When we last left off, I was about to introduce you to the five people you meet on a transatlantic flight with an eleven-month-old (or at least the ones we met). Now that the scene has been set in Part I and so much time has passed from the first post that we have actually made *another* transatlantic journey in the meantime (!), without further ado:
1. The Airplane Nonno
Across the aisle to our left was perhaps the oldest, most adorable couple I’ve ever seen traveling together transatlantically. They were Italian but also spoke good English, and M took to the man, who was sitting on the aisle, even before take-off. He was chatting with her in both languages and calling her over–and she actually went to him, which was quite rare for her at the time. He was darling, M loved him, and thus the moniker, “the airplane nonno.”
2. The Nice Italian Girl
M and I were in the middle section near the back so there only three seats across. I had an aisle, M in the middle, and then a nice Italian gal named Francesca was on the other aisle. And we lucked out big time with her sitting on the other side of M’s carseat as she continually helped me re-prop M’s head up as it bobbed forward and all about during her two naps on the plane. She even gave us her brownie from the airplane dinner. Bravissima ragazza!
3. The Grumpy Flight Attendant
There’s always one, and this flight was no exception. The “fasten seatbelt” sign was illuminated for our *entire* flight because of potential turbulence, so every time M so much as stuck a toe in the aisle, I got “Ma’am, she can’t stay there,” or “Ma’am, you’re going to have to keep her out of the aisle,” and such. Which is quite easy to do with an 11-month-old on a nine-hour flight, of course.
At one point, she also came over and asked M why she wasn’t sleeping. Mind you, M barely cried the entire flight and had zero actual meltdowns. Needless to say, M just shot her the side eye in response to her question. I have no idea where she gets that attitude from.
I’d love to tell you there was an equally pleasant flight attendant on the plane, but there just wasn’t. None of the others were particularly unpleasant, but they weren’t what I’d call baby-friendly either. No one, for example, knew which bathroom had the changing table in it, and I was told to just walk around and find it. Except that I had to SIT DOWN because of potential turbulence, which we never did have.
4. The Loud Sigher
A man who was sitting to our left and a bit behind us had his headphones on most of the time, but M seemed to sense when he would take them off because that is when she would fuss a bit. And that is when that man became The Loud Sigher.
Because, as I know from much experience, Loud Sighing is so effective in getting babies to calm down.
5. The Guy Who Pretends There’s No Baby Behind Him
You know how some people make a big deal over a little one near them on the plane, try to entertain, play peek-a-boo, or even, yanno, say hello? Yeah, well the dude sitting in front of us and the right on the aisle not only avoided eye contact with me but also with M throughout the flight. And he succeeded, which is actually pretty impressive if you think of how often your eyes instinctively flit to whatever it is you *don’t* want to look at.
Kudos, sir! You successfully ignored an 11-month-old for nine hours!
Admitted: I may be harping on this because part of me is just jealous.
All in all, it was a pretty good flight for M’s first experience flying across the ocean . . . obviously it didn’t suck too bad because we ended up doing it again eight months later. That, erm, didn’t go nearly as well.
But those stories are for another time.