A Gift to Diffuse the Discomfort

9 Jun

Just between you and me, I have a fear that runs deeper than my fear of snakes, heights, and nuclear war combined:

Flying on an airplane with Seabass.

It’s not because he’s a baby.  It’s not even because he’s a crazed psycho baby.  It’s because in all of my travels, whenever I saw a baby on board, I would inwardly roll my eyes and curse the parents.  WHY in the WORLD does this family INSIST on traveling with their baby?!?  Audible sigh.

And now I’m the one insisting on flying with a [loud, demanding] baby and everyone else will be cursing me.  Because?  Seabass is making his airplane debut in just a matter of days.

I feel safe placing all of the blame on my mother.  She’s the one who suggested I bring the baby up to Idaho for three weeks this summer.  She enticed me with descriptions of warm sunshine, free babysitting, and hours floating in the lake.  It sounded like a good idea at the time.  So I agreed to fly up with Le Seabass – ALONE – at the end of June.

Jake will fly up on his own for the middle week, lucky bastard.  He’s already planning all of the fun things he’s going to do the weeks preceding and following his trip.  “As many crappy action movies as I want!” was his reponse when I asked how he would fill up his lonesome nights.

I asked a friend in the know what to do about traveling with C.  “Just shut up and take it like a man,” she said.

So I asked a different friend how to go about it.  “Hm,” she mused.  “I once received a little goodie bag from a mom with a young child sitting next to me on a flight.  It contained a set of new earplugs, a mini Snickers bar, and a note saying ‘Sorry about the kid.’  It was brilliant.”

Indeed, it is brilliant.  So I’m putting together goodie bags of the same nature to give to my seatmates on the six – count ’em: SIX – flights to and from Oma’s house in Idaho.  I plan on using the same formula of note, candy, and earplugs.  I’ve already made up the notes.  Would you like to read one?

The thing I like most about this goodie bag idea is that it reaches outside the boundaries we put around ourselves as air passengers and diffuses a little of the pain of an uncomfortable situation.  (A little, but not all.  I’m guessing that Snickers bar will only be halfway eaten before my seatmates return to cursing me.)

P.S. For those of you who might suggest drugging the little guppy for the flight, please see Exhibit A.

12 Responses to “A Gift to Diffuse the Discomfort”

  1. N'sMomma June 9, 2011 at 9:03 am #

    Coincidentally we just returned with our not so different 11 month old from his third airplane trip (so 6 flights in total). Trip 1 – beautiful there and back. Minimal fussing but only an hour each way. Not much to make a note by. Trip 2 – three and a half each way. Minimal fussing, mostly sleeping but time awake was good. Trip 3, mere weeks after our very active babe became a very active walking babe, um several words come to mind and none nice. It was an emergency trip for a funeral and the flight was 4 hours. There it was long and painful. To add insult to injury a mother of a 6 week old was behind us gushing about how great her baby travels. Well yeah, she’s 6 weeks old. Give her a boob and she sleeps! Get back to me in 10 months. The way back though, thankfully was a different story he slept 3 of the 4 hours. My best tip to you is ignore the people that are still where you and I once were (I was the sighing eye roller extreme too!) Because so far, there have always been at least one or two compassionate people on the plane and they make it all better. On our way home I said to my husband “there’s a special place in heaven for people who are nice to babies on airplanes”. The ones who give you a kind smile, and try to amuse your little fussing monster with some keys or a game of peek-a-boo between the seats. All in all my long winded way of saying, it might not be as bad as your planning in your head. And if it is, well it’s only two days out of what will hopefully be a wonderful three weeks with family! Good luck, keep us posted.

  2. Anonymous June 9, 2011 at 9:08 am #

    That is the best idea ever. The note, not drugging.

  3. Caroline June 9, 2011 at 9:16 am #

    I love the note. And I love the idea of breaking down those social boundaries.

    Good luck!

  4. g June 9, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    Can I just say here how much I love you. Even with the truth that anyone who has ever had a child will have total compassion for you, and whereas flying in itself has lost any sense of enjoyment in it at all anyway, I LOVE your approach to making life a little better for those people. You will probably be arrested for trying to poison the other passengers but I absolutely love the idea and where your heart is in this. You are a model for us all. And for the record the note and little treat would totally work for me! Thanks Jaime!

  5. M June 9, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    What an awesome idea! CAn’t wait to hear how it worked out. We’re planning in January on flying to Florida with my then almost 5 year old and 16 month old. I’m already bracing myself for it.

  6. Anonymous June 9, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    I fly all the time with M – I mean, I used to fly every 2 weeks with him. We have it down to a science and I’ve never provided earplugs. 🙂 Have you ever used a baby carrier (like an Ergo or a Boba)? You can use that to contain him on the flight. It’s a short flight, right? He might even sleep the whole time – nurse up and nurse down (or use a pacifier or a bottle or sippy if he’s no longer nursing).

    Good luck!

  7. R June 9, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    I totally didn’t mean to be anonymous. Whoops!

    (Frequent flier mom to M)

  8. Merle June 9, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    Hi Jaime! I don’t know much about kids and air travel, but my cousin Carolyn flew with a gaggle of her children when they were young…she has 9 kids. The take-off and landing is very hard on little one’s ears. This could make or break your flight. She had them suck on ice or drink something to “pop” their ears. Hope this helps.
    Have a great time with the fam…you will be spoiled!

  9. Monika June 9, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    We’re planning a vacation to Hawaii in January. My girl will be 10 months. I’m already nervous about it, but looking forward to a tropical vacation. I’m sure laying by the pool for a week will be worth it!

  10. Kim Fahrni June 10, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    BRILLIANT!! I love the idea of “Sorry” bags.

  11. Sheri (Mommy Stuff Blogger) June 28, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

    That is such a good idea!!


  1. UPDATE: We are alive. « Higher Highs, Lower Lows - June 28, 2011

    […] may remember a post from two weeks ago regarding the terror I felt in anticipation of flying with my 13-month-old Seabass.  It turns out I […]

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