The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Flying with Children is the Opposite of Silence

Taking young children on an airplane compares to somewhere between having your fingernails ripped out one by one and having them ripped out all at once.

You should probably get exponential bonus miles for flying anywhere in the two rows surrounding young children. Or, at least free drinks. It is only just.

Before I had kids, I will refer to this henceforth as the “Age of Innocence,” I would scowl at the surrounding kids, harrumph at the parents and sometimes, like in the case of the seat-kicking kid all the way to Washington D.C., suggest that the parent do something.

I thought that they could.

Now, after two lovely strong-willed, very “active” young boys, I realize the parents can’t do a damn thing. Most parents are trying for the life of them to figure out what to do amidst a brow of sweat and the mutterings of prayer.

Like myself; sticking suckers in their mouth, packing, snacks, milk, juice, toys, books, singing, and praying that my personal DVD player batteries somehow last six hours. My carry-on is breaking my back and my singing voice is more torture than the kicking kid. Trust me.

Yet, I must try.

There is no place that I feel more of a failure as a parent than thirty-thousand feet above sea level. I cannot make them quiet. They scream because their ears pop. They scream because we have strapped them to a seat and told them they cannot move. Imagine doing that at home --“Hey kids, today we are playing airplane. I will bring in your car seat, strap you to the couch and you can sit there for six hours.”

See the absurdity of it all?

And yet, those with no mercy, like me in the Age of Innocence, think that the parent has no control of the child. They should be focusing on the fact that at least the captain has control of the plane while this wild thing is strapped into the chair behind them.

I hope that the frustrated travelers realize that their discomfort allows many grandparents moments of happiness. And besides, with all of the wars, depression and struggles of their generation -- and ours -- they have put in their due.

Now that the Age of Innocence is gone, when a baby screams near me on a plane, I offer one of the many tricks in my really heavy carry-on.

By Jennifer O’Shaughnessy

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I hear ya! I remember being annoyed at the kicking kid in back of me (pre-kids) and the mom just saying, "he's over tired." Nice excuse I thought, control your kid. But now the words "over tired" have a whole new meaning.

Liked your post!
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