Save Me A Seat

Aircraft seat configurations have become ridiculously important to the little travellers over the years. They talk about it a lot. And when I say talk, I mean fight. I broke up a scrum twice yesterday, the first one was at gate 24 in the Qantas departure lounge, the second was actually on the plane in the middle of the aisle. I was the woman shout whispering “Sit. Down. Just. Sit. Down” and when that didn’t work I ran with the one long deranged sentence ending with a mother death stare “Isaidsitdowndoitnow DO IT NOW!”

In our early years of travelling with children it was all about the basinet and the bulk head. We discussed stroller collection and bottle warming requirements, and rated airlines by their ability to do both. I was sure that once my children were capable of making their own decisions about the chicken or the beef, our aeroplane dramas would come to a blissful end.

I was wrong.

It invariably begins on the way to the airport. “What will the seats look like on this plane?” is regular question, and they don’t mean the fabric. They want to know if it’s three and three, or two and two or if we’re all going to be in one long row. Discussions immediately turn to who will be next to who. Girls and girls? Youngest and oldest? Or the age old favourite “I’m sitting next to Mum”.

And if you’ve ever heard the expression of something being neither your arm nor your elbow, the middle seat appears to fit firmly in this category. It’s not your aisle nor your window. And no-one wants to be the middle child.

Where a window can provide a nice negotiation tool, the aisle appears to be as appealing as an address on the upper east side, however the middle appears to be about as attractive as a bedsit in Kabul and me its war torn foreign correspondent.

The only thing less appealing is sitting next to a stranger, which the fourth little traveller is using as wonderful negotiating tool – this is why he’s now enjoying his two hours of uninterrupted ipad time.

Nicely done my little man. You’ll go far.

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