My Write Road - SL Baum

... MY WRITE ROAD - S.L. BAUM ... I am a mother, a wife, a former teacher, and a writer! Crafter, baker, taxi driver.......

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Scattered Thoughts that need to escape my head!

I am in the process of finishing the third book in my YA Paranormal series ... and I just got back from a family vacation. During the 9 days away I kept hoping that no good ideas would come to me while we were on vacation. Because I didn't want to lose the ideas and I didn't want to spend family time writing. But, about 7 days into it I woke up at 6:30 in the morning... while on vacation... in Key West... when I had been up quite late the night before... and all I could think about was the book.

The characters were talking in my head and going places and doing things and someone new even came into the story... all this was happening as I lay groggy in the hotel bed at 6:30. I think I lay there for at least an hour with all these thoughts running around my head before I fell back asleep. HORROR. I fell asleep before getting any of it down on paper. These thoughts are lost sometimes. But that day, thankfully, they weren't.

When I woke up again and the kids and I were getting ready to go down to the beach, I grabbed the hotel notepad and pen and then I shoved them down into the beach bag. As soon as we were settled into our chairs, hubby settled himself at the poolside bar (for lunch without battling the seagulls), I pulled out the pad and started short-handing everything that I could remember... everything that had kept me from sleeping early that morning.

Now I am back home and I am trying to translate all these notes into interesting and readable chapters of my book. I hope it works :D

Friday, June 1, 2012

Kids and Planes

Okay... so I should be writing right now... I should be finishing up Book #3 in my series so it can get it to edits and betas by July - and I still will - once I get this off my chest.

In the past few days I have read a few articles that have been about (or referenced) unruly children on airplanes and parents that still don't seem to get it.
In this article - the author lists her second regret as...
2. I'm also sorry that I once had evil thoughts about the kid on the plane who kicked my seat the entire time from San Francisco to NYC while I was trying to be calm and listen to Bjork. I should have been happy that kid wasn't screaming, like my kid did the first time we all flew on a plane. Now, any parent I see having a "hard time" with their little one on a plane or on any type of public transportation I have complete sympathy for and only send calming wishes so THEY are happy.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. Yes, it was nice that the kid on your SF to NY flight wasn't screaming (as he shouldn't be), but it isn't acceptable that the child was kicking your seat the entire flight. That kid's parent should have stopped him. A child shouldn't be allowed to substitute one bad behavior for another just because it is the lesser of two evils. Maybe that child wasn't annoying the whole plane - but he was annoying the heck out of one passenger for an entire flight. It shouldn't have been allowed.
In this article - A family was asked to remove their 3yo from a plane because he was having a melt down and his father couldn't get him under control.

It seems that once the boy was asked to turn off his iPad for takeoff, the child had a melt down that the father couldn't control. He refused to sit up straight in his seat and was laying across it with the belt at his neck. The boy's mother (who was in first class with the couple's other child) had to come back to get the kid under control - but the family was still asked to leave. The dad thinks that it is outrageous. But my question is, why couldn't he control the son? Why couldn't he calm him down? And if the child has a tantrum about the iPad during takeoff procedures, can you guarantee that he won't have another during landing when he is again asked to turn off his electronic devices?? And if (God forbid) the kid did throw a tantrum at landing, wouldn't sit with his belt on, and the plane had to make a crash landing... that child could be all the more worse off.

And instead of getting re-booked on another flight (which the airline was offering to do)... the family chose to skip their entire vacation (because the kid didn't want to fly again - or so one of the many articles about this story claims). Because hey - we should always let a 3yo dictate our plans - right?

Apparently the family of a 2yo was also asked to leave a flight earlier this year.

I have been on those flights, the ones with the kid who screams and cries and refuses to be still, it is not pleasant for anyone - especially the parents of that child. On a flight from NY to AZ, when my two oldest children were 2 and 4, there was a mom travelling with her child that was under 2. She had nothing to entertain the child and (I think) she hoped that she (the little girl) would sleep for the entire flight. The mom brought no snacks, no toys, nothing. She just held tightly to the screaming girl trying to will her to sleep. The man seated next to them asked for a seat change as soon as we were in the air. Then the mom laid down over the entire row, holding her daughter with her and repeatedly told her to go to sleep. Finally the flight crew came over and brought some juice, then some snacks, then played with the little girl - all while the mother sat there and did almost nothing. I don't think that child care should be part of a flight attendant's requirements.

As my husband and I exited the flight, a fellow passenger from the front of the plane (we were in the back with the unprepared mom) said, "Rough flight, huh?" and stared at my kids. I plainly said, "Oh no! That wasn't one of my children. They're still back there."

I flew by myself once when I had a 2yo and a 4mo old (this was pre 9/11 and they actually allowed my husband to bring me to the gate, board the plane, and install the carseat for me - then he went home - what a change from today - so I'll admit I had help with that part). It was a full flight, a single man got stuck beside me, and he eyed me, and my 2yo, and infant lap child, warily. I looked at him and said, "Don't worry. My kids will be good." He said okay, but I could tell he didn't really believe it. When the plane landed he looked at me and said, "You were right," pleasantly surprised.

I am now the mother of three - we have flown with each and every child - from the time my first was under a year old - and I have strong opinions about this topic. My opinions may be severe - but they are mine. As a parent it is your JOB to do everything within your power to make your child content enough with his/her surroundings, to know what is expected of him/her, to bring along a multitude of supplies (toys, snacks, comfort items, and general entertainment), so that he/she has a good flight.

When I flew with an infant - I had a bottle ready during takeoff - the sucking eases the pressure on their little ears and makes it more bearable. They can't pop their ears yet, so the sucking does it for them. When I flew with a toddler I brought along lollipops for the same reason - again - they are too young to understand how to pop their ears, but they can suck and it'll help pop them for the kiddos.

I always have a bag full of supplies when I travel. Electronic devices are not enough - because they can't be used all the time. Bring a book, a toy, a special snack... something that they have never seen until they are on that plane. New is always exciting.

But first and foremost... teach your child (from a very young age) that a tantrum in unacceptable behavior. When my kiddos were little, and we were in public, if they started to cry about something, I would immediately tell them to cry quietly. Sounds weird? Well, it worked. I told my little ones that I understood that they were upset, and if they wanted to cry about it - that was fine - but nobody else wanted to hear them cry about it and therefore they needed to do it quietly. I had a friend with me one day when this happened at a craft store, she looked at me and said, "That's genius!" My daughter was upset that I wouldn't buy her something and I went through my "Cry Quietly" talk - my daughter did - and my friend was pleasantly surprised.

I can't tell a toddler not to be upset, because the mind of a two, three, or four year old is upset by many things. But I can tell a toddler to keep themselves under a portion of control. This is why they have to hold our hands in parking lots, not stand up in the seat of a shopping cart, and not throw all out tantrums... BUT - guess what - tantrums happen to the best of us. When it happens we have to leave the restaurant, exit the store, go to the lobby of a movie theater, or (no matter how inconvenient) leave the plane... IF we can't get our child to calm down very quickly.