Back Home

Our Hawaiian adventure is over. Arrived back on the east coast at Newark, New Jersey at 6AM. Too early for the trains to run. Feeling like a day just up and disappeared, I was too tired to wait for them to start running, so we rented a car, one way, at the Newark Airport and high-tailed it down the New Jersey Turnpike for home. The good thing about a two week vacation is you’re kind of glad to be home, and don’t have to keep living out of a suitcase.

The latest Hawaiian vacation trend seems to be taking the kids along. Let me amend that — taking your screaming kids along. You’d almost have a hard time believing we’re in a recession, that people have money for the whole family to go on vacation. We took driving vacations to such exciting destinations as Ocean City, New Jersey, Lewes, Delaware (I never did get to see the screen door factory, though) and one trip to Florida (we drove). When my parents went on vacations that required flying, we got dropped off at the grandparents.

Standards of public behavior for children have also definitely gone downhill. If my parents had taken us on a plane, there’s no way I would be permitted to run up and down the aisles, and wander the plane annoying people. On the flight out, the parents were busy getting liquored up, while their kids were having free reign over the incredibly cramped 757. I think if you have your bratty rug rats with you, and you’d rather drink than parent, you ought to be required to buy drinks for the whole plane. I believe I  will take this up with the FAA.

I think the root of this problem is you can’t smack your kids in public anymore, and parents seem to think there’s no problem with imposing their kids on the rest of the world. I would have gotten smacked if I had behaved like that. It almost makes this tame:

18 thoughts on “Back Home”

  1. It does make that tame. We had a version of that on our flight from LAX to Kona. The little brat wouldn’t sit down even when the flight attendants were preparing to strap themselves in, and grandma decided she would just say, “Laura, Laura, Laura, come on back to your seat now, Laura. Come on Laura, it’s time to stop playing. Laura, Laura, come on now. Laura. Laura. You should be back in your seat. Laura.”

  2. Seb, at least you only had to endure it for one trip… I do about 1-2 a month and trust me they are on EVERY flight… Parents don’t give a crap what the kids do. I had one kicking me in the back for three hours and when I complained to the mother (yes small m), she cussed me out for interrupting her movie watching!!! When I complained to the FA, she told me, “we all need to get along”… The sooner I can retire and NEVER get on another airliner, the better. Glad you got back in one piece!

  3. We’re flying to San Fran for the Gun Rights Policy Conference on the 24th. Your stories about screaming kids are starting to scare the heck out of me! And here I thought the only thing that was going to raise my blood pressure was the TSA.

    Markos had a great post on it last week on the Munchkin Wrangler.

    It was about a restaurant on the North Carolina coast who had a no-screaming policy. Sounds about right to me.

    Glad that you and Bitter are home safe and sound.

    1. Heh, good luck with the travels. :) We’re home, but definitely not with it yet. Jet lag, return to work, and getting the house organized again make coming home from a long vacation decidedly less exciting.

  4. Welcome back!!

    Bose noise cancelling headphones!! Best $299 dollars I ever spent! I get a window seat, and slip in and out of coma while flying. I hear nothing, unless I am listening to music or a movie. But then I only hear that.
    As for kids kicking? If you want to stop a kid from bothering you, engage them in conversation. The Moms go crazy with protection gene when a “strange man” starts having a nice time with their kid. Skeevy? But it works for me.

  5. The bias against physical reinforcement is society wide and propagated by schools. I have a friend whose SO teaches k-12 and rested her hand on a screaming kids shoulder during a tantrum (the kids, though if I’d been there…). During the after action legal review she was informed that that was a restraint (I believe partly because she happened to be between kid and door at the time but don’t quote me on it) and she wasn’t trained to restrain a child. She asked who she could call in the event that a “restraint” (meaning resting a hand on a childs shoulder for ~5 seconds) became necessary and the (new) principal said there were two people trained at the school to perform that function. Teacher acquaintance then has to -ask- who they are… turns out one is no longer at the school and the other is a school counselor who’s at the school ~20 hours a week. This is a well funded, rather well rated, suburban district. I know the people involved and absolutely trust the re telling of this that I heard. I would be so fired…

  6. This post says more about the author than about the plane.

    When Sebastian was a kid, only rich people traveled by air. You might as well complain that wealth correlates manners.

