The flight from Birmingham to Tampa is full of kids. I have specifically chosen to sit right in the middle of all the other parents and children for this short trip home. I'm mainly thinking "Camoflauge". After all, if my child kicks the seat in front of him or unplugs his headphones so everyone else on the plane can learn their ABC's from a family of frogs, at least I can pretend that the commotion is coming from one of the other kids...
But, I have no need to worry. The DVD player has captured my son's full attention, and most of the other children are being bribed by various toys, candy, and electronic devices. It's not until we begin our initial descent into Tampa that things begin to get dicey.
In perfect unison, five children begin complaining of ear problems. Knowing that the cabin pressure is to blame, the moms spring into action. Packages of gum are whipped out of purses and backpacks, and the explanations begin.
The mom behind me can be heard saying, "Joey...take this for your ears." Meanwhile, I'm explaining that the gum I'm handing to Drew will help make his own ears pop.
Joey is confounded. His mom again explains that the gum is for his ears. She's leaning across the aisle to hand him a piece, and Joey finally takes it. I look down at Drew, whose eyes are as big as saucers, and tell him to take his gum, too.
Poor Joey, he's now looking at his mom and literally poking the piece of gum into his ear, and my kid is crying that he doesn't want his ears to pop off!
After a great laugh and the realization that we only have ourselves to blame, we put away the chewing gum and offer some other alternatives to our uncomfortable (and confused) little boys.