Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Divorce! Kids in Executive Class!

No, sorry, not me. My relationship is a-okay.

But me and Canada? Not so much. I'm divorcing Canada because of the outcome of Canadian Idol.

Imagine my surprise when I received a Blackberry from my Canadian Idol Judge friend that said, "Nancy Silverman has left the building."

I was still in Provence. I couldn't do a thing! I had all these thoughts like, "Oh mi god. What if she has left the building because I was in Provence and couldn't text message my 15 votes in for her."

To which I say, "I'm so sorry Nancy. I will never again go away during Canadian Idol. Ever."

Enough of Idol. I will still watch. I will root for Eva and Steffi D. But it won't be the same. Pout.

And while I'm in the role of being a spoiled brat, I'd like to share with you all the experience of my trip back from Provence. Or at least the first leg of it, from Nice to Frankfurt.

It turns out, that while I'm now a mommy myself, and so can empathize with any other parent traveling with small children, I still don't like it.

Sure, now when I see some little kids coming in my direction, I don't give them the evil eye. I do smile. I give that "Oh, aren't kids so precious?" look.

Because kids are cute. Until they are not so cute.

This is what Air Canada did to me. Pout. There I was sitting in aisle four. Well, another mommy and two of her kids, age one and three, were in aisle three. Right in front of me.

In aisle five, right behind me, was this woman's husband and their five year old. First off, what the hell is Air Canada putting an innocent bystander like me (and the poor fellow sitting beside me) in the middle of this mayhem? Pout. Pout.

Why didn't they put the whole family together?

I had kids pulling my hair from behind and kids looking at me in front and dropping their bread over the seat. Ok, for the first five minutes, I was cool with it. Then I really wasn't.

I asked the father if he'd like to change seats with me to be closer to his family and that way they wouldn't have to pass the one year old over my head. (Hint Hint. I can deal with either my hair being pulled from behind or being stared at and thrown bread at from in front, but not both at the same time!)

He very nicely said, "Thank you very much. But it's a short flight. I think we'll be ok here." (Which I think translates into, "Um, this is my free time away from my one and three year olds! I'm going to enjoy it!")

I know a lot of people who travel business class and hate when they see little ones up front.

I don't.

You know, there are a lot of very good kids out there, who will sit quietly, put on the free socks, and watch the damn video. I figure, if you pay for your seat, it's your seat. Have a toddler in there, have yourself in there. You paid for it. It's all yours.

Depending on my mood, when I travel back and forth from Calgary and Toronto, I'll sometimes book business class and sometimes economy.

Frankly, it's better with a toddler to travel economy because they can lie down on you and you somehow, which I'll admit is quite frankly stupid, feel less guilty when your child acts up.

Business class is always full of people with briefcases giving you the evil eye because, for them, flying is actually time out of the office and a time to enjoy the peace.

And it's hard not to feel bad when you, let's say, are traveling to Maui and you see a couple obviously celebrating their honeymoon and your kid is pulling their hair. I love The Dictator, but, yes, I wouldn't wish for anyone to sit behind her or in front of her, especially after someone paid $15,000 for the flight.

But, if I know the flight is during the time The Dictator will be wide awake anyway, I'll trade in my 5 billion points for business class seats. I have to use them up sometime. And, you know, that little glass of orange juice at the beginning makes it worth it. Not.

Still, I've realized the only thing worse than traveling with The Dictator is being stuck in a row in between a family, with three kids under the age of five.

Which is also why I may have to divorce Air Canada too. Again. Pout. Frankly, my relationship with Air Canada has always been rocky at best. But we always keep getting back together. It's, like, the worst relationship in the world. I swear, if Air Canada were a man, any therapist would say, "Cut your losses. Move on. Don't call him ever again."

And, yet, here I am, debating whether to pick up the phone, to book The Dictator and I tickets to Toronto. Pout.


Blogger Accidental Lawyer said...

Yikes! My husband and I just got back from Paris a couple of days ago, and I can totally emphathize with your AC hatred. Nothing but hassles. We both travelled tons for work at one point and have gazillions of points -- otherwise we would never fly with them. Ever.

