Flying the Friendly Skies

We’ve done it again.  We’ve braved three airports and two flights with four children in tow.  You might be wondering how we do it.  I have but one word for you: carefully.

We take up an entire row on an airplane – from one window, across the aisle and all the way over to the window on the other side of the plane.  We’ve discovered that the best seating arrangement is to have all three girls sit together on one side of the aisle, with Torri in the middle, while Jeff, Jayce and I sit just across the aisle.  That way the girls can share use of the portable DVD player.  Torri has been relegated to act as referee to her two younger siblings; without her to cushion them, those two tend to fight like Tyson and Holyfield.

Wouldn’t you know that our flights to Orlando just couldn’t go off without a hitch.

One of our neighboring flyers was definitely not a HQP.  In fact, I’m fairly certain she smelled bad.

About 3/4 way through the flight from Albuquerque to Orlando I ventured across the aisle to assist Cassidy in the tightening of her seatbelt.  While I was struggling with the latches, the woman (whom I’ll refer to as mean brunette) in the seat directly in front of Cassidy, ahem, addressed me.

Mean Brunette: Excuse me, I think I can propose a remedy to this situation.
Me: Situation?
Mean Brunette: Your child is kicking my seat.
Me: Oh, I’m sorry.
Mean Brunette:  Well you see, this middle seat is empty.  Perhaps she could move to the middle seat and kick away.
Me: Yeah, um, the problem is that her and her sister tend to rip each other’s hair out at the roots whenever they come within three inches of one another.  Unless you are a paramedic, that proposal isn’t such a great idea.  I apologize about the seat kicking though.  I’ll talk to her.

Meanwhile, Jeff pipes up from across the aisle.

Jeff: (addressing mean brunette) You know, you could move to the middle seat.
Mean Brunette: (completely taken aback) Well!  Are you proposing I move to accommodate your child?
Me: (butting back in) I do apologize for the kicking.  She is a special needs child and behavior is something we really struggle with.  I can’t put her next to the redhead because they’d both end up beaten and bloody and that would put a serious damper on our family vacation.
Mean Brunette: Well then.  Maybe the redhead should be more well behaved.

This is where I had to take a deep breath ya’ll.  My tendency would be to show her that , in fact, could be more well behaved.  I’ve been working hard though on not speaking out of anger and you should all be proud because I totally held my tongue.

The mean brunette first moved to the middle seat.  By the time I had finished with the seat belt she had moved to the aisle seat of the empty row behind the girls.  As she went she told me, in no uncertain terms, that she was none too happy about moving to accommodate my child.

My response to which was to smile sweetly and thank her kindly for her consideration.

You know what they say, after all, you catch more mean brunettes flies with honey.

More updates to come!

15 Replies to “Flying the Friendly Skies”

  1. Well Done Darcie. I would DREAM of ripping her head off and papering the walls with her guts but instead I would usually sit and stew and let it increase my blood pressure and make my stomach sick. Well done on not doing either.

  2. You were sweater and more patient then I would have been!!! You are brave….

    ps…Cassidy….my advice…KICK HARDER!

    sorry the little devil came out for a moment!

  3. Mean Brunette is stupid!

    I’m glad you guys made it to Orlando though!

    I would have yelled at the woman because it’s hard to be considerate to someone that has no consideration…especially when you explained about Cassidy.

    I agree with Tracey!

    Have a good time with Mickey and friends!

  4. What is wrong with some people???
    If all along there were other seats available on the plane, why didn’t she just get her rude butt up and move without saying a word. Apparently she has no children or she has a very selective memory when it comes to surviving travel with them.

  5. I’ll never understand why people get SO annoyed when kids kick their seats. I hate it when adults do it, but when it’s a kid, I always assume that they’re not aware of what they’re doing. It’s even more absurd that she could’ve easily moved, instead of “proposing” how everyone should accommodate her.

  6. We are surely in the “me” generation of adults. I’ve had the experience of sitting in front of a kid that kicked my seatback. I think the “mean Brunette” had a legitimate gripe. Your explantion as to why the kids were seated as they were was also legitimate and the fact that Cassidy was the one doing the kicking made correction very iffy. The fact the MB didn’t take it well wasn’t any reason to condemn her as unreasonable any more than your refusal to move the kids was. (I’m referring also to the comments that she was in the wrong and a seeming theory by many parents that if anyone has any complaint about their children the complainer is always wrong )

    Have a good time and lighten up!

  7. It never ceases to amaze me how RUDE people can be. Even if I was horribly upset about a child kicking my seat my inital nature is to A. Endure it or B. Be kind and sweet about it. WHY do people jump right in and act like a jerk like that?

    FYI for future flights you could ask, ever so sweetly, if you can book the seats on either the exit row or behind the bulk head. That would help with the ants in the pants a little. Most airlines are usually happy to help any way they can if they know in advance that you have a need. (Special or otherwise!)

    Enjoy your vacation!!!

    Traci

  8. Darcie,

    I always knew you were a woman of strong character. BUt flying (multiple times, so as to sound like a pro), with a family of 6, AND not stooping down to mean brunette’s ugly level proves you are stronger than the average bear!

    Mean Brunette = definetly NOT HQP!

    Say hello to the Mouse for me!

  9. I was just going to write you that I was so choked up when Cassidy was cooing and kissing Goofy on Friday night. I looked over at my mom and she was doing the same thing.

    Totally makes up for that mean brunette anyday:)

    When I used to travel for business, I would have moved to being strapped on the top of the plane if it got me away from an energetic toddler. What was the big deal? Yikes! She needed some happy pills(or at least a vodka tonic!)

    I loved seeing you guys last weekend!

    Laura

  10. WOW, what a MEAN brunette!
    You handled it very well…I might add…and if I had an award for the best flying mother, it would be you!
    This was too entertaining!

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