Recently, Jessica Coen shared a photo here of how I prefer to fly with my tiny child. A lot of folks in the comments thought maybe DCFS should take her from me (be my guest!) because I let her hang out on the floor. Now, this week, a mother — a pregnant mother — was apparently kicked off a United Airlines flight because of her crying toddler. Allow me to go the fuck off?
The picture in question was taken during a flight from our home in Los Angeles to see my mother in Detroit; the main complaint folks had for me about allowing Goldie to ride “first class,” AKA in a cool fort under the seat in front of me, was that if there was turbulence, she might get hurt. Listen up, assholes: the second the pilot says anything about that, I pick her up and hold her. If the turbulence comes without warning, many of us will be caught off guard (flight attendants, people using the restroom, those stretching their legs) and Goldie is no exception. That’s right: My child is NO EXCEPTION to the basic laws of physics and humanity.
Another accusation: that I was exposing her to deadly germs on the floor. Guess where the deadly germs come from? Your stankin’ ass. She has to live on this planet with you and, short of infanticide, there’s nothing I can do about it — so I try my best to put a layer of cotton between her and your disgusting germs and we travel with all natural anti-bacterial spray, but that’s about as far as I’m willing to go to protect her from you.
Then there were the readers who were just annoyed by the fact that maybe my teensy tiny one-and-a-half year old’s teensy tiny feet might take up two inches of the space that rightfully belong to your hideous backpack. You can go fuck yourselves. You wanna know why? Because the whole reason I allow her to fly in such a position is to make you happy, you pricks.
That’s right. It’s all for you. Most babies and toddlers have a very hard time sitting still in a 2’ x 2’ space for five hours at a time, not to mention the fact that their ears pop and cause pain and they aren’t old enough to figure out how to remedy that. But do you seriously need me to explain this? Do you really need me to outline why flying economy on a commercial airline isn’t the most pleasant experience in the world? So I let her chill on the floor and watch a movie in peace until she falls asleep.
Here are your other options:
- I hold her the entire flight as she screams, squirms and wiggles.
- I hold her the entire flight and read annoying children’s books to her OUT LOUD as she screams, squirms and wiggles and sometimes kicks whoever is sitting next to us.
- I hold her the entire flight while reading an annoying toddler book out loud while she screams, squirms, wiggles and kicks the seat back in front of us regardless of how tightly I grab onto her legs to prevent her from doing so because even though she is small, she is mighty and has determination. Should I not have taught her that? Whoops!
- I pay $400 for an extra seat where she screams, squirms, wiggles and kicks the person next to her AND the seatback in front of her and then you tell me all about white privilege.
- I give her super non-irritating time outs while she screams, squirms and wiggles.
- I smuggle her into some checked luggage.
- I hide her in a wheel well.
- I beat the shit out of her the entire flight and insist that she behaves (although I’ve seen this done and it never works — in fact, it exacerbates the problem and then I end up getting into a screaming match with a man who clearly has no problem hitting other people repeatedly in public and let me tell you, that is terrifying).
- She visits her grandmother’s house for the first time when she’s old enough to pay for her own seat, iPad, and Beats by Dre headphones.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image via Shutterstock.