Oct 19, 2013

On Displacement and Flying With Small Children...

Before I begin, a sidenote. I recently learned there is a made-up notation for sarcasm in the written word. It looks like this: /s  

As in:

Flying with kids is the best. It is the most fun ever. Flying standby is also the best (obviously), so put the two together and you are bound to have a rip-roaring good time.  /s

Due to a series of events of varying degrees of awesome and awful, my family found ourselves traveling mostly standby this morning, and by 'mostly standby' I mean that I had a confirmed seat and the others didn't. Also, by 'standby' I do not mean 'non-paying.' Good? Good.

Since she is still under 2, Tiny E was the wild card (maybe a lap baby and maybe not), but in the end there was space and she was awarded her very own seat. In between 2 strangers, about 20 rows behind my assigned seat. In addition, immediately upon boarding I found someone in my assigned seat (20 rows up from Tiny E's, remember).

Now, in general I am no-nonsense and a big fan of workings things out myself when possible (and I feel it's worth mentioning that the Cat Daddy had the same issue with the boyz and was able to negotiate a seat next to them in like 10 seconds with no trouble), but I also like to think I know when to call in help when I need it, so I skipped everything and went to the flight attendants for backup. It took some effort but in the end they were convinced that I did indeed need their help. 

First order of business, vacate my seat up front. A coupla calls, badda boom badda bing, and the occupant was directed to her proper location across the row. Second, offer one of the two ladies next to Tiny E a nice kid-free window seat (by the bulkhead, no less--I provide the best trades) in exchange for letting me take a seat next to my 18 month old who still nurses and isn't a fan of being away from Mommy (and who, by the way, isn't allowed to sit by herself, per the airline). A no-brainer, right?


Both refused to move. One was nicer about it than the other, but neither was taking me up on the bulkhead window seat. 

Now, a moment to remind us all to be a little gentle. I have been the person who has moved to accommodate others, and I have been the meanie who wouldn't move. I truly understand both sides, and sometimes one really just wants to stay in the seat they picked out ahead of time, and got all comfy and situated, and all that. I get it.

That said, I also think they didn't fully understand the situation or the consequences of their decision, because the natural conclusion for me was to buckle my baby in and proceed peacefully to my quiet seat far away from any family members for the entire 5 hour flight. I mean really, that would've been a win, yes?? /s

I reeeeally wanted to see this all unfold, but sadly the flight attendant intervened, and we ganged up on the aisle seat lady, and she grumbled off in a huff to the bulkhead. The remaining lady apologized for not being 'able' to help us, and offered us some homemade banana chips, and we are on pretty good terms now. 

The best part though (/s), was that the displaced lady left her water, tablet, and foodie magazines in the seat pocket, forcing her to come back and ask for them several minutes later while I was nursing Tiny E (nursing in public prevents screaming babies; write that down, kids). 

I gave the lady a wry half-grin as I handed her things over and while she was not amused, I hope in that moment she understood. I mean, I forget sometimes that it is not my responsibility to make others see it my way...but I still like it when it happens.

And so I would like to ask you to keep your wits about you when asked for a favor, and make sure you understand what you are accepting or declining, because nursing toddlers on planes do best with their mamas, and there's really no getting around that. Even if you ALWAYS get the aisle and HATE being asked to move.

Also, if you have the opportunity to put your 18 month old in his/her own seat next to you instead of on your lap stuck between 2 (very patient) dudes for 5 hours like the week prior, by all means take it. Trust me on this...

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