The Stakes are High and I Might Just Eat One

It is becoming a bi-yearly installment on this site for me to talk about flying out-of-state with my child and just how much I’m dreading flying with her. I mean, blah blah blah, she screams and doesn’t sit still and people give us nasty looks and I mentally judge them and think how horrible people they are and how their Moms must have locked them in broom closets when they were younger.

So you get it. Flying with a kiddo sucks.

We are leaving for Tulsa tonight, as Tulsa is the only place we ever go. I am in the midst of my last-minute packing and cleaning and planning and “Just HOW cold is it going to be there and why are my maternity pants all of a sudden starting to feel just a little too snug?”

I’m also planning out my bribes. You see, my child is old enough to be bribed now. Sure, toys could work, but they get old. No, I’m bribing her with candy.

This is odd for me because Miss E has a really good diet full of fruits and veggies and beans and eggs. She NEVER eats candy and most junk food is off-limits. But? To fly? All bets are off.

I am about to go and stock up on candy for my 16-month-old before I stick her in a crowded airplane with lots of mad passengers and say “woohoo! go for it! mommy has to read her Glamour magazine now.”

Hey, you. Judy Judgemental. Judy Judgemental that is either childless, pregnant or a very, very new Mom. You think that you would never do that?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

That’s the deal. Once you become a parent, sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands. You plop your kid in front of the Teletubbies so you can unload the dishwasher without someone grabbing the knives and making a run for it. You set your kid loose in the isles of JC Penny while you look for a purse (supervised by The Hubs lest anyone would want to steal a whacked out teething toddler). You give her two Tofutti Cutie ice cream bars so she’ll be quiet during Martha’s Apprentice show.

Your face is covered in pen marks because you had to do something to keep her quiet while you were on the phone with that new doctor. You hope that she doesn’t choose to crap on your couch when you’ve finally given up and let her run around the house naked.

There’s been a few of you that I have talked to on the phone or met up with in person that have seen, first hand, the sad attempts at just Keeping Her Quiet.

It’s not like I let her do anything dangerous. Okay, usually. I only let her juggle those butcher knives once and the car driving on the highway thing? Well, it wasn’t during rush hour!

So judge all you want. I may have a sticky, sugar-covered toddler sitting at the back of the plane, but she’s happy. But, I’m proud to say, I won’t be letting her drink at Thanksgiving this year.

If mama’s not drunk during the holidays, nobody is drunk during the holidays.

35 Responses to “The Stakes are High and I Might Just Eat One”

  1. Eulallia
    November 21st, 2005 17:17

    Judy Judgemental can bite me. I hate her.

  2. Dawn
    November 21st, 2005 17:25

    I totally have a bribe closet. I stock up for future bribery. And, I have an internal 10 dollar limit in what ever store we are in.
    Yes, I will buy your silence.

    And as to the airplane people, they should be grateful that you aren’t whipping the door open to throw yourself from the cabin.

    Practice saying with me, “Suck it Be-yatch”.

  3. Chantal
    November 21st, 2005 17:59

    A connection in Dallas to LA….with my 2 year old in tow. They kept moving the gate on us. So I’m running all over DFW with the umbrella stroller of Doom. We finally land in line to check in, which takes forever, and I have a very haughty, very glaring man look back at my tot and say “Oh, GREAT”. I ignored him, as i’m exhausted, and began our drill of letting K out of her stroller to burn some energy before we board….”Run over and touch the wall!” Now come back! Do it again!” Glaring Man watches silently. We were in line forever, and when we boarded, he sat down in first class and I thought to myself “cool we won’t be bothering YOU”. I sit down, and she is promptly asleep.
    Then the FA comes back to me and says “There’s a gentleman up in first class that said he would like to pay for any of your inflight drinks if you’d like one because he’d never seen a mom work so hard to ensure a good flight for everyone else.” I got *sloshed*. heh. Thanks, Glary Guy.

