As a traveling parent, assumptions are made about my child before she even enters a room and how we will respond. Eyes turn towards families then roll with disgust as a child sits down at a lounge or in a first class seat. When years of patience, training, and preening come together, it is the proudest moment for a parent.
We Take Our Daughter Everywhere
On all but one trip, the Freddy Awards in 2016, we have taken Lucy with us. It started when she was just eight weeks old on a trip to Curaçao and has extended to more than 27 countries, many of which we have visited several times.
If we go, she goes.
Our Travel Puts Her In Adult Situations
As a result of our travel habits, Lucy might find herself at a plated dinner in the Cathay Pacific First Class lounge in Hong Kong or sitting through a conversation that bores her senseless with hotel management as we return to favorite properties and make new friends. She loves sitting in “the bed” seats from business class, after all, she has to fly in the same cabin as her parents.
She is spoiled. She travels better than we did until we were in our 30s. She has no idea the kind of hell we put ourselves through to save $10 when we were younger. All the same, where much is given, much is required.
Quiet Section of the Lounge
While The Club at Pittsburgh International Airport is expanding soon, for now, the lounge can be very full. On a recent visit with my wife and daughter, we were permitted entry but it was so full that the only seating left for three was in the dark-lit business center among a dozen other professionals all working away.
The nervous parent in me emerged as we carved out space for us and I took her by the hand to the buffet to get some food. My little angel grabbed broccoli and olives (I should take some cues from her) and we walked back to the seat hand-in-hand discussing that we needed to be quiet back at our seats.
For an hour, she dipped broccoli florets in ranch and the only sound she made was biting into a crisp stalk. Others in the lounge took phone calls from the desk while they worked – as they well should. It’s a lounge, not a library.
Still, my parental pride brimmed and overflowed. Her behavior in travel situations is the result of hard work, lots of preparation and resisting the urge to slap those other passengers that roll their eyes before my daughter has done so much as entered the room.
You can postulate that my not-so-humble bragging is through my rose-colored glasses; you can assume my evaluation is overstated. But you would be wrong.
To my fellow parent travelers that are nervous about taking their kids into lounges or premium cabins: it’s your duty to raise them in a manner for which they know how to respond in that environment. And to my fellow loungers, don’t assume that kids will make a mess or ruin your business call – they may delightfully surprise you.
What do you think? It’s easy to find examples of kids misbehaving in lounges but have you found some that have been excellent? Is bad behavior the responsibility of the kids or the parents?
Come see our presentation on Family Travel Like the Pros at the FTU Signature Series in Seattle March 9-10th, 2019. You can save $25 through midnight tonight (PST) by using the offer code: LOTSALOVE.