Annoyed at My Crying Baby? Blame the FAA.

We’ve been lucky enough to take several trips with baby in tow in his first year on Earth. And totally lucky that he is an excellent flier – relatively quiet, sleepy, calm. We have the scheduling thing down: plan flights around feeding times, feed him on take off, enjoy the long nap for the majority of the flight. NAILED IT.

Until the FAA steps in and furloughs the crap out of your best laid plans.

The face of flight delays.

The face of flight delays.

$^%@ you, FAA.

Last week, Little A and I stepped up to the gate in Minneapolis just as they were announcing the 1.5 hour delay. The plane was at the gate. AT. THE. @$#%^ GATE. Delay was caused because of the Air Traffic Controller furlough, blah blah blah. So now there’s a hungry, tired baby who will be forced into a short fast. Otherwise, he will be a wide awake, flailing, screaming baby at 36,000 feet. I don’t want that. You don’t want that. No one wants that. God doesn’t want that.

I wandered the terminal for over an hour, back and forth right and left there and back and over again. At least I got some exercise in. I really wanted a beer. Finally, I could not stand NOT feeding that poor beast so we sat near the gate and he ate. As he finished, boarding began. This might work out okay.


Beautiful in its irony.

Beautiful in its irony.

I had the row to myself. That never happens! My luck was turning! Except it was bulkhead so the trays were in the arms so the arms didn’t raise so it didn’t @#!%! matter anyway. #!%! you, luck.

Little A pounded on the window for awhile, tried to engage the ladies behind us, continued his quest for the perfect lap triple axle. And we sat at the gate. Because they needed fuel. BECAUSE THEY APPARENTLY DECIDED NOT TO REFUEL WHILE THE PLANE SAT LONELY AND DESOLATE AT THE GATE FOR TWO HOURS. They didn’t turn the air on so it was stuffy as shit and I was left praying that kid wouldn’t decide now would be the time to M his Bs.

Finally we get up in the air; kid immediately konks out. I follow suit. And we sleep through beverage service, beverage clean up and whatever else happens on a two hour flight (the answer is nothing).


Being home with my parents already wonks his schedule. Flight delays increase the problem. Not to mention, by this point I’m the hungry one, not to mention tense from an awkward position with an aching back because I swear the woman behind me found a way to UNrecline my seat every time I fell back asleep after REreclining it.

So let’s review. Hungry baby who loves to crawl who hasn’t touched floor in five hours. Hungry mom who hasn’t been comfortable in five hours. A few dollars saved at the government level to delay a flight two hours.


The MINUTE the seat belt sign comes on, Little A goes berserk. Squirming, crying, flinging, back bending, practicing every evasive technique he learned in night school. I can’t stand up to soothe him, I can’t make a bottle, he refuses everything I offer. Blanket? Nope. Rattle? No. Teething ring? Oh, hell no. This is his first melt down on a plane. And I’m trying not to stress cry.

What finally shuts him up? Sitting him between my legs on the floor for the remainder of the descent. My legs were wrapped around him, my arms always underneath him, I’m practically in crash position. Safest decision? Probably not, but no less dangerous than the chances of him flinging himself out of my arms. As we neared ground I put him back in my lap. Magically, on the ground, he went silent.


Those smiles and “sweet baby” comments I got at the beginning of the flight? Gone. I got grimaces and glares and a few “bless her heart” eyes. A snide “well he almost made it” passive comment from the Seat Unrecliner.

I was never one of those damn-it-there’s-a-kid-on-the-plane type of people. Sometimes it was annoying but I could usually dig up enough sympathy to ignore it, even in my bitchiest state. When my kid ended up being the master flier, I internally gloated. Well, so long to that.

Those people hated me for fifteen minutes, FAA, and it’a all your damn fault.

Don’t blame the parents, dammit! Blame the government.


80 thoughts on “Annoyed at My Crying Baby? Blame the FAA.

    • Thank you! Before this flying adventure, I would have been all, it’s no big deal, you’ll be fine. But now, well, now I just say Godspeed. SO MUCH EASIER to fly with when they are tiny and immobile.

  1. i am pretty damn sure I am not the first one but I am also sure how much new mums love to hear it! so, here it goes, your baby is absolutely adorable! 😀 having said that, he has a whole blog dedicated to him and even named after him, have you wondered what would happen once in 4 or 5 years he finds a whole blog about him? 😀 just curious!