I don't mind kids on flights at all(even when they cry -- hey, I get pretty cranky when I fly, too!) so long as parents make a minimal effort to keep them amused; the vast majority do, but there are those few like the husband on your flight who use the time as a way to ignore their kid/kids and let either their partner or other passengers "babysit", which I think is just rude. I can't believe he wouldn't change seats with you, or at least stop his kid from yanking your hair. Boo to AC for putting you in the middle (although that does not surprise me in the least).

Shame about Nancy (I hadn't heard that); from what I heard she was the only one with any real style on the show.

3:40 PM

Blogger Mother Bumper said...

Ah yes, the tempestuous relationship most Canadians have had with Air Canada. But like a spouse with low self-esteem, we keep going back for more. I'm guilty of it also. But that's not what I'm here to comment on. I just wanted to pass along my condolences regarding Canadian Idol. I know how much you were rooting for Nancy. So now that Nancy is no longer an option, how about voting for Chad Doucette? He's a good clean kid from Down East and he's really giving it his all! OK, enough chatter, I've got to go eat some cake now (thanks for the birthday wishes today!).

4:27 PM

Blogger Sheena said...

I prefer to liken my relationship with Air Canada as the secret mistress. He treats me indifferently for the most part, but surprises me with wonderful treats just when he senses I'm getting fed up. He knows I'm a sucker for nice wine and free wireless and magazines and that any other relationship alternative I have is with a starving struggling artist going from paycheque to paycheque. He has great friends in other countries who also treat me nicely. But deep down I struggle to keep my dignity, and feel dirty inside for feeling like a sellout.

5:42 PM

Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

Never flown anything other than coach (economy), even overseas. Call me cheap.

I don't understand the seating logic either. I wish that man would've traded with you, but I applaud you for even offering. I've known other bloggers who asked passengers to accommodate their families by allowing them to sit together (and scoring an exit row seat - more legroom - or escaping a middle seat) and were DENIED. Why are people unnecessarily jerks?

6:24 PM

Blogger Mom101 said...

Dude. Darling. Rebecca. Book the ticket. Everyone is entitled to their travel time with their children, if not their quiet time withou them. Signed, another frequent business traveler who gets just a teeny bit crazy with misbehaving kids in the front cabin with the exception of Jodi Foster's children who, while they ran around a bit, were really pretty sweet.

8:00 PM

Blogger JennC said...

The last time I flew to Canada, it was with Air Canada and the flight was terrible. The plane itself smelled of puke. It was a long 8 hours...

2:19 AM

Blogger metro mama said...

I hate flying at the best of times. I've been in the situation you describe and it's the worst.

That was so rude of him not to trade seats with you.

11:17 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If always flying on Aeroplan points, then what choice is there? But, if you're not, then why not fly another airline within Canada -- say the one with MUCH happier in-flight personnel (even if the jokes are cheesy) -- and where there are often lots of (good and bad) kids flying??!! And with TV for the Dictator to watch (and now even movies) ...maybe you can catch up on Canadian Idol during a flight. Come on, you live in Calgary now, too ...go for it...! (No, I don't work for the unnamed airline -- I just like it!)

11:23 AM

Blogger Heather said...

Half those people don't even pay for those seats, their companies do. They need to zip it, and bite the bullet.

12:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your blog...
But, Air Can does not fly from Nice to Frankfurt.
Maybe I misread

12:22 PM

Blogger Ali said...

the husband and i LOATHE air canada and vow, after each bad experience, never to fly their friendly skies again, and yet, every single time...we fly it.

yes...i'm bitter about Nancy getting eliminated (before Ashley? before Kati? what the hell?)too. i'm an Eva fan. i hope she wins.

12:41 PM

Blogger Lisa said...

You should fly Air Transat sometime~ it will make you miss Air Canada, and that's saying a lot!

2:06 PM

Blogger sunshine scribe said...

I have broken up with Air Canada more times than I can count. But I keep taking the bastard back. Next week we'll have a one night stand and it'll suck and I'll be mad and then I'll forget and do it all over again...

8:11 PM

Blogger hautemama said...

Write a complaint letter!! They like giving free stuff to unhappy customers!!

10:27 AM


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