I love traveling with my children, especially now that they can schlep my bags. But there was a time when I actually had to haul them around the airport, and that kind of sucked.
Nothing ruins a brand new pedicure like a toddler who’s broken free of his LoJack-inspired five point harness stroller restraints and is stomping on your airport-inappropriate footwear in an impromptu game of “Slam My Sister’s Face Into The Moving Sidewalk” to pass away the painful minutes of a four hour flight delay due to a malfunctioning windshield wiper.
Trust me on that.
As I stood solo* in the security line this morning en route to L.A. with a cold latte in one hand, a People magazine under my arm, and my iPhone camera balanced on top of my fingertips in an effort to find out if the plane was gonna crash through some kind of free palm reading app called “Lose Those Lines On Your Face, But Use The Ones On Your Hand!” I came across something I found incredibly disturbing.
To the naked, un-potty trained eye, the picture below captures the look of a happy, self-reliant two year-old, and that’s where I have a problem. When I traveled with children back in the Mesozoic Era, there was no such thing as a happy, self-reliant two year-old. Not even close.
Problem #1: The Ride
This genius contraption actually has a collapsible handle and is designed so that the toddler-in-transit is positioned backwards. Perfectly placed, she requires no face-to-face human interaction and can be rocked to sleep while her parents use three unencumbered hands to enjoy unlimited Mai Tais and plot their upcoming vacation using the free palm reading app their two year-old downloaded on the way to the airport.
Problem #2: The Portfolio
This cherubic child is holding an iPhone, probably a 5. As her parents wait patiently at the gate three Mai Tais down, she’s killing it trading oil futures. While they get tanked, she’s getting rich, lining mom’s and dad’s IRAs as she doubles down against the Fed.
Problem #3: The Luggage Tag
Notice that this kid is pre-approved as a carry-on. This means her parents get to send her down the jetway with the strollers, and stow her under the bulkhead area of the plane with all of the tiny, kenneled rat-dogs while they suck down even more Mai Tais, use the palm reading app to predict coastal surf conditions, buy a vacation home in Cabo with all their extra cash, and power nap.
Why do I have a problem with all of this? Because it’s not me. Not even close. But it could be you. If you’re wondering whether or not to have a child in this uncertain economy, I say go for it. Things have changed. While I bask in the glow of a child-free trip to California funded entirely by American Express, you’ll be catching waves in Mexico, drinking Mai Tais on your lanai, and wondering what took you so long.
*Solo: verb /ˈsōlō/ Perform something unaccompanied.
Notice the bold, italicized letters in the text. This refers not to some mind-crushing revelation that will change your life. It’s about a mind-crushing revelation that changed mine: travel without children.
If you liked this post, you might also enjoy: