Note to self: never catch a flight the day before schools re-open. When I boarded my flight in George after visiting the parents in the Southern Cape, I thought I’d climbed onto a charter flight for the under-aged. A few of the rows were literally full of kids: one, two, three, in a row. Adult supervision was an entire aisle away. Isn’t that a breach of aviation laws or something?
There are two grave dangers when it comes to kiddie-infested flights:
1. 1) screaming
2. 2) seat-kicking
On tonight’s flight, I got the latter very severely.
Within seconds of buckling up, the kid behind me started going for goal. I got a left footer in the small of my back that would’ve made Lionel Messi proud. (A month ago, I would’ve someone if they’d told me that Messi was a famous Mafia boss – gotta love the World Cup!) Anyway, so I slowly turned around in my seat, looked very pointedly at the parental figure sitting next to Junior Messi, and raised my eyebrows, as if to say “You’re a bad parent”. From what I can gather, this is most parents worst nightmare, so I felt a great sense of power when I dispensed my “bad parent” glare.
I was really expecting the woman behind me to have turned puce, before grabbing little Johnny’s spasmodic leg and hissing at him to stop. Tonight, however, the parent in question was one of those “don’t-you-dare-say-A-WORD-about-MY-little-Johnny-because-he’s-completely-perfect-you-COW!”
Now, I do love a challenge, so I put on my best fake smile, raised my eyebrows extra high and said between clenched teeth, “Your…child…is…kicking…my…chair”.
“No, he’s not!” replied Defensive Parent.
“Er, yes. He is.”
“No, he’s not!”
“He totally is and it’s driving me insane.”
“No, he’s not!”
The best fun was, this little Johnny was a wiley one. After 15 minutes of kicking my seat, without stopping, he sat there all doe-eyed with his little feet crossed, acting as though kicking a chair were the FURTHEST thing from his cunning little mind. Grrrrrr. Of course, this gave Defensive Parent the opportunity to turn into Smug Parent and to look back at me and raise HER eyebrows. I was then forced to have a bit of a staring contest with Johnny, trying to will the little brat to kick my chair again – to prove to his mother that he was indeed the pest I was accusing him of being. But Johnny was alot smarter than he looked and he just stared back. At this point, I was forced to concede defeat (something I hate as much as I hated losing at Ludo at the age of 5) and I turned around.
Naturally, not 5 seconds later, the football match against the small of my back resumed.
I could just FEEL little Johnny and his over-protective mother high-fiving behind my back. To give the kid credit, he must have been some kind of genius multi-tasker because the kicking continued all the way through the high-fives.
The rest of the flight was spent trying to block out the sound of blood-curdling screams and “you poked my eyeball, man!”
The joys of flying kiddie class.