I have just had a wonderful experience. I have flown on a plane without a child. It’s the first time in 2 years that this phenomenon has occurred, and it was quite lovely. I could travel with just a carryon, no checked bag full of blankets, stuffed animals, train sets, Thomas the Tank Engine DVDs, etc. And the carryon I took contained no diapers, books with pictures, or baby wipes. I did miss the getting on before everyone else, but that’s a small price to pay for being able to just sit in my seat and not worry that I have a ticking time bomb of screaming sitting in my lap that I needed to entertain/contain/keep from kicking the seat in front of me.
The worst part, however, was that there was a baby, 6 months old, sitting directly behind me. At first I thought this would be great, because I could show how tolerant I am of babies on planes, and how my sympathy I have, and be that kindly lady who says “It’s OK” when the baby cries. Because honestly, now whenever a baby cries in a public place, I don’t mind at all, because I’m just so thankful it’s not MINE, and I don’t have to do anything about it. Babies can cry all they want, as long as I’m not the one expected to make them stop. But this baby didn’t cry at all — I wish he had. Because the more annoying thing was the baby talk his mother used to him the whole time. He was “a widdle man” who was taking “his furst twip. Isn’t hims? Isn’t hims?” Egad! Why would anyone talk to another human being that way, no matter what their age? Why would anyone talk that way at all in public? Darwin has a hard enough time pronouncing an “r” sound without my modeling it completely wrong (pardon me, “wong”). Now that I have a child, I do understand that babies need a little more enthusiasm in order to make things interesting for them. You certainly can’t talk to them as though you were the latest guest on News Hour with Jim Lehrer, but there is no reason one needs to voluntarily affect a speech impediment. When she started singing “Baa Baa Black Sheep” in said baby voice, I thought I might have to use my airsick bag. Instead, I took a nap, a nearly impossible feat when one has a 2-year-old in one’s lap, unless the two-year-old has passed out from drinkin whiskey.
Not that I would know this.
And, not really related, but speaking of children’s songs, Joe just sent me a video of Darwin singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, and it is just about the cutest thing ever. Ev-er. It’s the same tune as “Baa Baa Black Sheep”, and is admittedly in some pretty heavy baby language, but when it is actually sung in baby language by a toddler, and not a 30-year-old woman, it is super duper cute. Not that I’m biased.
I’m in DC for a conference, with a King size bed in my hotel room, cable, and no one to wake me u pat 5:30am. It’s a little slice of heaven. I fly back Monday, and hope that I am in a plane full of high-powered executives, and not “widdle men.”