  4. Corrie
    November 21st, 2005 18:00

    I love you because, “If mama’s not drunk during the holidays, nobody is drunk during the holidays”, is the best quote since, “Every minute my mother is late, it is a minute that I am not drunk.”, which was me in January, before I gots knocked up.

  5. Gabrielle
    November 21st, 2005 18:33

    YEAH for the bribe cabinet. I am preggers with my first and I am already figuring out which toys, snacks, and just fun “crap” to stock up on. I was one of seven kids and have of course sat like a million kids so skrew the shrew Judy Judgemental.

  6. Cristina
    November 21st, 2005 18:39

    Damn straight, while pregnant with the second child I was in and out of the hosiptal. Every single time we went the older one got to pick something from the vending machine to keep her busy while I was being hooked up to the machines. Sometimes a mother has to do what everyone else says they shouldn’t do.

  7. Crazy Lady
    November 21st, 2005 19:29

    A moms gotta do what a moms gotta do. If bribery works, then so be it. It does not matter how often we make the trip thru the stinking desert to my parents house, or how much the kids have eaten; we always stop at a certain McDonalds for soda (gasp! I will even give in to the caffine kind) and french fries. And it is only a 2 1/2 hour trip. Silence is golden! (arches)

  8. bohemiangirl
    November 21st, 2005 19:32

    The first time I flew with my son he was about 18 months old. I don’t know what the hell happened, but we waited on the tarmac for TWO friggin’ HOURS. This was in Dallas, TX, in the summer and it was hotter than HELL. He cried, he whined, I cried, I whined. He begged for more juice, I begged for whiskey. People were staring and whispering. I finally just cut him loose to run like a banshee up and down the aisles. I mean, really, where the hell was he going to disappear to? Needless to say, by the time my 45 minute flight from Dallas to Houston was over, I was three sheets to the wind and had a lot of ’splainin’ to do to my mom who was picking me up.

  9. whoorl
    November 21st, 2005 19:58

    Tofutti Cuties! Thanks for reminding me that I have a box in the freezer. YUM

  10. Crystal
    November 21st, 2005 20:07


  11. wordgirl
    November 21st, 2005 21:24

    Quickly now! Send your manservant Hop Sing over to Walgreens and get a couple of boxes of band-aids. Back in the day, when you could get them in the little metal boxes with lids that made a satisfying “click” when you closed them, the second best thing for little kids was the fine finger motion activity of peeling the paper wrappers from each and every freaking band-aid.

    Sit your toddler down with a nice stuffed animal that can take the abuse and allow her to cover the entire creature with band-aids. It takes longer than you’d think. And it buys you LOTS of time. Pause every little bit or so to make sure none of the paper is going into her mouth, but this was always a cheap enterprise and one ALL of my boys liked.

    Even if I’m too late with this lifesaving info to help you out on your flight, this still works really well any place else. Good luck and don’t forget to wave from your window seat (if you have one) as you fly North over the D/FW area.

  12. Michele
    November 21st, 2005 21:26

    I used to BE Judy Judgemental. And I’ve been humbled by an 28 lb ball of baby energy. Rock On!! Bribery rules. I fed my daughter teddy grahams 1 by 1 ALL the way from JFK to Orlando. And 2 huge cups of milk and 2 bottles of apple juice. She peed so much that the shoulders of her shirt were wet!

  13. jess
    November 21st, 2005 23:42

    The band-aid distraction game is awesome! I wish i had thought of that long ago.

  14. Texas T-bone
    November 21st, 2005 23:56

    I know this won’t help you in the short-term, but at nearly 3, the Cutlet could probably pilot the plane by now. He and my wife flew up to Tulsa yesterday, and I’ll drive up on Thanksgiving Day. In the meantime, have you tried sedation? A harmless dose of Benadryl (not really the gateway drug some say it is) goes a long way in calming the savage toddler.

