Dad for Beginners

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travel

Children and Transportation

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As a parent, there are certain things you’ll just have to accept are purely and utterly ridiculous and there is simply no changing them. Chief among these is traveling. Whether it be by airplane, motor vehicle, or simply walking from point A to point B, the presence of a small human makes literally any form of transit unbearable. Unfortunately, being a parent means toting your tiny life form around with you virtually everywhere you go. You’d think science would’ve found a means to optimize baby travel but it hasn’t. Transporting a baby is exhausting and cumbersome at literally all times.

The worst experience in the life of any parent is taking your baby on an airplane. Airplanes, for all the fanfare they receive, are nothing more than city buses of the sky and air travel (other than the time saved traveling great distances) has been blown out of proportion as a fun and exciting means of transportation. Infants and toddlers on an airplane thus represent the apex of suffering in the adult world. There are few enterprises that can rival it. Children are inherently energetic and have little self-control over their need to be mobile. A child will never sit still in their seat for the duration of a flight no matter how long. The altitude changes and cramped quarters will be a continual source of pain and immobilization. The relative lack of a lengthy attention span in children will force you as the parent to be a constant source of entertainment. Being trapped in a pressurized metal tube cruising at 30,000 feet filled with the general public while an infant sits on your lap is the leading cause of suicidal thoughts and potential self-harm in adults. The average adult might be of the belief that there is nothing more annoying than sitting near a crying baby on an airplane but there is, in fact, something much more irritating – namely, being the parent in such a scenario. The key in these situations is to remain calm and remember that no matter how much your baby freaks out aboard an aircraft is inconsequential because in essence you’re serving a purpose. You are the physical manifestation of birth control awareness. You are a living, breathing PSA. A true beacon of altruism.

Traveling by motor vehicle, although significantly less stressful than aircraft, is yet another common form of transportation that can be substantially more difficult than normal with a small child. Most federal governments regulate vehicle travel for kids by requiring them to sit in a safety seat based on height and weight that supposedly offers better protection. This is good in theory until you experience the sheer resistance of a child to being confined in a single location. While certainly there are periods of time when a child will be comfortable and docile while strapped in their car seat, there are continuous periods of attempted escape followed immediately by prolonged and consistent enraged caterwauling due to the inability to roam freely. There are two real options for a parent in car-seat resistance situations. The peaceful solution is to allow your child to accept the car seat on his or her own terms by affording them the opportunity to freely traverse the stationary vehicle until they are comfortable climbing into and sitting nicely in the seat. While this option will typically prevent the aforementioned caterwauling, it can also result in the onset of death by natural causes and tardiness to one’s appointment, as it takes the average child between 30-65 years to willingly sit down and stay put. The other option is to exercise your superior strength and firmly place the child in the seat, strapping the seatbelt, climbing into the driver’s seat, and driving straight off the nearest cliff, using the chorus of furious and impassioned wailing as your funeral hymn.

The final and by far most preferred option for traveling with a small child is by foot. Children are typically far more accepting of vehicles like strollers, wagons, baby slings, wraps, and normal walking because it offers them the freedom and utility they crave so much. While you will not be able to travel anywhere outside of about a 3-5 mile radius from your home, you will not be the victim of any public backlash or enraged screeching which will aid your quality of life and lower your stress level. The most valuable way for a parent to preserve their peace of mind and enhance their quality of life is simply to not travel with a baby anywhere unless it is by stroller or some means related to walking. After experiencing the three primary means of travel with children, you’ll quickly agree that there isn’t anywhere worth going anyway that can’t be walked to.

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