Manners.

I love kids. I think their presence is important for the continuity of the human race. I have to admit that without kids, the world would certainly be a different place. Especially in a hundred years or so.

I believe that kids should be given the opportunity to vocalize and be creative and find their path, no matter what it may be, with as much encouragement as possible from the adults around them. A kid that is free to express him or herself appropriately will hopefully grow up to be a well-adjusted, contributing member of society. And that’s what we all want, right?

Please note that in the previous paragraph I said, “express him or herself appropriately.

I try not to judge people based on stereotypes. I do it, but I really tried hard not to do it. But when I saw a scrubby looking family of four, complete with two young tots, headed to the row behind me on this flight, whilst carrying take-out pizzas, I knew it was not going to be a quiet flight. I knew there would be little in the way of napping. And I could really use a nap today.

I’m not going into the intricacies of wondering why an airport vendor would serve full-sized take-out pizzas in an airport terminal, nor am I going to question as to why they brought them onto the plane, especially when we will be landing in relatively close proximity to the lunch hour. I’ve smelled worse food on plane in the adventure with the yak sandwich Earl and I encountered on a flight years ago.

Apparently the child bouncing on the tray table on Friday’s flight was just an appetizer for my airlines experience this weekend. For this scrubby family of four with their airport Chuck E Cheese in tow have kids that are screaming at the top of their lungs, kicking the seat at an almost amusing velocity and, from what I can tell from the sound, trying to exit the airplane by banging on the window as hard as possible while making a shrieking noise not to be equaled by the whine of the aircraft engines.

It’s not that I’m a snob. Ok, perhaps I am a bit of a snob, but I believe that we should train our children to behave appropriately in public and that starts by behaving appropriately at home.

The father of the group has put on headphones and sunglasses and has tuned out what is apparently SNAFU. The mom is gazing at the scabs on her new arm tattoo. The tattoo is that of a wolf head. I don’t think her biceps quite do the tattoo justice. She’s busy, so the two children are doing the aforementioned jumping and screaming and banging on the window.

On lookers from outside might see large letters forming the words “HELP ME” on an iPad in the window of the aisle in front of them.

Frequent flyers are probably chuckling knowingly because this is apparently the way flying works today. I’ve lamented on the loss of dressing nicely and behaving civilly while on board an aircraft. Those days are long gone, apparently, and have been replaced by the McGrubby to go set.

I know, I know, I sound old and cranky and I’m really trying not to be. Earl says I sweat the small stuff. But when you can’t take a needed nap and the flight you’re on doesn’t even offer any sort of entertainment, sweating the small stuff is basically the only thing you can do.

33 minutes and counting.

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