    • Thank you! I’ll always take a compliment! As for an explanation for him…maybe College Fund (hahahahaa yeah right)? Online baby book since his real baby book is still empty? I’ve come up with a few reasons, but ultimately I figure by the time he finds it the medium will be so antiquated he’ll think I’m lame! 🙂

  2. My entire extended family has always had the same brilliant rule: no air travel until you are old enough to use a seat belt and see out of the window on your own. Until then, any relative that wants to gaze upon your loveliness can buy their own plane ticket.

    • We felt the same way with our 3 sons..I know sometimes flying with a baby is a necessity; BUT it really is for the best if they’re old enough to handle the flight. Heck, I have issues with my ears not popping the entire flight(and I’m a frequent flyer..)Hurts bad enough to make a grown azz woman want to cry..So I can only imagine what it feels like to a baby. And the only way they can articulate what they’re feeling? Crying..I’ve had some very short flights ; that seemed like they were days & days & days long due to a screaming, crying baby. I’m not sure there will ever be a win-win situation for all regarding this topic. It just is what it is

    • I would totally agree with having people fly to see you…except I have a huge family and both of us have relatives that don’t have the means to or are unable to fly. One of the downfalls of living away from family, I suppose! I’m hoping since we started him so young he’ll grow into a great flier fast.

  3. IT looks like no one mother with a kid or traveler wins in this situation. Mom having problems keeping a kid happy under this circumstance and traveler both loose! Thanks for writing this post. I hope some changes come soon in traveling on planes for everyone. Right?

    • Changes would be great, but I wouldn’t be able to suggest what changes would help! Had it been mid-flight, I could have kept him quiet by pacing the aisle for a minute or two, but that probably would have annoyed people, too!

  4. dswidow says:

    I still have memories of a flight taken when I was 4 and my brother was 6 months old. My brother started screaming at take off and cried pretty much for the duration of the 3 hour flight, or so it seems in my memory. His crying was audible over the sounds of the prop jet (this was the late 50s). What was different, then, is that the flight attendants took me and made me a “junior stewardess” complete with a little pin. I got introduced to the pilots (the doors were kept open back then) and was entertained through the flight so my Mom could concentrate on the baby. There were open seats so she could have some room. Flying was classy and exciting back then; now it’s buses with wings. I feel for you; whenever I’m on flight with a baby, I always hope for the best. There are many situations where flying isn’t an option. I think people are more unkind now because the entire experience of flying has become a nightmare for everyone involved. Good luck to you on future flights.

    • dswidow says:

      I meant to say – many situations where NOT flying isn;t an option – bad typing and syntax strikes again.

    • Thank you for sharing that story! While I was roaming the airport pre-flight, they had a display of pictures from when the Minneapolis airport opened. Flying seemed so different back then, I would love to know what it was like. It’s so standard for me, it’s hard to imagine the time when it was NEW and exciting like that.

  5. Oh, my dear, I remember flying with babies. Exhausting times. Not a mom’s first thought when she decides to reproduce: “how will I survive flying?” Your concern for the feelings of other passengers is commendable. Most non-moms don’t give a crap about anyone but themselves. And, somehow, your post made me laugh. Keep the sense of humor–it’ll get you through challenges even worse than traveling alone with an infant.

    Congratulations on the FP!

  6. I agree, #$&!% Baby! @!%!% the government!

    Here’s the thing, we were all @!%!% babies. We all made noise, we all grew up, we all get old, we all are guilty of intolerance.

    I will remember your story when I am in a shop and a child is making a @!%!% nuisance of him / herself…

  7. %%!’n congratulations on your freshly pressed! (lol!) I think any parent travelling with a munchkin and surviving is deserving of a trophy, It’s difficult enough to tell a little one to behave for a 45 min drive let alone a flight! 😀

  8. Great post. My kids are past the age but crying kids on a plane are life. As long as the parent is trying, intolerance is unacceptable. Now, letting a child pound the back of me seat ….

    Good post

    • So true! I will never forget this girl on a flight to Vegas, obnoxiously fighting with her boyfriend over the phone. When she finally hung up, we all applauded. I felt bad for the guys sitting next to her, I could hear her most of the flight and I was several rows away. Then she passed out. True story.

  9. bernadette says:

    It’s so tough to fly with little kids. We usually talk to the passengers around us at the beginning of the flight, letting them know that our kids are good travelers but it’s unpredictable and that we would be doing our best to keep them quiet during the flight. Luckily, we’ve found that a lot of times people flying alone are also parents or grandparents and totally understand the challenges of keeping a baby under control on a flight. I think as long as people think that the parent is trying to keep the baby from screaming that most people are fairly sympathetic – then again, that could be wishful thinking.

