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First, let me thank you for only charging me $1300 and change for my three round-trips tickets. (What a bargain for five whole states!) However, I want to be pre-emptive about this situation and let you know that I cannot be held personally responsible for what I may do if you bark at my five year old again.

I kept my cool when my budget ticket prices barred me from pre-selecting seats and my kids and I were scattered across the fuselage like so many spilled honey-roasted peanuts. (Not that we saw any of those since we paid for every scrap of food or water on the flight except water.) I also kept my cool with every $5.99 swipe of my credit card. Twice each flight. For under two hours of viewing. That’s $24+tax each way. I submitted to the $25/bag charge with beaten-down dignity, Yes, sir. May I have another? But you use that tone with my kid again and I am going to lose it.

Contrary to popular belief, I, and every other parent I know, go to great lengths to muzzle our offspring whenever climb aboard the friendly skies. I stuff my pockets with gum. I shell out for each and every animated feature I can afford. I surprise the kids with surreptitiously purchased toys unearthed only after seat belts are fastened and tray tables are locked and in an upright position. I sweat bullets that they’re not going to nap and dream of the uninformed bliss of family travel two generations back. As my Great Aunt Joyce often recalled, “I just lined ‘em up and walked along to each one of them ‘Dramamine for you, and for you…’. They’d pass out for the entire eight hours.”

So yes, his one butt cheek is slightly off the seat as he strains and squirms in the quest for a glare-free view of Mutant Turtles. But he’s firmly seatbelted. He’s quiet. In fact, they could be mistaken for catatonic, riveted to their seat-backed screens as they zone out to one hour and forty-five minutes of full-on media indulgence. So give me a break. Give him a break. Let the plane cruise in peace, with one small foot tucked under.

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