On January 14th of this year, Gideon and I boarded our first airplane together. Gideon was as prepped as a 2 year-old could be. He’d heard the stories, read the books, and watched the videos about airports. He was so calm and quiet going through security and waiting for our first flight. I could tell he was taking it all in, and wanted to do everything “right”. My little Type A boy.
Gideon could not have been a better travel companion. He was such a trooper. I thought we’d have a longer layover before “the big one”. I planned on letting him run around a little, grabbing a bite, changing him into some comfortable PJ’s, all before boarding. But … nothing goes as planned sometimes. We barely had time for a diaper change before boarding the longest flight, and Gideon was tired and hungry. He held himself together so well, and just went with the flow. He only cried as we boarded the plane. When I got him situated and fed, he was back to being his content little self. I had mentally prepared him for having to sleep on a plane, so he had no trouble falling asleep with his head on my lap. He was so exhausted, he would have fallen asleep anywhere at that point.
I didn’t sleep a wink on the Miami to La Paz flight, but I’d mentally prepared myself for that too. Gideon didn’t sleep great, but at least he was horizontal. He woke up in a really cranky mood, and the poor little guy was done with airplanes. I got some breakfast in him, and the iPad came to my rescue. While waiting for the third leg of the trip to take off, I found out that they had gotten our seats mixed up. The flight attendant approached me on the plane, and he told me that they had Gideon assigned to a seat 3 rows behind me. So, I looked at him without blinking once. There must have been 10 seconds of silence between us. I stared, waiting for him to state the solution to the problem. He stared back, waiting for me to get me and my dark circles together, and take my 2 year-old to his assigned seat 3 rows away from me.
After the 10 seconds had lapsed, and realizing that this was going nowhere, I opened my mouth. “So, what are you going to do about it?” He stared at me confused and said “Well, your son has that seat over there”. I have to add that this whole conversation was in Spanish, and most of the passengers boarding were Spanish speaking women. So at this point, everyone is staring at the flight attendant completely horrified. I’m not sure if he was new, or just having an off day, but I decided simple talk would be the best way to get through to him. And I was just done with him, to be totally honest.
“I’m not going to sit away from my son.”
“But your seat is here, and his is over there.”
[self-talk happening]”Then you need to do something about it, because we are not sitting apart from each other.”
At this point, some lady stranger friends start chiming in and putting this flight attendant fella in his place. I give him one last chance to be rational.
“My son here is 2 years old. He is not going sit away from me. Please figure something out.”
Without a word, he left the plane, and didn’t get back on.
Other than this one incidence, every single flight attendant, across multiple airlines, and across 8 flights total were incredibly helpful and supportive.
Two days after leaving Cincinnati, we arrived.