Traveling with Children: A Quiz

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Photo by Elvis Swift

I have been remiss in posting on this blog for a couple of reasons; work has been crazy (but good crazy) and half of my family is sick. The dog has a weird black spot on his tongue that appears to be getting bigger, and I am reading a book that I really love . But the real reason I haven’t posted for two weeks is that last week I was on vacation, and I have spent the better part of this week in some sort of PTSD recovery from flying with my children.

The vacation was wonderful; we went skiing, which in this day and age feels like a real luxury. In fact, we went skiing in Utah, which these days feels almost as incredible as a trip to the moon. There were several downsides to the trip: my father broke his wrist, three of our group of eleven were throwing up by the end of the week, and once again I did not succeed in convincing my children that they are unbelievably spoiled to be skiing in Utah (where there is tons of powder and it feels warm, even if it’s 18 degrees) as opposed to skiing in Vermont, like I did when I was growing up (where there is tons of ice and it feel like it’s 18 below, even if it’s 30).

And, worst of all, I had to fly with my children. Now, I love my children and I actually love flying—which still seems like a technological miracle–but I definitely do not particularly care for flying with my children. To demonstrate why, I thought I’d come up with a quiz. There are no actual answers to this quiz, but I think you get the picture.

1) When your child takes his coat off on the plane, does he:
A. politely ask you to stow it in the overhead compartment
B. throw it at you and hope you catch it
C. shove it under his feet, where it is promptly covered by God knows how many germs

2) When your child talks to you across the aisle, does he:
A. limit conversation so the people in front of him can fly in peace
B. try to whisper, or pass you a cute note
C. talk in an extremely loud voice, even after you ask him to pipe down for the 4th time

3) When the flight attendant comes by to take drink orders and you’re not actually paying attention, do your kids:
A. order tomato juice, knowing that’s what you want
B. or even better, order milk
C. order the third Coke of the day and then act affronted when you call them on it

4) When you are flying with a toddler, do you:
A. have a lightweight backpack filled with Playdough and Pooh videos
B. have a sippy cup at the ready to help his ears during takeoff and landing
C. start drinking at 10:30

5) When you are flying with a toddler who insists on kicking the seat in front of you, and the occupant of the seat seems not to, shall we say, love children, do you:
A. Apologize. Over and over and over
B. Get up and walk the aisle for about an hour
C. Think, “Suck it up, pal. Don’t tell me you’ve never done anything annoying in your whole life.”

6) When you are flying with a toddler who has a poopy diaper, do you:
A. Go to the bathroom only to discover that there are NO DIAPER CHANGING STATIONS
B. Wonder why we have such an advanced society that your 8th grader can shoot a video on his cell phone but there are NO DIAPER CHANGING STATIONS in airplane bathrooms
C. Change him in your seat, as the flight attendant actually suggests, knowing all the while that you are headed straight to some sort of etiquette detention for what you’ve inflicted on your fellow passengers

So hopefully I will now be back on track with my weekly posting. Unless, that is, my fellow passengers somehow track me down after the diaper incident. Then I may be gone forever.