Monday, March 16, 2009

Starting the Neurosis Young

In preparation for our flight, my wonderful friend Jodi brought me a few toddler books on airports and travel. Since I’ve already explained how helpful preparing Kate for anything new is, suffice to say that I jumped at the chance to read these books to Kate, giving her an idea of what to expect at the airport and on the plane.

One of the books did an outstanding job of covering the entire experience, from arrival at the ticket counter to take-off. As I was reading the book, I got to the part where it covered the security check and the metal detector. I hadn’t thought to talk to Kate about that, but it made sense. Considering my security-check record, we’d likely be chosen for “additional security checks” anyway, so I might as well prepare her for the magic metal wand and humiliation of emptying our belongings out for the world to see. Who put THAT in there? No, that certainly isn’t MINE. It must be because I didn’t keep my bags in my possession since I arrived at the airport.

Yes, back to the book. As the book carefully described the security checkpoint, it said, “…to make sure no one is bringing anything dangerous onto the airplane.” The first time I read that sentence, it caught me totally off guard. Why would you interject such a comment into a children’s book? I am quite certain that Kate has not been pondering the dangerous items that might be aboard our aircraft. I think it is called the bliss of childhood, no? I quickly read that sentence and moved on to finish the book. I never gave it additional thought.

Days later, as we pulled into the airport parking lot, Kate started talking about the airport. Soon, she started talking about the metal detector. In a naive moment, I encouraged her narrative, excited that she knew what to anticipate. Suddenly, she asked an unanticipated question.

“It will make sure we don’t have anything dangerous, right mommy?”

I tried to feign a calm front, while wondering why my darling child chose the freaky part of the book to remember. I brushed off her question, hoping to redirect her attention to a less conspicuous activity.

“Mommy, what is dangerous? We can’t bring anything dangerous on the airplane?"

Once again, I calmly assured Kate that nothing on the airplane was dangerous. MOVE ON KID. We only have a few hundred feet until we enter the terminal and you need to exhaust this question before you draw attention to us.

“Mommyyyyyyyyy, is our suitcase dangerous?”

I ignored her. What else could I do? We quickly navigated the self check-in kiosk and headed towards the infamous security checkpoint. In midst of the chaos and luggage orchestration, I forgot about Kate’s current rant. Within minutes she started chastising the couple behind us, asking if their luggage was dangerous.

A proud parenting moment.

7 comments:

The Gnu said...

haha classic.
i had a friend who forgot to tell her kids about the moving floor (flat escalators). the kids were ahead of her and didn't realise when they got on it.
the toddler screamed out "mummy, the floor is kidnapping me!"

Jeanne said...

They always focus on the thing you don't want them to. I think there's a rule about it in the Toddler (How to Raise Well-Behaved Parents) Manual.

Kara said...

Ha ha ha! That's great! (and really, that is a weird line to have in a kids' book.)

Jodi said...

Oops, sorry! That is funny though and totally Kate! Thanks for the shout out! LOL!

Call Me Cate said...

Leave it to Kate to zero in on THAT part of the story. Though at least she's young and adorable. We used to go into Canada a lot in college (cheap food, lower drinking age) and we always took one of Joe's friends. That is until he made some joke about bombs to when we were going through customs and they searched the car... That was the LAST time he went with us, especially since he was neither young OR adorable.

Claire said...

Oh Kate! She is so cute that I'm sure the people behind her would have willingly admitted to having something dangerous if they had anything. Maybe she should get a job working security!

Laura has informed me that we are flying on a plane next month. Unfortunately I have no idea where or when, or who purchased the tickets for us.

Ann's Rants said...

Five-Year old made me so proud at his physical yesterday. The doctor asked him how to stay safe in cars and he said "you grab onto that handle when your not buckled in..." WTF??