There are times — not terribly often, mind you, but times — when my children (aged 2 and 4) behave like cocaine-fueled kangaroos undergoing a complete and total psychotic break with reality.
There might be some yelling, screaming, crying, wailing. There might be some physicality, to be kind. Squirming usually occurs, followed immediately by tossing and throwing, both of their bodies and any Hot Wheels in the general vicinity.
Why does this happen? Oh you know, the normal reasons: The scrambled eggs are too yellow, they don't like that sock, their pillow hurts.
Anyone who has raised children can attest to their mercurial moods. They're little kids. Sometimes, for no good reason, chaos rules the moment.
But then the moment passes. Like a summer thunderstorm giving way to rainbows and sunshine and pretty young women with daisies in their hair dancing in a verdant meadow, the children regain their relative sanity and continue on their merry way.
It happens. It's life.
I just hope it doesn't happen in a few weeks when we go on vacation. Specifically, I hope it doesn't happen when we board our US Airways flight.
Why? Because if it does, we might get kicked off the plane.
It's exactly what happened to one woman the other day out at JFK, according to a Consumerist.com piece . To nutshell: She was on the plane with her 3 and 1 year old, and they were seated in the bulkhead seats. Everything was fine, until a flight attendant told the woman she couldn't sit in the bulkhead seats with the kids.
Well, things soured quick. She had to undo the kids from their car seats, try to move them while general boarding was going on, a stranger picked up one of her kids, and before you know it ... cocaine-fueled kangaroos undergoing a complete and total psychotic break with reality.
Then the flight attendant told the woman to get off the plane.
That's right: A mother was kicked off a US Airways flight because her kids were crying.
US Airways did respond, saying in part: “Once in their new seats, was unable to calm her children, one of whom was screaming and the other that began crying in response to the first. After receiving complaints from several passengers ... it was decided to ask her to deplane the aircraft as the children were, at this point, loud enough that the safety demo could not be heard by those around her on the aircraft.'
US Airways also claims staff tried to help the woman; the woman claims no help was forthcoming.
Either way, it doesn't matter. This woman and her children were booted off the plane because people complained. And because the safety demo couldn't be heard. (Quick sidebar: Can we just do away with the safety demo? Is there anyone who pays attention? Has one life ever been saved due to the safety demo?) The woman further claims by the time they were escorted off the plane, the kids had calmed down but she was told it was “too late.'
So here's the question: Was US Airways in the right?
And here's the answer: No.
It's not like these kids were terrorists. They're kids. Who had strangers touching them. Furthermore, it's the airlines own fault for putting them in the bulkhead seats.
Now, of course, as a parent to cocaine-fueled kangaroos, perhaps I'm coming at this with rose-tinted glasses. After all, if this happened to me and my family ... well, let's just say I'm not shy about making my feelings known.
But kids sometimes lose their minds, and there's nothing that can be done about it. They'll always calm down (or pass out). And if that inconveniences people in seat 23A, tough luck. It's not like I think kids should be given special passes here; again, they're kids. Just kids.
Is it annoying? You bet. Reason to be kicked off a plane? No way.
Read Jeff Edelstein every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, facebook.com/jeffreyedelstein and @jeffedelstein on Twitter.