If I seemed a little out of it on the air this morning, my apologies. I got home last night from a trip to Pennsylvania to see my family. These are flights I take regularly, Salt Lake to Atlanta to Harrisburg, Harrisburg to Cincinnati to Salt Lake. But there was nothing regular about last night's final leg, at least not for me.
The plane was on time. The luggage arrived in tact. But the mom? The mom in 41F, who you see here, collapsed into rest after her 20-month-old finally stopped screaming. Aiden was lulled into much-needed sleep by the motion of take-off. I was so grateful. He was exhausted, refusing a bottle for comfort, and when he closed his eyes as the plane giggled him to sleep, I felt so grateful.
Until the overhead announcements blared in an over-modulated shout. "WE'RE ABOUT TO BEGIN BEVERAGE SERVICE IN THE MAIN CABIN AREA!"
"Oh no. Oh, please be quiet," I thought frantically.
"COKE PRODUCTS, TEA, COFFEE AND A VARIETY OF JUICES ARE ALL COMPLIMENTARY. BEER AND WINE AND LIQUOR ARE AVAILABLE FOR A COST OF. . ."
That did it. He woke up and started screaming immediately. Terrific. We know how much vodka costs on the plane, and at this rate, everyone is going to need one now that Aiden is awake. After 20 minutes of his crying, a flight attendant came by and asked me if I needed juice or something, with an expression on her face that I translated to mean, "Can't you shut him up?"
"Quiet would help," was all I could say. I know, not very generous of me.
20 minutes after that an overly concerned grandmother seated behind me started tapping me on the shoulder through the crack in the seats and asking if she could walk him, giving me tips on how to quiet him. I am sure at any other moment, perhaps when I felt less frazzled by the stress of the weekend as a whole and this flight in particular, I could have handled the gesture. But at that moment, I couldn't bare the thought of turning my precious crying boy over to a complete stranger. He wouldn't let my mother hold him - I don't think he would have taken to me hoisting him up over the back of the seat and dumping him on a complete stranger. And if he had head-butted her (like he has been his father and me) and took out her dental work in the process, she probably would have sued me.
It all worked out. I gave the other passengers something to talk about, something to complain about, and don't we all need that? If it's not a baby on the plane, then we might have to complain about each other, and that could only lead to trouble.