    • I think most people are generally sympathetic, almost surprisingly so. I think everyone on my flight was cranky from the delay as it was, my kid just didn’t help the issue!

      And then there are people are are just rude.

  10. As soon as they announced furloughs, I considered cancelling my flight because I was worried my baby girl wouldn’t be happy. I can completely sympathize…

  11. I’ve been in that situation, with my first baby, who would not fall asleep around strangers (!!!) and later when my 18-month old wanted to run, and would not sit in his chair. I felt horrible, but eventually I stopped feeling guilty. The only reason air travel is affordable is because we are all sharing the expense of it. The cost of the plane, the fuel, the airport fees, maintenance to the plane, etc, is all divvied up amongst all the passengers. That means if families didn’t fly, air travel would be divvied up between fewer people, and would be that much more expensive. If you really hate noise, charter a flight. Then you don’t have to deal with the rest of us. Too expensive? Then appreciate the rest of us. We are sharing your expenses and making air travel affordable for you. Families need to be able to fly sometimes. I try to help out parents where I can now that my kids are older. I’ve been there, and sometimes you could use a hand.

  12. Oh, my! I remember FINALLY getting our little one to sleep on my lap once and having the guy in the middle seat tap my shoulder and announced that he needed me to move because he needed to use the restroom. “How bad?” I inquired. “Pretty bad.” he responded. Child woke, but I think my airplane neighbor realized he brought it on himself.

    If you haven’t already discovered this gem, you should get a copy of the book “How to Fit a Carseat on a Camel.” It’s full of essays about traveling with children and will make you laugh till it hurts.

  13. I think flying babies and parents should have their own section of the plane. The post probably would have been a good read, but the use of “effing” was such a distraction, I stopped reading somewhere…about pounding window, floor and missing beverage service.

    • The “baby” sections are good in theory, but babies also tend to feed off each other so those in close quarters will all end up screaming and it’ll be worse than if they were sporadically placed.

      Sorry you weren’t a fan of the cursing, but it’s sorta my gig.

      • Well you get bonus points for responding and thanks for your cordial reply; I realize many wouldn’t have been so nice. People write the way They speak and I was taught the vastness of vocab in intelligent beings can often find a replacement.
        …I look forward to reading past/future post. Happy writing

  14. Great story! sorry for all the trouble you had though! You gotta love the problems caused by a bunch of guys in suits that don’t live in the real world, hopefully this sequester eases up pretty soon or stuff like this will get worse. Also, people get so uptight on planes, it’s like they think babies are just acting up, not that they can’t really control it! It’s one thing if parents bring babies to movies and such,but a plane is different.

  15. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. Your writing is invigorating and so deserving of being spotlighted on WordPress.
    You have an authentic voice that is rare on this forum. Keep up the good have a fan in me and I will be following your blog closely. Bravo! Dennis

  16. “Blanket? Nope. Rattle? No. Teething ring? Oh, hell no”

    lol!!! Every mother has been there….I laughed in that, I really shouldn’t be laughing because I know how bad that sucks way!

  17. Great post!!!! i’m barely able to travel in a car with four littuns running free and festive. I don’t think I’ll change that up for plane travel anytime soon. I loved your post and congrats on being freshly pressed!!!!!

  18. Ugh! I have seen furlough be pretty annoying for some people (my family included), but this has got to be one of the most entertaining story I’ve heard yet. Yikes! I’ve flown with a baby and know how much work it can be in the best of circumstances- I’m sure there are tons of moms and dads who can totally feel your pain!

  19. Reblogged this on lowdramamama and commented:
    This hasn’t happened to us. YET. Every time (and LMP flies with us and me, a lot, almost every month) I think is this the time? Is it? Please readers, if I LDM am ever on your flight and your kiddo is having a ROUGH TIME, my sympathy is WITH you. If LMP is having a rough time, I seriously pray yours can be with me.

  20. JoulesDellinger says:

    It’s the snide back-talkers that make me the most furious. I think if I heard a bitchy “well he almost made it” I might just turn around and accidentally smack my carry on into her head. Just saying.