  15. michelle in Katy
    November 22nd, 2005 09:30

    Okay I think Miss E is old enough for our family secret when flying ( the band aid trick sounds great!!)…… bring along a value size bag of pipe cleaners. They are small enough to carry in a diaper bag, or carry on bag or backpack, and you (I mean the kids) can make fun and cool things out of them. Everyone loves to play with these things. We usually end up with our area of the plane all enjoying pipe cleaner fun. My oldest son 15yrs) will still sit there for a while and create with them ( I do have to sensor some of his creations. Pipe cleaners can turn into some very raunchy things!!) Good luck flying!! Oh, and what is it with the Dallas airport! I think it really hates me when I travel alone with the kids, we always end up with a huge delay and/or stuck on the plane forever!!!!

  16. yonzie
    November 22nd, 2005 09:42

    One word: Twizzlers.

    They’re like baby crack, and you get the added benefits of artificially flavored fruit.

  17. Anne Glamore
    November 22nd, 2005 09:54

    Yeah, I used to think I’d NEVER have one of those kids with snotty noses (WHY can’t that mom wipe her child’s nose?) and I’d never use shoes that fastened with velcro instead of laces– that was for lazy people.

    I give. Uncle. Put a fork in me, I’m done.

  18. Caitlinator
    November 22nd, 2005 10:30

    Ha, I was feeling all bad about Ellie not drinking for Thanksgiving but you definitely have a point. Why should SHE get to drink if you can’t? Stick to your guns on that.

  19. Curly
    November 22nd, 2005 11:18

    I used to be Judy Judgemental, too. Now I realize that the parenting philosophy of Danny Tanner on Full House is a crock of shit!!! I too, have an internal $10 limit in stores. I will buy my son’s unrequited happiness so I may peruse the makeup aisle in peace.

  20. Jessica
    November 22nd, 2005 11:49

    I was one of those that vowed to never have a wild child. HA! This kid is running me ragged and he’s only nine months old.

    As for judging others, let me just say that I judge the REAL idiots. Like this couple yesterday that I just wanted to slap. I was at work, talking to a coworker, when we noticed something odd. This couple, with two small children (a newborn and a three year old) in a cart, had disappeared. The problem? They left the cart behind with their CHILDREN in it. We looked at each other and went over to the children because there were sketchy people lurking about. We waited a few minutes, then decided to call security. Before we could though, the parents came running back, with the, “I thought you had them! (I guess they had went in opposite directions)” excuse. I wanted to hit them. HARD.

  21. Torrie
    November 22nd, 2005 11:50

    I say, staple her to the seat!

  22. Dawn
    November 22nd, 2005 11:58

    Oh. AS for flying. I made a “Flying kit” that I have used on Her Roman Empress Crankus Maximus since age 18 months. Bandaids- YES! Pipe Cleaners (Add cheap plastic beads for added entertainment as she gets older) That Crayola Color Magic Fingerpaint that doesn’t look like anything until you touch the paper. Cheap stickers and colored index cards.

    Every time we fly, another parent sees the travel kit and says “That is a good idea.” Plus it is the clear plastic bucket, so we can prove we are not smuggling C4 onto the plane. And I make her carry it now.

  23. Diane
    November 22nd, 2005 12:15

    Love the band-aid idea. A couple of things that worked for us are play-dough (go ahead, make a mess) and candy-canes (it takes for ever for the kids to get through them - you’d think they were dead, they’re so quiet). Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving.

  24. Laura
    November 22nd, 2005 12:34

    Starburst work really well for little ears and to keep them amused, you might also try boxes of raisins cause it takes forever to get them out. :)

  25. Nothing But Bonfires
    November 22nd, 2005 12:41

    I’m sure Ellie won’t know the difference if you give her that non-alcoholic beer.

