wearing them out before the flight.
Ha! Ha, I say!
It turns out that dad was actually just an idiot. And his wife is clueless. And the grandmother must be senile.
The minute we were trapped, the two boys screamed wild little-boy-playing screams. With abandon. Without reprimanding or redirection from the parents. But that was nothing compared with what happened after the seat belt sign was turned off. These boys were literally taken from their seats and placed in the aisle. Alone. For the whole rest of the flight.
They ran. They crawled and barked like dogs. They hopped like bunnies. They swung from seat to seat using the armrests previously being used to you know, rest. They screamed loudly into their pretend cell phones which had obviously been filled with crack-laced candy an hour earlier. They had to be moved by the flight attendants during beverage service.
I could not believe what was happening. And, I could not believe no one said anything. No one–not the flight attendants, not the 80 other passengers sighing and rolling their eyes with pain. And not me either. My excuse? Um, I don’t speak Polish enough to say something politely. I also don’t know what the customs are here for parental advice-giving. What I did do was silently seethe. That helped a ton.
I decided that the best I could hope for was a Polish CPS worker meeting the family at the gate to take away their parenting licenses. I wish these were issued in order to have kids in the US. Sadly, they don’t issue those in Poland either. Something to consider?