  21. my grandson will be 15 this summer, but when he was 14 monthis old I had to take him to his father, my son, who was in the marines, stationed in hawaii. omg…the trip down to hawaii from los angeles was a piece of cake. he slept the entire flight there…wonderful, right?? the trip was a success of course, minus the one scary incident when my grandson and i were in the family room and this little booger almost pushed the entire entertainment center down on himself. omg, all of the screaming that night (which came from me of course). thank goodness my son had done a pretty good job of putting the thing together really strong and sturdy, otherwise I don’t know what would have happened. woo wee. after our glorious 10 day adventure, we were on our way back home, when this little boy went ape boo boo cra cra on me. he cried and fussed and tossed and turned the entire six hour flight back. goshdarnit. there was a lovely older asian lady sitting next to us on our flight and even though she couldn’t speak one word of english, she did her very best to help me calm my baby down. whew, talk about a flight from heck…omg. when I got home he had struggled with me so much on that flight, I had two pats of butter in my purse. I :really got a kick out of that. so anyone who travels with a small child, you have my empathy and my sympathy. had it not happened to me, I wouldn’t be able to relate…lol and smh…and his greatgrandmother (my mother) made me take this huge teddy bear with us on the flight there and back. I can’t tell you how many people I smacked in the forehead with that thing…hahahaha…his name was gentle ben, of all things…what a hoot!!!

  22. I think babies and parents should sit towards the back of the plane. They are right next to the bathroom in case of emergencies and no one wants to hear a screaming baby in the middle of the plane. At least they are towards the back.

  23. It’s not the mothers fault that the baby is crying and pooping (whatsoever), that’s what a lot of people just don’t get. The problem with me and every female in this world is.. as soon as a baby starts crying the brain starts putting some substances into our blood which causes stress.. Evolution hooray! Now imagine a super tiring flight and a crying baby. I can always feel my stress level going up instantly when that happens (thank you evolution!) and have to remind myself that it’s a natural and normal thing at times..

  24. My daughter recently flew across country with a 9 month old and a two year old. Before she went, she filled ten baggies for the people sitting around her with candy, gum, a pair of earplugs, and a note that said “We are the two little boys sitting near you. We’ll try to be on our best behavior but, in case we’re not, our mommy apologizes in advance.” The people around her were very kind!

  25. Dude, agreed you had a bad experience, but the FAA had nothing to do with that. The FAA fought the furloughs every step of the way. Blame your member of Congress for ineptitude, please! If your cute baby starts crying on the next flight, sit him down in first class next to your member of Congress!

  26. I took my oldest on a flight when he was 5 weeks old. I got seated with him in the front row of coach. I was all YAY! This is great! I plopped down while everyone was boarding. I started nursing him because he was hungry. I had my cover on. A nun walks up and pulls my cover off to get a look at the baby. Hi plane full of people. Look at my boobs. It is totally okay with me.

  27. I’m absolutely dreading taking my little terror on a flight! I’ve never been one of those people that hates kids on planes, what’s more annoying are the adults who seem hell bent on shuffling past you to get to the toilet every 5 minutes…! ANNOYING!

    Brilliant post by the way

  28. melayne says:

    Love your story! I don’t have kids but this story actually reminded me about myself when I was a child and how different people act today. ( I think you’ve inspired a blog in me today). I used to fly A LOT when I was a child. Dad’s family was in OR and mom’s in MN so we did a lot of flying back and forth. I remember when I was maybe four, my ears wouldn’t pop and I was in so much pain. I started to cry and I remember the people around me asking if I was okay, and if there was anything they could do to help the poor little girl.
    These days, the little crying girl is an inconvenience and an irritant and probably should just get kicked off the plane, and how dare the parent not to take care of that crying child!!
    Whatever happened to people helping people? Thanks again for the post!

  29. I sympathize with both the baby and parent. Kudos for surviving a stressful situation. Flights are uncomfortable for everyone, but society seems to think only the comfort of the adult is what matters. I disagree completely. If you are already grown up then you know life is unfair. You know some things just have to be endured. Everyone used to be a kid but so many forget. A flight is already the quickest option a parent has and most parents work super hard to schedule their kids around that flight. Sometimes things go wrong, sometimes the kid revolts. This is not a reason to stop the plane or complain. People need to realize kids don’t have the same practiced coping mechanisms that adults do. With young kids you can’t explain why it is unsafe to run around, why their favorite foods aren’t available, or how the ear pain will go away and has to do with atmospheric pressure. These things just won’t make sense. Society needs to back up and allow kids to be kids.

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