Dear Business Man in 31G,

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


You had an awful flight. I’m sorry.

It wasn’t even because of me or my kids. I mean, yeah, you sat in front of my 4-year-old, and he did bump/kick your seat a couple of times, but I threatened him with death if he kept doing it, so it was kept to a minimum.

Beside you was a mother and her son. I think it was her son. It could have actually been a girl. I thought it was a boy until he stood up and starting pawing at my tv screen on his seat back, and it turned out he had painted finger nails. However, the hair was short and the clothes were boy-ish, so I’ll stick with boy.

This boy, after his mother drugged him up with some Benadryl, managed to get sick all over himself and the seats around you.  After that was dealt with, he slept practically on top of you for most of the rest of the flight.  And when he was awake, he was crying or yelling.  Fun times!

I really don’t understand why the airport staff decided to put this boy and his mother next to you when there was opportunity to put them in two seats by themselves instead of a row of three, but then they put me and my kids in a three, and put my husband behind us.  That was kind of silly.  On both counts.

So you were trapped next to vomit boy, and then you had us behind you.  But we were good.  Mostly.

Every time my kids did something they shouldn’t on a plane (BE QUIET. STAY IN YOUR SEAT.), they were threatened with being thrown out of the plane. Yes, this is my sophisticated parenting method. I win! 

So the 4-year-old would start to argue with me about parachutes.  And the 2-year-old was like “what? As if.  I don’t care.”  Because 2 year olds on airplanes are LIKE THE DEVIL. I really did want to chuck him off the plane.  If the windows could have opened, they would have.  Just a crack. To show him I was serious.

But here’s the thing.  I’m sitting there, struggling to entertain and distract them with every trick in the book ( touch deal with their need and desire to get up and run around and play while being trapped on a tin can, and I’m thinking — how the hell did people used to get their children to be seen and not heard?

My Step Father-in-law, whom we just spent a week with, raised his children this way and is clearly ANNOYED by my children.  My loud, rambunctious children.  Not bad.  Just playful.  He likes to get them to shut up.  He also likes to scare them with a growl or bark.

So, how did they do it?  Did they beat them?  Were they emotionally abused?  Did they lock them in cupboards?

Because these kids of mine do not do “seen and not heard”.  And I’m okay with that.  But I try.  I try to make them quiet and still so I don’t piss you off. (You already were pissed off with that other family.) So I don’t piss the other travellers off.

But you know what? Fly Business Class next time.  ‘Cause although I’m trying hard, I’m using some pretty pathetic methods to get my children to behave for a few hours.  We’re all hurtling towards Toronto on this tiny vessel with cramped leg room and bad food together.  It was only 6 or 7 hours of your life.  You’ll get over it.  So will we.

8 Responses to “Dear Business Man in 31G,”

  1. Sandy Says:

    OH, I have so been there. Being trapped up in the sky with two kids is scary and so frustrating. I too am often worried about my kids bothering other people. I thought it was hard with one, boy two is a bloody nightmare. Congrats to you for making it home!

  2. Mamalooper Says:

    The passengers I love are the ones who engage the girl a bit. Such a help on a long flight!

    And the crankypants in airplanes or restaurants or anywhere in public – families exist and have every right as you do to be out and about. Deal with it.

    Europe is sooo much more family friendly than here!

  3. mancais Says:

    He sounds like an arse. I’d have ended up encouraging the kids to make noise, etc

    • Clare Riddiford Says:

      He is an arse – and his adult kid is not well-adjusted so not the best parenting method to employ.

      Enjoy your noisy kids and be thankful they didn’t puke as well – I just want to know how Mark managed to get an observation seat behind it all – were bribes involved?!

  4. Maria Says:

    Glad you’re home safe and sound, and only mildly annoyed. 🙂 The mere thought of our next flight to England with both wild children makes me nervous.

  5. Lady Mama Says:

    Haha that made me laugh. I can just picture the nightmare. And it makes me wish I lived in Toronto so that I could avoid the extra 2/3 hours to the other side of Canada. I am NOT looking forward to our next trip to the UK with two boys.

  6. Vic Says:

    Sounds like the boys were pretty well behaved on the flight, even if Mr Businessman didn’t think so.
    Seen and not heard is such a boring way for kids to live, even if we do wish they’d do it every now and then. I can’t believe your step-father in law expected the boys to be so – no wonder you were practically begging to come home!

  7. mamatulip Says:

    I honestly fear for the day when I have to fly with my children. And it’s not just because I am irrationally afraid of flying.

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