  26. Beth
    November 22nd, 2005 12:54

    Benadryl can totally backfire and make a kid more wired than ever, so you should test that one out way before flight day. Love the BandAid idea, pipe cleaners, magic crayons and everything. Careful about feeding too many snacks — you may wind up getting barfed on, as my son’s dad did. Sometimes craft stores have cheap little items (like miniature cans of Pay-Doh, etc.) good for distracting kids on planes. Good luck! :-)

  27. Carol
    November 22nd, 2005 13:57

    My friends bought me a book called How to Con Your Kid. They thought it was a joke, until they bought it. Then they realized how serious it is. When she gave it to me, i thought it was kind of a bummer that “a book like this was seriously written”. But truthfully, I have already gone to it a few times for my son who is on the edge of toddler-hood. You should check it out.
    P.S. Love the band aide bear idea!

  28. Bob
    November 22nd, 2005 23:29

    OMFG, I’ve been away from here MUCH TOO LONG. You need my frickin advice. Ok, here’s the deal, get to a veterinarean’s office quick like, borrow somebody’s hyperthyroidal poodle or pom, and GET SOME DOGGIE VALIUM as fast as you can. K, then you dose yer kid up with it before the flight. She’ll sleep like a log and not bug a single person with all that cabin air pressure change ooh it hurts my baby ears waaaaaaaa waaaaaa crap.

    You’ll never get a legitimate pediatrician to Rx valium for a stupid flight, so do the Vet scam. Trust me. It’s worth it.

  29. Dy
    November 23rd, 2005 00:24

    Two Words: Frontier Air.

    Did 5 flights last month with the 4yo. Frontier has satellite TV in the seatbacks of all their planes. It was well beyond the $5/plane for it, particularly when I looked back on the three flights w/o vs. the two with. And, no, I don’t work for them or own a piece of them or nuthin’.

  30. Y
    November 23rd, 2005 13:29

    OMG! Bob’s back!

  31. Danamite
    November 23rd, 2005 16:37

    Airplanes always have loads of child-sized bottles of liquor on board… What did you think they were for?

  32. tula
    November 23rd, 2005 18:33

    it’s what? a 2 hour flight? can’t you entertain your baby for that long? ever heard of books?

  33. wordgirl
    November 23rd, 2005 20:09

    Tula- How many books do you suppose it would take to entertain a baby for two solid hours? And how big a bag would you need to haul them to Soonerville? Or are we suggesting that SJ pack light and simply read “Goodnight Moon” eleventy-thousand times until the plane lands or she has a psychotic episode? (whichever comes first).

    I think most of us, as well as SJ, understood that packing a book or two went with the territory. SJ was just looking for ways in which Ellie could entertain herself, lacking as many babies do, the ability to read to herself. Ways that would be less disturbing than watching her hurl the contents of her diaper at the flight attendant or throwing a 120 minute volcanic fit because she can’t ride the drink cart up and down the aisle. That is all.

  34. sarcastic journalist
    November 23rd, 2005 21:24

    Actually, I don’t read books to my child. We instead go on the net together and act rude to people we don’t know. Unfortunately, we can’t get on the ‘net during the flight.

    Therefore, I can only hope that my child sits behind Tula and plays “MY EARS HURT WATCH ME SCCCCCREEEEEEEEAAAAM” for the entire time while touching your hair with her sticky toddler hands.

    Have I heard of books? Ha. You must be like, THE SMARTEST person alive.

  35. HMBalison
    November 23rd, 2005 22:52

    How I remember (unfondly) life with a toddler on a plane. I bribed. I gave my kids crap. I let them cry. I sat there with barf on me. Now they are 8 and 11, and life is a lot easier….Here is how low I got with my kids when they were babies.

    One night we had a childless couple over for dinner. So we could talk for five minutes without interruption, I put my 1 yr-old toddler in his high chair, and I took a can of whipped cream and sprayed his tray. I let him play in it and eat it to his heart’s content. I told my friend, “If you tell people I did this, I will lie and totally deny it.

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