Monday, June 16, 2014

Flying with Baby: A Letter to the Person Sitting Next to Us

Unfortunately I live in a different state than my family which means that a few times a year I get the unpleasant experience of flying by myself with a helpless baby. It is a time of great stress. Among my concerns about how to keep my son sitting still on my lap without a horse tranquilizer and how to use the restroom with my baby strapped to my chest in a baby bjorn, I also worry about who is going to end up sitting next to us on the flight. We fly on an airline with no assigned seats that boards parents with young children towards the end which means I could wander the airplane in search of the ideal canidate to sit by. On my last flight while waiting at the gate I found myself scanning the crowd for possibilities of who might be a good option to try and sit next to when I realized- I might be the teensiest bit unrealistic in my expectations of a seat mate. So I drafted a letter to use for future flights to make my screening process easier, perhaps you would like a copy to hand out to your future seat mates as well...

To my potential seat mate,

Would you like to sit by my son on an airplane? You should, he's very cute and gives large open-mouth kisses freely. He might poop his pants but that's ok right? I thought so.

There are however a few qualifications you must meet to be granted the honor of sitting next to my baby. Oh it's nothing unreasonable, and if you do these things you will be rewarded handsomely by payment of Cheerios given through sticky fingers. Don't worry. He almost always gets them in your mouth.

First of all, I see that you bought some overpriced snacks before you got on the plane. I'm sure you'd like to eat them but that's not really going to work out for us on account of my son's food jealousy issues. If you could just hide all your food for the duration of the flight that would be appreciated. Don't even think about taking one of those little bags of peanuts either... And also, no complimentary drinks, sorry, my son likes to dip his face in open cups of liquid.

Hmm, I see that you have an iPad. You're going to have to keep that hidden as well. OR you could let my son play with it! He's drooled on my iPhone for months now and it's still working, if that makes you feel better.

And sorry, no reading material either. My son has an affinity for ripping paper and then eating it. If you could just sit there quietly staring straight ahead until he decides he is ready to play peek a boo with you that would be great.

And please no jewelry. He rips out earrings, yanks necklaces, and eats watches. I guess a modest ring would be ok. But just the one, and nothing too shiny please. Glasses would be a definite deal breaker. Do you have contact lenses you can wear? 

Lastly you'll need to wait til you leave the plane to call your ride. We're not allowed to talk on cell phones in his presence.

So you can see that we're not asking much, we're very easy to sit by! One of us will keep our hands to ourselves. One of us won't scream in your ear. One of us won't touch your face with drool soaked fingers... But I can't make any promises about the other one.

Happy flying.

Paige and Cooper

No comments: