We have a plane trip planned for the fall, and since it’s too early to buy tickets or pack, I have instead started to create responses to irate passengers’ possible comments like “control you kid” and “you shouldn’t fly with babies” (inspired by the comments in a New York Time’s article about air travel with family).  While we are good with timing outings to minimize meltdowns (new favorite word) we won’t have as much control during flights.  Of course we will come prepared with snacks and diversions, but if she’s awake she will not happily sit down for four hours.

Here are my comebacks to variations of “learn how to control your kid”:

  • “Here are two more kids I can’t control — Lefty and Righty,” and I lift up my fists.  Or just one more kid and one fist if I am  handling a crying baby with the other arm.  Also, depending on the situation I might pop up the baby’s dukes.
  • “She’s not my kid.  She was on the seat when I got here.”  Cue laughter, the melting of hearts, and the clunking of plastic airplane cups being raised in a cheer.
  • Deliver a monologue like, “I’m doing the best that I can as a woman in a society that wants to run the reproductive system like it’s a prison, then offers no support to parents once their children are born, and continually fails the children in their education, then leaves an unhealthy planet and faulty, debt-soaked government as inheritance.  The least you can do is have patience for this girl whose future you’ve already ruined.”  Hopefully by the time I’m done the plane will have landed.
  • Or say “WHAT?  I can’t hear you — my baby is too loud.”

I’ve also read that lollipops, phone apps, and Play-doh helps, too.