I grimaced as the all-too-familiar sound of my daughter’s signature baby cuss-fests reverberated throughout the cabin of our 757. Her inflection was remarkably similar to a Ricky Ricardo Spanish flipout as she rattled off unintelligible rapid-fire syllables.
Typically, these soliloquies have me in stitches. The invariable final “BAH” and its emphatic arm thrust just kills me every time.
But here and now, all I could muster was a nervous smile at my wife across the aisle, who flashed a quick one back while wrestling our tiny squirming diva in her lap.
Since two lap kids aren’t allowed in the same three-seat half-row, my wife had elected to fly solo while my son and I sat on the other side with my parents. The plan was to take turns and rotate seats as necessary throughout the flight, but for now, with the “fasten seat belts” sign lit and the crew preparing for take-off, we were locked into this configuration. We had booked the flight to coincide with their naptime in hopes they would crash for a significant portion of it, but the TSA security shuffle and unfamiliar surroundings now had them simultaneously wired and tired. And grumpy as hell.
I put my pants on in the morning just like all non-nudists (or Donald-Duck-like cartoon characters)–one leg at a time. Except once my pants are on, I chase little people for 14 hours.
However, for a rare moment, my son was engrossed in reading/eating The Tale of Peter Rabbit and my daughter had her puppy-dog eyes in full force, shaking the five-shades-of-pink Lego bag as if to say, “Daddy, build me a Disney Princess castle so I can get my Godzilla on,” so I decided to seize the opportunity to actually sit, take a breather, and play with my daughter rather than chase whoever decided to go on the lam (as if I were Mary’s Little Lamb).
“Sure, Baby Girl. Let’s play Legos.”
But as I joined her on the floor, I overheard something sounding remarkably like the tearing of fabric and detected a cool draft in a discreet body location.