Monday, December 10, 2007


I guarantee that there is not a single person who is genuinely happy to see a child less than 4-years old board a plane with them. No one, except the child's immediate family of course.

And finding out that you're sitting next to, in front of, or anywhere near this child evokes the same internal emotions as being told that you're going to be audited. A quick look around at the other passengers in the immediate vicinity confirms that you're not the only one that feels this way.

Although I have been pleasantly surprised in the past by well behaved children, sadly that is not the norm. I always give the child the benefit of a doubt. But just like playing the lottery, I rarely win.

On our flight back home, we were unfortunate to sit next to 4 children between ages 2 to 4. It got to the point where I was hoping that the next sound I heard was the sound of wings ripping off the plane to end our misery. For the first time ever, I wished that we weren't on a non-stop flight so that there was a chance we could get away from these children and their awful parents at a layover.

But I know karma will have its way. One day Nathalie and I will be the parents bringing a small child on board an airplane. And one day I'll be on the receiving end of those hateful looks. And undoubtedly, one day my child will be the one driving other people crazy with his incessant wailing about Elmo.

But the one thing I will never forget to do is to apologize to the other passengers. Maybe I'll buy ear plugs to hand out to the nearby passengers as a courtesy.