Before I get to the real point of this letter, let me first start off by saying thank you. I realize your primary job is to see to it that the hundreds of passengers sharing the giant tube in the sky with you arrive safely at their final destinations. I appreciate that. I really do. In this category I would give you an A+ since I’ve always arrived in one piece and mostly uninjured after each flight.
Sure, I’ve had the occasional bumped head upon standing up in the row built for people who are 4’11” or shorter. And yes, at times I’ve banged my thigh on the arm rests while walking through the aisle dragging a carry-on that was probably just a little larger than allowed, but these misfortunes are of no fault to you. Truth be told, I’m clumsy. Quite clumsy actually. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t have at least one bruise somewhere on my body. But I digress.
All that changed on our flight back to the United States from Belize last week. Our 17-month-old daughter was exhausted. She had been up all day without a nap, and to make matters worse, our flight was delayed – further exasperating her level of exhaustion and crankiness. After having a huge meltdown in the airport as we prepared to board, I was able to get Avery calmed down, and alas she was peacefully sleeping in my lap during the flight. She was PASSED OUT, limbs sprawled in every direction. My husband and I gave each other mental high fives commending ourselves for our exceptional traveling skills as parents. But about one hour into the flight, our traveling/parenting skills were put to a big test when the pilot’s booming voice came roaring through the intercom overhead. He was so loud that I could have probably heard him from our seats in coach without the freaking intercom. Seriously pilot, who the heck did you think you were talking to? My 85-year-old grandmother?! Trust me, she was not on the plane.
My daughter’s limp, sleeping body jumped in a startle as he began
talking yelling. I tried to cover Avery’s ears, but it was too late. She was not only scared, she was now wide awake and utterly pissed about it. She obviously wanted to voice her frustration, but doesn’t know how to blog or write a strongly worded letter… So instead, she let out the shrillest wail informing the entire cabin of her disapproval of the pilot’s lack of volume control. The only thing more audible than our loud-mouthed pilot was the cry bellowing from our disgruntled toddler. She was in a full-fledged fit. Her back arched as she went from crying to straight up screaming. Nothing would console her. We tried holding her, putting her down, feeding her, giving her toys, reading to her, playing with her… We tried walking with her, bouncing her, distracting her with cartoons, we tried snacks again. Nothing was working. I felt the stress and anxiety bubbling up to a boiling point as I tried to ignore the eye daggers being thrown in my direction from nearby passengers.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, we were able to get our startled, cranky, sleep-deprived little traveler to pipe down. She sat in the floor in front of our seat and proceeded to pull everything out of our carry-on bag. At this point, I didn’t care. I was mentally and emotionally spent and would have let her do whatever she wanted if it kept her quiet. That is likely the reason we walked off the flight without our camera, which is still missing and probably gone forever. (Thanks a lot pilot.)