To My Fellow Passengers, From My Fussy Baby

paddington-1771898_1920As the holidays approach and the busy family travel season is upon us, it is once again time to start preparing our airplane apology letters. As is tradition these days (at least since 2014), we write a  from our children’s perspective, apologizing in advance for our disturbances. We then package it in a gift bag along with some candy, gum, earplugs and maybe a gift card. Now that there are countless viral stories going around about these apology goody bags, some even including handy printable templates, I thought I’d offer you my own version. Feel free to copy and paste. And don’t forget to set the font to Comic Sans for maximum adorableness!

Hi Friend!

My name is _____ and today is my very first flight! I’m super excited, but I’m afraid I can sometimes be a bit fussy and loud. In case I forget to use my indoor voice, please accept these earplugs so that you can enjoy a peaceful, quiet flight. To thank you for your patience and understanding, my mommy and daddy have also included some treats. Yum! We hope you enjoy them, but if not, we will be in  row ___, where we’ll be happy to exchange them for new snacks that better suit your preference or dietary restrictions.

If, however, you’ve just eaten and are not in the mood for snacks, I’d first like to apologize again. My mommy certainly doesn’t want to leave you to suffer a fussy baby with a bag full of useless snacks! Please feel free to instead pick up a gift card to a movie theater or coffee shop of your choice.

Still not happy? Cash! Please accept this envelope of cash in case any of our recompenses seem unfit to you. The last thing we want is for you to feel under-compensated for having to endure the aural trauma of a crying baby!

That should be enough to make you happy, right? Unless you noticed that I do have a slight cough. I mean, we of course considered adding cough drops, hand sanitizer and zinc supplements to your goody bag, but it would probably exceed the carry-on size limit at that point, and also WHERE DOES IT END!??

Why are we apologizing for things we can’t control? God forbid you should have to deal with the public in a public space! There are sometimes people in your presence who bother you  – some of them small people who are given to random and erratic changes of temper that are beyond their and their parents’ control. Deal with it. That’s part of existing in society.img_8673

The mom who started this trend is well-intentioned, but her idea is misguided. I’m sure she just wants to be nice and feel less guilty about her noisy baby, but she is inadvertently promoting the ideas that babies should be expected to stay quiet (we cry!), that parents must ensure their kids’ full compliance (impossible!), and that people are owed something if they’re inconvenienced by the public (ha!). She’s setting a precedent that families with babies have something for which to apologize. NO. My parents won’t apologize for having kids and they won’t expect to you to apologize for disliking kid sounds.

For a more quiet flight, I suggest bringing noise-canceling headphones. For a flight where you are entitled to silence, I suggest a private jet with a strict no kids policy. Even then, your friend, Dan, will probably finagle his way on board and spend the entire flight talking about an exciting business opportunity that is definitely NOT a triangle scheme. No fussy babies or germs, but Dan will be expecting an investment. You can afford a private jet, after all. Oh well. It’s just a suggestion.

So please, keep the candy, but only as a bribe for you to quit lauding and normalizing these airplane apologies. Now, if you’ll excuse me, my binky has fallen out and I’m about to lose my damn mind. I’m a baby, remember?

Have a nice flight! 🙂

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