Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The World Is My Kid's Playpen

There are often babies on board, just like those suction cup signs in the 80s warned. Most of the time, the attached parents are good people and make sure their kid doesn't cause a ruckus. But a few of these gene donors just sit there in a disheveled heap, making sure we know they think they deserve a martini just because they have a child, and let the rest of the world worry about entertaining/restraining/cleaning up after their progeny. If the kid's old enough to walk, it's in the aisle, running up and down, screaming and slapping strangers (I'm not sure what makes parents buy a three-hundred dollar BMW-compatible carseat for their car which goes around 80mph, and then let their rugrat dance around unrestrained on a vehicle that travels upwards of 500mph). If it's old enough to eat, it's crumbling up crackers and sowing them into the carpet, apparently trying to grow a cheese cracker orchard. And if it's not old enough to do anything, it's sitting on someone's oh-so-weary lap, tearing up the safety card. This, above all, grieves me. Babies break stuff. You know this. Why, then, would you ensure that your monster is breaking something that does not belong to you? The thing's already broken your will to live... why not give it your hand to chew on for an hour or so?
I know, I know, I don't have a kid. I don't understand the hell on Earth it is to be a parent. But I was a kid once, and I do know that my mother would have sooner stuck a thumb in my eye than let me throw crackers all over an airplane seat, and certainly wouldn't have walked away smiling without cleaning it up if I had.
Wow... I think this job really is making me bitter. Wait a second... nope, nope. Not bitter. Sour, but not bitter.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're right. i have two teenagers whom i first took on an airplane when they were 15 months and 3 years old and they didn't do what you are talking about. i wouldn't let them run in front of a moving bus and i wouldn't let them be cracker farmers. you're absolutely right. and they sat in their carseats and played with the stuff i brought for them.

and then i gave them each a healthy dose of prescription cough medicine.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Phil said...


9:21 PM  
Blogger AkuTyger said...

See, I always thought this stuff was cultural, but I guess the American parents do it too. In Brasil it's soooooooo common - in fact, parents like to bring their small child just about everywhere and expect those in charge of the area (a test administrator if it's a test center, a store employee if it's a store, a waitress if it's a restaurant) to tell the child when the limits have been crossed. Or at least, that is what seems like happens, but then sometimes one of these "area people" will tell the child to stop doing something and the parents will give them a death look as if to say "how dare you tell my child no!"

It takes a village.... literally.

6:50 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

The 'village raising a child' thing only works when the parents accept a total stranger beating their kid. You know, like when I was growing up.

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So it doesn't mean to let you kids follow the village idiot around? I always though thats what it meant...

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

akutyger's mom says....I am going to heck. Because I am the village. I once watched a small child poke holes in Sears store packaging while her parents right next to her ignored the behavior, and I sidled up to this kid and said, "Santa Claus is watching you." You should have seen the horror on her face. I bet she crapped her pants. Actually, I hope she crapped on her parents.

I also flew all the way to Key West sitting next to parents holding a child who kicked and screamed bloody murder for three hours without halt, "I DON'T WANT TO FLY ON AN AIRPLANE ANY MORE!" But I am an experienced parent and traveler, and I just put in my earplugs and read a nice book.

by the way, akutyger was an angel.

6:28 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Akutyger's Mom: Santa Claus is watching you... why didn't I think of that? I'm saying that NEXT FLIGHT.
Also, if a kid screamed that he didn't want to be on the plane anymore for that damn long, I would let him exit at 35,000. Ever noticed that python babies are well behaved? It's because the parents squeeze them until they shut the hell up/pass the hell out. That's the kind of parent I'm going to be.
Maybe I shouldn't be one of those.

2:53 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home