Thursday, August 4, 2011

Plane Rules

I recently caused some consternation on a friend's Facebook page by casually mentioning that I had allowed my fourteen-month-old to play on the iPad for several hours at a sitting.

When fellow commenters expressed alarm and/or blatant outrage at my parenting choices, I immediately leapt to my own defense. "No! No!" I explained, "This isn't a regular occurrence! In fact, we were in mid-air traveling home from Texas and thus we were functioning under PLANE RULES."


When I first started traveling with kids (about 8 dozen flights ago, by current calculations) I was completely at a loss about how to transport a child through the skies without hideous meltdowns en route.

But then my husband and I came up with the simple concept of PLANE RULES. What this means, basically, is that at thirty-five thousand feet - anything goes. If it makes my child happy and/or distracts him from kicking, screaming, or generally annoying his fellow passengers in ANY WAY, then it's a go.

Before embracing PLANE RULES, I used to pack just enough food on plane rides to meet necessary hunger demands. But these days, we are a veritable airborne smorgasbord of the skies.  The sweets my children cry for following each Easter/Halloween/name that sugar-soaked holiday? Under PLANE RULES, no limitations apply! 

But what about the sugar rush making them hyper, you ask?  Well, first of all, there is now lots of evidence pointing to the fact that sugar rushes are a myth

And second of all, it's PLANE RULES, people. What can I say?

In between all this gaping maw-stuffing, PLANE RULES allows plenty of time for movies! Yes, screen time, which we make a concerted effort to limit while here on Earth, is another free-for-all when we are air bound. Have you ever wondered just how many times a two-year-old can watch "Curious George in the Dark" in four hours? Well, fly with us to New York sometime and you may just find out!

We keep finding new and exciting activities covered under PLANE RULES.

You'd like a 900th reading of "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie?"

Let me consult PLANE RULES....

It's ON!

You'd like to use the iPad for the third straight hour?


We recently had to add an amendment to PLANE RULES when we discovered that copious juice consumption led our older child to engage in copious vomiting upon descent. So PLANE RULES for our family now includes a highly necessary juice ban. 

BUT other than that, PLANE RULES remain in effect whenever we reach our cruising altitude. 

You just better hope we remembered to charge the iPad...


  1. Hello mon petite bijoux -- met you today at BlogHer in my guise as The Woman Formerly Known as Beautiful. I recently tried to explain Plane Rules to a stewardess who simply wouldn't allow my child to fly the plane. Fortunately she took VISA so I could drink my fill of Plane Rules.

  2. I'm with you! Plane Rules means I can have champagne at 8am, that there are no calories in food, that the Minis can eat chocolate until their eyes turn brown and watch TV until their brains turn to mush. You said it!

  3. We have successfully avoided flying with our children so haven't had to use Plane Rules, although now they are 6 & 8 so hopefully shrieking, tantrums, diaper blowouts, etc. wouldn't be an issue. We've driven to California a couple of times with them, so instead we have Car Rules. Kids want to watch 'Beverly Hills Chihuahua' three times in a row? SURE! Just let me take a Xanax first! 4 hours of Nintendo? Bring it! Another stop at McDonalds? OK! We all arrive at our destination mostly sane, hooray!