Baby Onboard

I’m currently sitting on a small economy seat at the back of a plane bound for London. I’m tired and feeling rather stressed out after three days at the Frankfurt music fair.

I can hear a baby crying just a few seats in front of me. It’s one of those exasperated cries that comes from being restrained from free movement and not being able to do what babies do best; wriggle and wriggle and generally keep on the move until dropping off to sleep!  I feel for the poor mum who has this baby and another young child with her and is probably wishing she had chosen a quieter Friday night flight!

However much cajoling and ‘coochy cooing’ she’s doing, (what is coochy coo in German?) this baby is having none of it and the pitch and intensity of the crying is rising! We haven’t even taken off yet and the atmosphere around these rows of seats is getting more and more intense.

I would think that 95% of the other passengers onboard this Friday early evening flight are business men and women, probably working in the financial district of Frankfurt. Indeed for all I know, this woman herself is the wife of a successful banker or a successful banker herself, heading home for a weekend in the English countryside.

I can only imagine that this mum would love to stand up and shout something like ‘Look, I’m really sorry ok?! We were all young once upon a time and my little darling is distressed and unhappy. If you think you can do better in calming him down, be my guest!’

At least the BA steward is smiling reassuringly whilst junior is vocalising his discomfort of sitting strapped into an economy seat with no CBBC to keep him occupied.

I’m reminded of my own experience  some sixteen years ago on a flight back from Alicante in southern Spain to London. This flight was quite different as it was full of holiday makers. My own daughter was too young to have her own seat but was sitting on my wife’s lap and was being held with a seatbelt extension. As we had boarded the plane, I distinctly remember offering to be the one to have little Annie on my lap. ‘No it’s fine’ had been the response from my wife, so I sat down across the aisle and started reading a book!

Scarcely had we taken off than we flew into a thunderstorm. Cabin service was suspended with all trolleys stowed and locked. My son was excitedly looking out of the window and letting everyone know how close the lightening strikes were from our plane – ‘that one was really close, oh! our wing is on fire!!’

At this point, our little Annie decided to projectile vomit over my wife and their combined two in one seat. Despite the fasten seatbelt sign, I unbuckled my own belt and jumped up. When the crew member saw what had happened, he allowed me to attempt to clean up the seat, my daughter and my wife! All of this took place through the buffeting and tossing of the plane as we flew through the thunderstorm and across the Pyrenees to our destination. Actually having something to do whilst the plane was bouncing around took my mind off our predicament.

Back to present day and flight BA909 to London. Junior is still crying and wailing but with a bit of luck he should soon fall asleep, that is until the plane thunders down the runway on take off!!