Pedoaviophobia

I’ve always had a fear of flying. Nothing that keeps me off planes, but I sit in my seat silently freaking out about every bump and clatter. And then, after 9/11 I had a new thing to worry about…the people sitting around me. I know that the odds are really really low that anything will happen to me on an airplane, but I still grip the armrests and break out in cold sweats for the entire flight.

There’s been a new development in my Aviaphobia. One that significantly decreases my odds of things going my way on a plane. It’s called The Sassy Princess.

Planes and kids are always a nervewracking mix, but in between the last time I flew and now, there have been a rash of family unfriendly airline policies spotlighted on the news. First…apparently, it’s possible to be held on a plane for an indeterminate amount of time without basic services like food and water. This winter when all the planes were being held on the tarmac due to bad weather, all I could think about were the moms with small kids sitting on the flights. They must have had a double whammy…inconveniently stuck for hours on end, sitting in a seat. But, I bet they also had to deal with all the looks and comments about their frustrated kids from other passengers.

The second thing that scares me is…the power that flight attendants are wielding in allowing people on or kicking them off the plane. Specifically this. And this. And this. And this. I mean, seriously. Kicking a kid off for throwing a tantrum? Saying “Bye Bye Plane”? Nursing? Coughing? Really. Really?!

Heaven help us all when I take the Sassy Princess on the plane this Friday. Chances are low that I’ll be sitting next to a terrorist, but chances are very very high that I’ll be sitting next to a tantrum throwing, loud talking 3 year old with a very very bad attitude. Something like this:

And this:

And probably this:

The thought of successfully navigating an airport, flight attendants, and a long plane ride makes me feel like hiding under my bedsheets and never coming out. Like hurling. Like hiring a nanny to accompany me and then pretending not to know her or The Sassy Princess when all the tantrum throwing chaos on the plane begins. It gives me Pedoaviophobia…fear of flying on planes with a small child. I don’t think there’s an official classification of this specific phobia, but there will be if the airlines continue to be free and easy about tossing out moms and babies willy nilly.

So, you know, if you hear about a loud and uncooperative kid being kicked off a plane with a harried, nervous, jumpy, frazzled, freaked out mom, you’ll know my flight didn’t go very well at all.