On our flight home on Sunday, I was super excited to watch some movies and take a big giant NAP. Sari and I bought those dang super cheap tickets that cost you your basic human flying rights (carry on luggage and picking a seat), but we were willing to deal with it because we are cheap bitches.
I finally boarded and when I got to my middle seat there was a little girl who was in the aisle seat. I started chatting with her and learned that she was six, and that her mom and dad were in another row with her baby sister. I told the flight attendant that I could be moved if they need to rearrange things so they could sit together. The mom was three rows back and she said “Oh we are good, she can sit up there with you.”
Listen, I like most children and I have endless patience and empathy for people flying with children/babies. I am here to help and support you because kids/babies on a plane seem like a ticking time bomb of emotional instability. I will hold your baby, I will grab your bag, I will pick up all the crap little children endlessly drop, I will hold your drink, and I am happy to talk to your kid. But, I am not an airplane nanny. There were two parents in a row with three seats. They could have all sat together. I know that flying alone with baby is hard, I get why they both wanted to be all hands on deck with that, but YOU HAVE ANOTHER KID. And it wasn’t even like she was just across the aisle from them where they could easily help her. She was THREE ROWS AWAY. There was a DISTANCE.
This little chicken nugget was a totally delightful cute little person and she was a good listener, but six-year-olds still need a lot of help. The poor thing could not even get her earbuds in. I helped with that, helped her find movies, helped her find games, talked to her about the movies and games, helped her order her orange juice and cookies, got her to the bathroom, made sure she was buckled in… for four hours. Her parents were asleep for the majority of the flight.
I cannot tell her she can’t go to the bathroom because her mom isn’t awake and did not wake up when she was tapping her. That’s not going to end well. The lady next to me leaned over at one point and asked if she was my niece, and when I said that I did not even know her, she responded that I was being a lot nicer than she would have been. But what was the other choice? I know she isn’t my responsibility, but I’m not going to be a dick to a little kid because her parents can’t be bothered. Also, happy kids are not crying kids. If you take your kids on a flight, then SIT NEAR THEM and PARENT. Again, I am always happy to help people out when they are flying with kids, but I am not a nanny.
At the end of the day, she was a totally sweet kid and it was fine, but I did not get my longed for nap!