We've all been on that plane. You know, the one with the parents who have a screaming baby who won't. shut. up? That's not who I'm talking about. Because the moment a couple has a screaming baby, I feel sorry for them. They could be kitten killers and I still have sympathy oozing from my pores. I like to think it makes up for the rest of the plane, who is actively hating them. I refuse to take my kids on an airplane for that simple reason: I do not enjoy being hated. And if you walk onto a plane knowing half the people will hate you deeply, why bother? You can take the bus for that kind of hatred.
The last time I was on a plane, I was with a family with kids who were so awfully behaved (the Mom, I mean) that it inspired this list of 10 ways NOT to entertain your kids on an airplane.
1. Make sure that your child is the only one who hasn't turned off his Nintendo DS during the "no electronics" portion of the flight. I mean, you COULD all die a fiery death, but really? At least you'll die in peace, without him screaming about how Mario NEEDS him.
2. If you're flying to go and see family for the holidays, you can always let Junior unwrap the presents that belong to the family members you're headed to see. He'll be entertained for hours trying to figure out who gets hair in their noses and would need to trim it, and who gets massages WHILE THEY'RE IN THE SHOWER ANYWAY? That's just crazy, Mom!
3. If leaving the country, make sure your child knows how to say a few basic phrases in the local language, like "Where's the bathroom?" "I can't find my Mommy" and "Give me that, I want it, and I'm an American, dammit!"
4. Teach your children to cry to get what they want. This will not only teach them valuable manipulation tools for their future, but will annoy others into GIVING them what they want. This is especially good if your child is 10.
5. Make sure you bring your child a book, a snack, and a beverage. That way, once they are holding a jelly-stained book in one hand, and the tiny beverage napkin soaked in juice they "spilled" in the other, you know they'll remember this trip forever. So will the flight attendants.
6. If you absolutely run out of ideas, you can always let your child Tweet from your iPad, from your account. At least you'll have fun explaining to people later that you don't have boogers on your face (unless your child is younger than 3) and that, no, you don't "eat poopy for lunch on planes hahahahaha."
7. Make sure you aren't sitting together. The time they spend getting TO you to ask what to do next will burn a good five minutes each way, now that all planes have miniature aisles.
8. Teach them to kick the seat in front of them to the beat of their favorite song. Bonus points if they sing loudly, too.
9. When all else fails, there's no TSA rule against duct tape that I'm aware of. If anyone gives you flack for it in the security line, just gesture toward your child annoyedly and say, "He's 8 and hasn't been on his Ritalin in a month. It's this or nothing." They'll shut up.
10. The louder the toy, the better. Especially if it scares the shit out of your kid. There's nothing that says "good parenting" like shoving a Jack in the Box into your kid's face over and over again. Best to start the fear of clowns early.
Your turn! What should you absolutely NEVER do with your child on an airplane?
Image via Clarita