The shrill wailing. The quivering tongue delivering the high-pitched screech, only with a brief reprieve of silence while it, that baby, catches its breath only to trumpet again throughout the tight cabin.
Those are images, or more importantly sounds, that most of us have endured on a plane ride that couldn’t be over soon enough.
What is wrong with that kid? Why don’t they help it? Make it stop? Plug that mouth? Go take it to the back of the plane for those people to enjoy too. Where are my headphones? Doesn’t that parent have any respect for others?! And so on.
Some parents have become proactive. They took the time, and the coveted carry-on bag space, to bring gift bags of candy, ear plugs, and apologies to nearby passengers. You may remember the couple’s story that went viral a couple years ago when they brought their infant twin boys on a cross-country flight to visit their grandparents for the first time.
While courteous to others, was going to such lengths to appease their fellow passengers really necessary? Or even plain wrong, as some parents have pointed out?
The time had come for us to decide how we might interact with fellow passengers for our three-month-old twin girls’ first round-trip flights (that’s them in the double stroller photo). We told ourselves that our girls were already experienced flyers since they flew a decent amount of time in the air while in utero. Oh, who were we kidding!
Note or no note? Apology or no apology? I had read some stories and some various opinions which I allude to above, including fellow BoardingArea blogger Mommy Points’ take on the topic. In the end, as you can obviously guess from my headline, we went with the note and candy (four dark chocolates) route, but without any apology. Rather, an explanation, a reminder, if you will.
Our notes read:
Our names are Betty and Lulu and we’re 12-week-old twins. This is our first time flying (besides some 20,000 miles we logged in utero… that felt funny!) and we don’t have a clue what’s going on or where we are, let alone that we’ll be moving at some 600MPH while 38,000’ above the ground in a giant bird.
Which leads us to our point: we are babies. (Heck, we didn’t even really write these notes… it was our dad’s idea, and mom, well, she’s a good sport!)
We might cry. We might fuss. We might not make a peep for most of flight. Who knows? We don’t even know. We guess you could consider it a gamble… and hope we don’t crap out!?
Nevertheless, we can assure you that mom and dad will uphold their part of the “traveling with infants social contract” by trying to keep us calm, cool, and quiet, instead of ignoring us while playing Candy Crush or finishing the last flyer’s failed attempt at the Sudoku ‘hard’ level.
We just wanted to say Hi, offer you a treat, and hopefully put a smile on your face.
~Have fun in Vegas, enjoy the March Madness games if that’s your thing, and Happy Travels!
Here’s a closeup view.
We flew Southwest Airlines from Indianapolis International Airport (IND) to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) which, in my opinion, starts to push the time limit on comfort with an approximate four-hour flight time. Since we knew the 3×3 seating configuration on Southwest flights, not to mention the open seating, I planned on packing about 16 bags of four chocolates and a note to pass out as we settled into our seats and they did into theirs.
Our Group A boarding selection allowed us to take the front row. Since we each were carrying a lap child and there are only four oxygen masks over each side of three seats, my wife and I sat on opposing sides of the first row. While the initial looks from panic to concerned came from our neighbors, the attitude of our section of the plane soon came to life as smiles replaced those blank stares. As you might imagine, the Southwest Airlines flight attendants loved the notes and having the little ones up front to entertain them.
“Now, I know you all in the back are not quite as cute as these little twin girls we have in the front of the plane, but I expect y’all to behave yourselves just as I know these two are going to,” concluded the always colorful announcements from the flight attendant as we prepared for takeoff.
Our girls provided them (as they do us every day) with a smile and maybe even a little story to pass along and brighten another’s day. And that was all we wanted!
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