Tuesday, January 12, 2010

There has got to be a better way.

This all started after reading an article regarding screaming kids and airplanes. I'll begin with a little background on myself. My name is Anika, I am a thirty-something year old married to a forty-something year old, and together after getting married thought it would be wonderful to have a baby. So we did, and I have to admit she is a lovely little girl who we affectionately nicknamed Chickpea (don't ask me why it just seemed cute at the time, and it stuck). My husband and I have many loves that we share, one of which is traveling. We promised ourselves that even with a small child in our lives we would continue what we loved so much (traveling that is).

So back to this article. I am reading this woman's perspective regarding her experience on an airplane where and woman and her 2-year old son where literally booted off the flight because of her son's disruptive behavior. The author goes on to share her disgust and frustration of misbehaved children on airplanes. She goes on to state, "These children aren't just bothering us; they are stealing from us. They are stealing our attention, our time and our peace of mind". Now I have to come clean, back in the day when I worked for corporate America, and was required to do extensive travel, and did not have children I would have shared the same sentiment. But now the situation has changed, and I do have a small child.

While I don't share the same extreme point of view of the author, I do feel that there has got to be a better way that families with small children can continue to travel in peace, and without having people roll there eyes as they board airplanes, or better yet being asked to get off a plane all together. So the idea of this blog was conceived (for lack of better words). It is my goal to share personal travel experiences with Chickpea, as well as to research and share other practical/ insightful advice to make traveling easier for everyone (even those that cringe at the site of a child boarding "their" aircraft).

So here it goes. Helpful tip #1: Children are comforted by familiarity. Keep this in mind the next time you are planning a trip that requires you to take a plane. I understand that most airline policies allow you to hold your small child on your lap free of charge until the age of 2. While during these tough economic times this seems like the best option. DON'T DO IT. Bite the bullet, and purchase a seat for your little one. On the day of your flight bring your child's car seat. Hopefully by having the car seat this should help your child understand that like in a car he or she can't scream and run around. The familiarity of your child's car seat coupled with an old familiar lovey (aka stuffed animal, pacifier, etc.) should work like a charm. In addition it leaves you some space of your own, rather than having a cranky child on your lap the entire trip.

As I sign off, I just ask that we all consider that at one point in time we where all that small child having a meltdown, maybe not on an airplane, but maybe in a restaurant, a grocery store, or at the mall. So the next time you find yourself getting angry and frustrated, stop and think what is worse than being on a plane with a child having a full thermonuclear meltdown? I'll tell you with personal experience, it is being the parent of that child.