I don’t know if you guys remember this, but a few months ago a man was charged after slapping a toddler on a plane and calling the kid a nasty racial slur.
Naturally, I became furious.
[Full disclosure: Whenever I read anything on the Internet related to children I get myself seriously riled up. I’m a parent. It’s what we do.]
No slap policy
I would never slap a child on a plane. And I would certainly never slap my child. He’s a little miracle baby and you just don’t want to excite someone like that in an enclosed space.
[Full disclosure: I have gone on record as saying that spanking works. But I think you’ll find that I was grossly misinformed and/or lying.]
I know a lot of the non-parents out there are probably feeling a bit uncomfortable, because they’d secretly love to slap crying children on a plane. And that’s why non-parents are horrible people that should be imprisoned. Generally speaking.
But what these horrible non-parents don’t seem to understand is the difficult position we as parents are put in when we’re on a plane and our children are crying, screaming, kicking the seat in front of them, shoving their fingers up the noses of sleeping passengers and soiling themselves during the meal service.
Case In Point
But like most very young children under most circumstances, my little miracle baby meets each flight with a new level of restlessness. Our last flight from Los Angeles to Sydney was no exception.
There comes a point in every one of these flights where all the lights go out and everyone is just supposed to fall asleep. Most people are able to do this but it’s a serious challenge if you have a child.
Eventually, I was able to get the boy to sleep. And that meant I was able to get some much needed sleep.
[Full disclosure: Whenever I fly from LA to Sydney, I tank up on Mexican food and margaritas. It usually means pain if I’m with the boy but it’s always worth it, you guys.]
MAN: Excuse me…
MY LITTLE MIRACLE BABY: Wha…
MAN: Excuse me.
MLMB: Wha… what? What? What happened?
MAN: I’m sorry, but you’re taking up the entire armrest.
MLMB: Oh. Yes, I am. Thank you. Good night.
MAN: Would you mind moving over? We’re each allowed one armrest, I believe.
MLMB: And I believe you’re a cranky a@%#$hole.
At this point, I should have gotten in between them. But I was just so tired. The margies, you guys.
MAN: You’ve got some mouth on you, you know that?
MLMB: And you’re a heinous bushpig.
Leave me out of it
You guys, I know you’re going to think I’m a bad dad but I just wanted to stay out of it. I love my son, but he’s always starting something with someone and I was just tired of it. (Plus – margies, remember?)
He was just going to have to get out of this one by himself. I know, I know. The man slapped him. But he was getting pretty aggressive, don’t you think? Plus, don’t we have to teach our children to fend for themselves?
MLMB: Oh. My. God.
MAN: Now I’ll thank you to shut your filthy mouth and move your arm off my armrest.
MLMB: You have no idea what you just did.
MAN: I know very well what I just did. I gave you a slap. A smart one right across the cheek.
MLMB: No. That’s not what you did.
MLMB: No. You just woke the dragon, motherf…
That’s NOT what a seatbelt is for!
I heard a belt come unbuckled and there was some rustling and sounds of someone being choked! It was like a gargling and a gasping mixed together. I was praying it was engine trouble, but it definitely sounded like someone was being choked.
MLMB: This is your last flight, you piece of @&#amp;# @#&$#& @#&$#&@#…
The boy was rattling off some serious swear words when the assistance light came on. He must have accidentally pressed it. I heard a flight attendant’s voice. I was so scared for this poor sap. He was just doing his job but I was seriously worried the boy was going to make him regret it.
FLIGHT ATTENDANT: Did someone need assistance?
MLMB: We’re on a plane!
FLIGHT ATTENDANT: We sure are!
MLMB: I like planes!
FLIGHT ATTENDANT: I bet you do. Here’s a pack of playing cards.
MLMB: Thank you.
FLIGHT ATTENDANT: Um… what’s the matter with him?
MLMB: Oh. He’s dead tired.
At this point, I was seriously freaking out.
Did my son just murder the man next to him? Is that what had just happened? How was I going to get him out of this?
Also, did he just quote Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando? That is extremely impressive. I didn’t even know he had seen that movie.
I wondered if, like Arnold’s character John Matrix, we were going to have to make a hasty exit through the baggage hold. But then I heard the man gag and wheeze to life. He was alive!
MAN: What happened?
MLMB: You just got saved by the bell.
The little guy was on a roll with the one-liners! I mean, I generally expect him to be pretty quick because he’s a little miracle, but he kept outdoing himself.
MAN: Please. Don’t hurt me anymore.
MLMB: I don’t know what you’re talking about. Night-night.
I swear I didn’t hear anything for the rest of the flight.
We all learned some lessons
I have to say, I was pretty proud of my son that day. I know he choked a man to within an inch of his life, but it was in self-defence and he’s only a toddler. He didn’t really know what he was doing.
But I was even prouder of myself. I know this isn’t a popular opinion, but sometimes pretending to be asleep while your child chokes a man is what good parenting’s all about.
Should I have done something other than nothing?
Do you think my son should have shown some restraint?
Do you think he could have used the “That’s not a knife” line from Crocodile Dundee, him being Australian and all?
Leave your answers in the comments.