Toddler Taming on Flight 911

“Ladies and gentleman, welcome to Flight J231 with Frontier!” I looked up at the very polished woman in a floaty. I sat in-between a man with headphones and a woman with a toddler on her lap. Before the flight took off, I realized I might not need the book I brought for entertainment.

“He can sit here.” I offered, gesturing towards the space between our seats. The little boy had been crying and squirming around since I sat down. I think his mom might’ve been hoping for an empty chair. No such luck. We moved the armrests up and scooted to the ends of our seats. Headphones squirmed a little, but he understood.

This caught the little boy’s attention. He was almost two, she said. We’ll call him Little Tod (for toddler). Little Tod stared at me with big eyes for about three seconds before he slowly reached out and slapped my leg. He looked back quickly to see how I’d react. I was so surprised; I laughed. I felt like a petting zoo llama. He smiled. “What are you doing?” His mama asked him. That slap must’ve built a bond somehow, because for the rest of the plane ride–Little Tod would cry if he wasn’t sitting near me or on my lap.

It was the most exhausting, but fun plane ride I’ve ever been on. Little Tod reminded me of my little sister, Janelle. When I met her in Africa, she was about the same age. I let him draw in my notebook and pop bubbles on an app I downloaded for him. His mom was all too happy to let me babysit.

After entertaining him for an hour and a half, I needed a nap. She took him back and passed him along to other family members in front of us. I kind of wondered why she didn’t choose to have them watch him… but I’m not complaining! 🙂 I slept like a rock. When I woke, I woke to a bit of a commotion.

Someone was having a seizure in the row catty-corner to us.

The stewardess called overhead, “Do we have any doctors flying with us today?” There was a pause. No one volunteered. The one stewardess tended to him while the other asked us (not overhead) if we had any medical insight about seizures.

My mom used to get them sometimes when she had cancer. I remember keeping her from hurting herself once when I was little. “Make sure he doesn’t swallow his tongue, okay?” They looked at me, then back, not exactly sure what to do with that piece of information. (Someone in our marching band died from that during a seizure.) I felt lame, but no one else was saying anything. They called overhead once more for nurses or anyone medical. This time, a lady came. A nurse. A stewardess came to grab a stethoscope from the storage bin above us. The nurse calmly handled everything in that moment. It was amazing. She knew what to do when no one else did. Watching her, I wanted to be a nurse too.

When everything had calmed down, I felt two little eyes peering at me. Little Tod had noticed that I wasn’t sleeping anymore. His Aunt gave in to the writhing and reaching. She looked back at me as if to ask if I wanted him. “Hello again.” He got a little more adventurous near the end. Headphones even looked up and they played “high-five” for a solid ten minutes. He wandered over on his lap to stare out the window. That’s when I nabbed this:

We landed soon after. Before I got off the plane, the dad thanked me and gave me his card. They were from around the same area. “Here’s my name. I sell cars for a living. If you ever need to buy one in the future– Call me. Seriously.” He looked at his kid and smiled at me, “I’ll give you a good deal.”

Nice nice nice. Everyone is so nice.

I bid them farewell and headed off to reunite with my dad.

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