Same job, different uniform.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Flying The Unfriendly Skies

Can I see a show of hands for those of you who thoroughly enjoy flying with small infants and/or small children? No one?

As we boarded the airplane for our return trip to TX from MN, both Tall, Dark & Handsome and I were stopped by the flight attendent, she who shall not be named, and were asked to reposition our carry on bags. TDH was asked to remove his backpack. "Why?" he inquired. She who shall not be named explained that there is a greater chance for other passengers to get bumped by his backpack when he is wearing it. I was toting Sweet and Creamy (4 month old son) in a front carrier and holding his diaper bag in my right hand. "Ma'am, please keep the bag close to you, so that it doesn't hit any of the passengers." We were unaware that she had spoken to both of us until we were debriefing in DFW airport, taking turns spewing our frustrations over the flight.

She who shall not be named left us alone until about 15 minutes before we landed, when S&C is starting to fuss. First, another flight attendent, a graduate, apparently, of the Delores Umbridge school of communication, asked me if I had a bottle I could give him. Not in a "let me help you" tone of voice, but a "please figure out a way to keep you child quiet" tone. Then she who shall not be named approaches my seat and informs me that I need to take S&C out of the front carrier to comply with regulations. He has been secured there for most of the flight and on other flights, so I said that the other flight attendants must not know this rule because no one has ever said this to me.

I begin taking S&C out of his carrier and of course he dials the fussing up a few notches. I try to breastfeed him, under covering, naturally, but to no avail. He is totally crying now, I'm sweating and very frustrated and up strides she who shall not be named with a piece of paper in her hand. She had the regulation pamphlet and is trying to show me the rule and tell me about the research that supports it. I told her that I didn't need to read it. She then procedes to step to the row behind me and asks if TDH would like to look at it.

COME ON!!! It wasn't as if I refused to take him out. I had. I wanted to ask her to read it to S&C. I'm sure it would have helped him settle down immediately upon reading it. Do you have the regulations in the form of a picture story book for my child to read....maybe a board book? Uhg!!!

I'm all for safety, so maybe she was recommending the safest thing, but I am bothered my the inconsistency of flight attendants. Particularly when I'm stuck with the anal retentive ones.

Also, I'm very appreciative of anyone who will, at the very least, sympathize with the challenge of traveling with young ones. As you can see, it ain't easy.

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Blogger girlfriday said...

I admit to being inwardly impatient with screaming youngsters. Especially the ones with an odor.

Nevertheless, I would have become a bulldog if I had been within earshot of this hoochie.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blogger Unknown said...

I once traveled with my two year old and my five month alone. I can feel your frustration. I did not however have a flight attendant from hell. Most people were extremely polite to me. I think they felt sorry that I was traveling alone with two small children.
From most of the stories I read, it seems like the friendly skies aren't all that friendly any more.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Blogger elphaba said...

Certainly no one enjoys the sound of a crying baby. Especially the parent who knows that his/her child is annoying other passengers. True sympathy can only come from someone who has been in the same situation.
I will say that once children are older and their behavior clearly an issue of non-parenting then I feel justified in being annoyed.
When my 4 year old daughter was going to gymnastics last year there was a 6 or 7 year old boy who would have weekly whining and tantrum sessions in the waiting area. He was SOOOOOO disrespectful to his mom I had all I could do sometimes to restrain the teacher in me and not go over to him and say, "Young man, you have two choices right now......"
One of my teaching collegues said it is hard to curtail the urge to discipline other people's children because you do it all day.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Blogger Lois E. Lane said...

Poor elphaba! I'm sorry your experience was so dreadful. Travel is one aspect of parenthood to which I'm not looking forward. But it must be done -- don't other people get that? It would be nice if more experiences were like Laura's.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Blogger Susan a.k.a Lucy said...

Poor Elphaba, I'm sure your sister was SO glad you made the trip despite the wear and tear of flight. I was waiting to read you saying that the same flight attendant who wanted you to pull out a bottle then pitched a fit when you started to feed S&C the "good old fashioned" way.

That said, the more I follow the news, baby or no baby in air, I'm just thrilled if my flight isn't festering on a runway somewhere for 12 hours or that I've not been wrestled to the ground by airport security and breathing my last in a holding cell. Makes listening to crying babies look like small peas doesn't it? I'm waiting for the day when they throw someone off a plane for being rude to a nursing mother or the diligent parents of a poor wailing bairn. I'm not holding my breath. I'd like it extra if that person happened to be a flight attendent. No I don't envy them their work, but some of them sure do seem to like power.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Blogger elphaba said...

Susan aka lucy, you are right. There is so much more that can and does go wrong when flying. Best to be thankful when your not stranded somewhere, your luggage isn't lost and the flight crew actually decided to take their helpful pills.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Blogger Sky said...

As a Mama who usually travels alone with two little boys I give my sympathy! (It is the only reason I hate airplanes!)
Of course no one likes to hear a crying baby,*I* do not like to hear my own babies cry for various reasons! Do people think that we make them cry? That we aren't trying everything possible to create a happy atmosphere? After many rude stares and smirks and mutterings under the breath I have come to this conclusion; I am no longer embarrassed. This Mama Bear will growl if prodded and bite when provoked!
Everyone was a baby and as such must have annoyed someone at sometime, this is just the universe's way of payback! If that's to broad for you to take in try this;
That mother who was just glared at is on the verge of tears, her stomach is jumping around inside and her head is about to split open and spill what remains of her sanity all over the floor. If no one wants to help, do the next best thing;

Thursday, October 18, 2007


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