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Life happens: Babies on a plane

June 19, 2014 at 1:19 a.m.


By Aprill Brandon

If I had to list in order the top five most annoying people, they would be:

1. People who talk too loudly on their cellphones while in tiny, enclosed, public spaces. (It's an elevator, buddy, not "The Real World" confessional booth. I'm just trying to get to the fifth floor without intimate knowledge of your weird armpit rash).

2. People who squeal and throw their arms up when they see their old college roommate walking into the bar.

3. People who don't understand the flow of cart traffic at the grocery store.

4. People who live tweet the TV show they are watching.

5. People who are Taylor Swift.

You notice who is not on the list? People who take babies on planes. Because if anything, these people deserve our utmost compassion, and if you see them, you should buy them one of those $9 airplane cocktails - or five of them. Because people who take babies on planes are wonderful, nice people. And pretty. And smart.

With great fashion sense.

OK, OK. The jig is up. I know that people who take babies on planes are just the worst. And three months ago, I would have gladly plotted with you the best way to permanently exterminate these idiots off the face of the planet. (My preferred method? Booking them all on the same flight until the sound of all the crying babies makes them go all "The Hunger Games" on each other).

But then three months ago, I had a baby. An adorable baby. An adorable baby whose maternal grandparents and 64 other close relatives live 850 miles away. Which means an adorable baby who now has 66 people who live really far away who really want to see him.

Which means next week I will officially go to the dark side and get on an airplane with . (shudder) . a baby.

And it's going to be bad. Oh, so bad. You know how I know? Because I was always that person on an airplane who loudly groaned every time I saw someone bring a baby onboard. I was always that person who turned around and shot evil looks at the toddler kicking my seat.

And I'm pretty sure that at one point in my writing career, I dedicated an entire column to how unfair it was that parents of small children got to board the plane before I did (which included a line that went something like this: "Just because you're not smart enough to figure out birth control doesn't mean you should be rewarded with getting to jump to the front of the line.")

Oof.

Yeah. Hi, karma. How you been?

Needless to say, I'm terrified. Granted, the flight is only two hours and 15 minutes, but have you ever heard a baby cry? That sound has the miraculous capability to make time virtually stop. I can't tell you how many times I've tried comforting my screaming child, freaking out because he hasn't stopped crying for three hours, only to look at my watch and realize it has been 45 seconds.

And my baby's recent behavior has done nothing to ease my fears. He's become more flighty than a teenage girl. Yesterday, he loved Mr. Giraffe. Today? He hates him with the passion of a thousand witching hours.

This morning, only his binkie could get him to stop crying. Tonight? Don't you dare put that vile thing in his mouth or else he will cry until he vomits. And then he'll vomit some more, just to show his disgust.

But they say the key to winning any battle is preparation, so I've been spending the past few weeks coming up with my battle plan.

Extra bottles of breast milk for when we ascend and descend? Check. Another extra bottle full of water as backup to try and trick him once all the breast milk is gone? Check. Mr. Giraffe? Check. A knife to kill Mr. Giraffe in case Junior still hates him and wants to see him die for his alleged crime? Check.

And just to be extra safe, I've been saving up these past few weeks so that I can afford to buy everyone on the plane one of those $9 cocktails.

Aprill Brandon is a columnist for the Advocate. Her column runs every two weeks in the Your Life section. Comment on this story at VictoriaAdvocate.com.

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