    Besides, crankiness about others’ children increases with age until about age 60, and decreases rapidly thereafter.

  7. This post says more about the author than about the plane.

    What does it say exactly? Who likes to be subjected to other people’s screaming kids for 10 hours?

    1. I can assure you that it was not only rich people traveling by air when I was growing up, and I wasn’t allowed to go nuts on a plane. It’s about basic standards of behavior. Letting your kids run, scream, and throw their crap around the seats and aisles while you sit and throw back a couple of beers and a few small bottles of liquor to relax while the rest of the plane suffers is not a complaint about wealth, it’s about common courtesy. Not to mention, there aren’t a ton of poor people taking trips to Hawaii during a time that the rental car company said was their busiest period in three years.

  8. Airline travel was substantially more expensive when I was young because of the CAB and its cartelization of interstate airlines. But without question, a whole generation or two of children has been raised with no manners at all. It was quite startling and refreshing when we moved to Boise in 2001 to have teenagers that we didn’t know say things like, “Excuse me” and “Thank you.”

    I don’t think that legal obstacles about spanking are an issue. The real issue is that a whole generation of spoiled people (many Baby Boomers) haven’t a clue how to behave themselves, and they certainly aren’t going to therefore expect much from their children.

    I recently talked to a college student whose mother texted her to let her know that Mom and Dad were splitting up. Classy, what?

  9. One of our favorite restaurants in the Jackson Hole area has these rules printed on their menu. I have been there when they have asked people with undisciplined children to leave.


    After 6:00 P.M. In consideration of others, parties with infants, restless toddlers, obnoxious drunks, or those hopelessly addicted to tobacco will be seated in a private room upon availability.

    Undisciplined Children* will be impounded and sent to the local taxidermist or fed to the Yellowstone Wolves!
    *includes running in and out of the restaurant, crawling under the tables, throwing food, toys, or unreprimanded screaming and crying.

    OLD children and Oenophiles (people that love wine) are welcome anytime!

    Corkage fee for your wine $35 per bottle, $100 if it’s on our list or in a box! Exceptions made for truly special bottles.

  10. My kids feared me too much to have ever behaved like that in public.

  11. “My kids feared me too much to have ever behaved like that in public.”

    But every parent should be his or her child’s best buddy! That’s the way to make every kid the most wonderfully* behaved little tike imaginable! :-) :-) :-)

    *”wonderfully” in the older sense of filling you with wonder.

  12. Welcome home!

    I hear you on noisy kids on planes and underfoot at airports.

    I never understood why it was ‘discrimination’ to have a child-free resort, but apparently any American resort who dares to state such a policy is pounded into submission by angry helicopter parents and bureaucrats.

    This is always worth checking ->

    Thank God for the Caribbean!

  13. This is part of the reason I always go first or business class when flying/taking the train. (The other is that the legroom, I damn near died last time I was in coach.)

    Of course, flying an average of once every five years may mean it’s a viable option for me and less so a frequent flyer…

  14. My kids have always gotten complements on how well behaved they are, and I refuse to be bullied into not hitting them in public when it is needed, and they know it.

    The Bible says to spare the rod and spoil the child, I don’t think I need a better authority than that.

    I’ve talked with CYS people and they have told me that as long as you do not leave a mark on the kid it there is nothing wrong with correcting a child.
    One thing that works very well is to take ahold of the muscle that goes from the neck to the shoulder and press in your thumb with reasonable force. Leaves no mark and can stop most kids in their tracks. As will taking ahold of their hand and forcing it down at a right angle to their arm, try it on yourself, hurts like the dickens on most people and causes no real harm.

    Personally I think you should be able to sue the parents of those un-controlled monsters for pain and suffering!

  15. When we arrived at SEA from KOA the Alaska Airlines flight attendants made a point of thanking the children on the flight for being so well-behaved, and congratulating their parents.

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