Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Hurtling through the air in a stinky metal tube

Toddler Of The Corn

We got back from five days in Arizona and 100 degree heat late Sunday night. We popped in a couple of frozen pizzas and passed out in front of the TV. (All Trump All the Time will do that, jet lag notwithstanding.)

The Air Canada flight from Phoenix to Montreal was via L.A. so a long flight. 
The entertainment system i.e., ALL THE MOVIES AND MUSIC, was not working. All I wanted was to settle into my seat, zone out with a movie, have a few snacks I packed, order a glass of wine, and wake up in Montreal. To add to my frustration, we had two screaming toddlers in front of us. Now I have a lot of tolerance for people who travel with kids because I've done it too and I know it's never easy. But I'd bring activities, books etc. And I had, you know, rules and expectations on how they'd behave and for the most part, they did. You expect a bit of restlessness and crying, but you keep them busy. These parents brought nothing, and did nothing to distract them.
The little one was still a baby and kind of sweet, but the older one, he was another matter. That kid had attitude, and his screams were loud and shrill enough to peel paint. Before we even left the tarmac, he shoved his face and hand between the seats and yelled "Hey HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY YOU HEY YOU YOU NANANANANANANANA NAAAAAAAA POO POO  HA HA HA HAAAAAAAH!!!" 
His parents did nothing.
Then he crawled under his father's seat to our row and his head popped up under our feet. The flight attendant came over. She cooed over the baby and then leaned over to us and said, "The family in front of you has asked you not to consume any nuts on this flight. The children are allergic." So basically all my snacks. But okay, no snacks with nuts, that I completely understood and accepted because you don't mess around with allergies.

Then the kid started playing with his tray, pulling it up out of the arm of his chair, and letting it slam back inside, which not only jiggled my tray where I was resting my book, but there was a loud bang every time he did it. It was inevitable that he would pinch his fingers in the mechanism. 
The parents did nothing.
Things settled down, then I smelled something dark and foul. I looked at my husband. He shook his head "nope, not me" and pointed towards the children of the corn. I buried my nose in my scarf and my head in near defeat. There wouldn't be enough wine for this.
The older one twisted around and reached back to fiddle with my window shade. He opened it, I closed it, he opened it, I closed it. I wagged my finger, shook my head and mouthed "no."  He waited, then tentatively slid his monster fingers back to open it again, like I wouldn't notice because he did it with CAT-LIKE STEALTH or maybe he imagined he'd donned an INVISIBILITY CLOAK. Or maybe he was just used to getting his way. 

Encroyable.* Tabernouche osti merde maudit sacrament.**
I slowly closed it, but without hesitation this time, and with what I hoped was a definitive snap that wouldn't be challenged. I pointed to his shade right beside him, which he had free control over. I couldn't believe I was engaging in a war with a toddler AND HE WAS WINNING. He jammed his face into the gap between his seat and the wall and he looked at me with one gimlet eye. I tried to work up a smile, fully aware that I was officially the crazy one in this scenario. But like a sleazy mattress salesman on commission, the kid took the smile as an invitation and didn't that little gobshite open my shade yet again. This time I reached over and slammed it like a mf'ing guillotine. 
He decided to stop. 
Not because he received the message but because he turned his attention to the business class seats directly in front of him.
I watched as the slippery little monster barreled through the curtain that divides the posh from the plebs and hoisted his upper body upon the divider between the seats like a hungry seal at Marineland. He twisted and tried to grasp the glass of whisky sitting at the end, but since he couldn't quite reach it, he used the man's suit sleeve to haul himself closer which woke the guy from his reverie. This poor guy paid an extra $3,000+ for the privilege of these seats only to find himself an unwilling extra in the horror film ROSEMARY'S BABY'S FAMILY VACATION.
The parents did nothing.

I didn't have my iPod with me (BECAUSE I THOUGHT I WOULD WATCH MOVIES) so I put on my noise cancelling headphones (bless you, Bose, and all you stand for) and looked for soothing distractions on my iPad. I found a total of...fourteen songs. Fourteen to get me from LA to Montreal. And some of them were Christmas songs. Two were from Michael Jackson's THRILLER album. So desperate was I for quiet that I just listened to them over and over, even Vincent Price laughing his evil laugh, because it bought me some peace, 73 minutes worth per round, over and over on a loop.

At one point, things started to calm down. I removed my headphones. The mother breastfed the younger one, who began to nod off. I thought the older one was napping too, but he looked over at his happy, milk-drunk younger brother then, in a nonchalant-sibling-rivalry-disguised-as-restlessness move, accidentally-on-purpose kicked the baby in the head. Baby howled, then the mother swore and gave the older kid three quick whacks to the head, which set him off, and then the parents started bickering with each other. 
It was enough to make a person want to crack open some nuts. Or a window.

Not really.

(yes really)

Translation: *Incredible. **Bad word bad word bad word bad word bad word.

PS Air Canada offered us vouchers/coupons for a discount on our next trip. Unfortunately they didn't work online as they're supposed to, and I got a repeated ERROR message. An apology shouldn't require more phone calls and emails and effort on my part. It just adds to my frustration. Le sigh.


nightsmusic said...

Good lord! I'm so, so sorry you went through this. Not apologizing because I can do a darned thing about it, but because I can commiserate. I had a non-stop from Portland to Detroit. Four and a half hours of what I'd hoped would be a chance to read a wonderful book when parents boarded with a baby. We hadn't left the tarmac when the baby started wailing (knew then it had nothing to do with baby's ears) and wailed Non. Stop. For. Four and a half hours!! The parents put THEIR noise canceling headphones on and that was that. They did nothing to help the baby, nothing to soothe the baby, no bottle, no rocking, no bouncing, nothing. I was two rows from them and couldn't say anything, but the people in front of and behind them did and it made no difference. They just shrugged.

I'm so sorry. *leaving rhetorical questions alone here*

A Novel Woman said...

Lol!! I have sympathy for parents who try to help their infants on a long flight, but I have ZERO sympathy for any parent who ignores the bad behaviour or their kids' distress signals.

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