Monday, May 04, 2009

When planes and pampers meet.

They meet and plan your quiet time...

Flew home from Jo’burg last night.  There are some significant flaying-parent changes I have picked up since becoming a father.

Although I was flying solo (wife and child at home) there were several people on board with their kids. I have flown previously and intensely hated sitting next to a child on a plane. Anything on a plane below the age of 3 will inevitably play up.

In 2008 BC (that’s Before Child) I would openly cringe and be irritable with said parents for even deeming to be on the same flight as me with the nappied ones. Kids were not made for flying. It’s a long and uncomfortable journey

even for those of us big enough to use the toilet on our own. But for small children it can be hell. To the uninitiated,  young children cant equalize their own ears. This results in an almost instant blocking and pain for the child after take-off, which results in the inevitable crying. It’s painful as an adult but at least we can deal with it; as a child…well you can only imagine.

However  ever since having a child of my own, my take on it is completely different. Whether I am accustomed to the crying now or realize that even when the baby is screaming the parents are doing their best to pacify them, I am more chilled and comfy with the idea of kids on a plane.  Trust me there are few folks in the world that want their child crying and disturbing other passengers. It’s embarrassing and stressful for the parents.  While you are saying “why are you not shutting that kid up?” under your breathe, said mum or dad is doing their best to do just that. Kids don’t come with an on off switch – it would be bliss if they did but they don’t.         

They women who I was sitting next too had a 15 month old boy on her lap. They plane was delayed for take-off by an hour and she was already apologizing to me for the soon to be released pent up frustration from “Klein Jan”.  But it didn’t bother me. For once I knew what was coming, that the parents were doing their best they could and that inevitably Klein Jan would do his best to make sure everyone was aware he wasn’t enjoying his time in row 15, seat C.

I did eventually move seats. Not because of the noise but rather to give KJ some more room to clamber about. But I didn’t get upset like I used too. I just smiled and knew I was helping his folks in the same way I hope someone would do for my wife and I when we travel.

And besides he had reason to complain. BA were as shocking as ever! How is it that internationally they are a dream to travel with and yet internally I would rather pass nails. Delayed by an hour at the start. Delayed at the end by 15 minutes while we waited for some local power to be connected. Maybe it’s ACSA or Comair who knows. The plane was badged with BA so I blame them.

I suspect so does Klein Jan. 

1 comment:

deems said...

It's true - as parents ourselves I find I'm more tolerable of other people's kids as you know what they as parents are going through - not always so easy with ones own, except when they're sleeping because then they're angels :)