Friday, June 24, 2011
Traveling With Children: The Ultimate Parental Feat
While some may feel that my recollection of traveling with children under the age of five is a bit dramatic, I would bet my last candy bribe that those people have never, not once, done it. Or perhaps they are the ones that have those perfect kids...the babies who slept through the night at 6 weeks, the toddlers who potty-trained themselves and the preschoolers who were reading at age three. I myself do not have those kinds of kids. I have the “Mommy I have to go potty as soon as the plane is taking off and if you don’t get me there immediately I will pee all over this floor” kind. And the “No I will not sit in my seat because I’m two and I’m curious and I’ve never seen a window like this before so I think I will stand right here and open and close it.” Loudly, "while squealing with delight" kind.
When people see us boarding the plane the looks on their faces say it all, “Oh, this is just great. There goes my nap. Please dear God, do not let them sit near me!” And quite honestly I don’t blame them. I don’t want to sit near us either. Children can be difficult anywhere but there is something about that airplane that can transform ordinary cranky children into holy terrors.
After reading these horror stories you are probably wondering, what in the world is wrong with those children? Or maybe you are judging my parenting skills and my ability (or lack thereof) to discipline said children. Trust me, when it came time to exit that flight, that long aisle was my ultimate walk of shame. I was embarrassed for myself and my kids, and I too questioned my ability to parent these little monsters or at least to do it in public places. While visiting with family and friends that week I vowed to all that I would NEVER, EVER try to fly with them by myself.
What then are we to do? I have friends who have avoided this all and have chosen to wait until their youngest child is old enough to “handle” flying before they embark down the aisle of a plane. But what if that isn’t an option? Family is not always a few hours’ drive away and realistically most of us cannot avoid air travel to see our loved ones. I have two girlfriends whose husbands are from Albania. With most of their families still living there they have both decided to travel the 24 hour flight as often as they can regardless of how hard it will be to fly with their children.
Posted by Pediatric Health Associates at 9:58 AM