I took my young daughter on a plane recently, and I was surprised by a few things. The first was the airline’s treatment of my child. When getting my ticket, I had to list her as an, “Infant in Arms,” which makes me think of a baby military. This process included writing her name, and birth date, and NOTHING ELSE! I didn’t need to provide a birth certificate, any sort of hospital records, nothing. Nothing at all. I could have brought, literally (and I mean literally) any baby on that plane. I’m trying to figure out if there is a way to make money from this, but so far all my ideas involve me being a truly terrible person.
The next thing is that when we left the hospital with our little bundle, we were required to have a car seat. They wouldn’t let us leave with the baby (in a car) without one. Planes, on the other hand, you can (again, literally) hold the baby in your arms. Car going 65mph 2 feet off the ground? That baby is gonna need a special, rear-facing seat with a five-point harness, only to be used in the back seat of the car. Plane going 500mph at 30,000 feet? NBD, you can just hold it, or something. Heck, even your drink has a special spot on the tray so it doesn’t slide around.
One thing you cannot hold during landing or take-off, on the other hand, is a laptop. In fact, your laptop needs to be stowed, in a bag, either under your seat or in the overhead bin.
“Uh, excuse me sir?”
“I’m afraid you’ll need to stow your laptop before take-off”
“Oh, this isn’t a 5lb laptop, it’s my 25lb child.”
“I’m so sorry to bother you, I thought you were holding something important, like a computer.”
I was also surprised that people didn’t hiss and boo as I walked through the airplane. I was fully expecting that, at some point during the flight, for someone to turn around and say something awful to my child and I like,
“Stupid baby, why does your stupid baby make so much stupid noise?! I’m trying to watch 13 Going on 30 on my iPhone for the millionth time and your stupid baby is really taking me out of the movie!”
“Your damn diaper baby keeps crying! Why is your diaper baby so damn annoying. I didn’t bring any headphones on this plane because I want to annoy the person next to me with bland conversation and I can’t do that with your friggin’ diaper baby crying!”
I even spent time coming up with responses. All of them level headed, and on-point.
“F– YOU, YOU STUPID JERK!”
“OH YEAH?! Spits on face.”
Luckily, I didn’t need to bust out any of these. To the contrary, a few people on flights helped entertain my baby by waving, clapping, and making funny faces. These people helped remind me that, in the mountain of shit that is modern air-travel, a few people are not garbage. Thank you, fellow humans. Thank you.