We are generally relatively lucky travelers on our way TO a destination. This is balanced by the fact that we are cursed on our way home.
For instance, we flew to New Orleans for our wedding. We had no problems at all. On the way home we were in the airport for 11 hours because our flight kept getting postponed. Allow me to point out that my house is located approximately 8 hours from New Orleans by car.
When we were on our way home from New York we boarded the connecting flight, and then it didn't take off for 2 hours. We sat in line waiting for our turn for 2 hours before we actually left the ground.
On the way home from San Antonio it was the pee Nazi flight attendant. It took me 45 minutes of intense bladder burning to finally decide, "Screw it. I have to pee and I have to do it now, shy bladder and bathroom issues and all." And then, out of my worst nightmare, she humiliates me in front of the entire plane full of people. "Miss," she screeched, "We can't pull into the terminal until you are SEATED." I explained to her that we had been waiting to get off the plane for over an hour, that we hadn't moved in that time, and that I pretty desperately needed the facilities. She allowed me to pee (um, hi, I'm an adult. Don't really need your permission) and the plane pulls into the terminal WHILE I'M PEEING and the world did not end, except I was mortified.
Anyway, I have a point here. And the point is that this trip was NO DIFFERENT.
They got on the plane in Denver. The flight was slightly delayed, but not by a terribly long amount of time. I didn't really notice them at first, because the boarding was weird. They rushed us all to board, but then we stood in line for another 45 minutes waiting to actually board. At some point, they came to my attention because they were wrestling. Full out, rolling on the floor, screeching, wrestling. I think I saw one of them throw the People's Elbow at the other one. And their mother, "Yes, they are 17 months a part, so this happens a lot." She's cooing like its totally adorable that her hellspawn are trying to gouge each other's eyes out. Hell, I'm not a mother, maybe it IS adorable. I try not to judge. Then the running and the screaming. And we haven't even boarded yet.
They are, of course, seated directly behind us. Where the oldest of the little antichrists proceeds to kick the seatback for 3 straight hours. 45 minutes before we land, this conversation happens:
"Do you think I should brush your hair?"
"We need to brush it before we see [whoever they were visiting]. Will you let me brush your hair now?"
Repeat until you feel the urge to beat one of them with the brush. Probably the mother. Because after the 15th time they had the above exchange, I wanted to turn around and say, "Good grief, Lady, she's 3. Just brush her gd hair already." By the time the child has given in to the bribe to wear a tiara in exchange for brushing her hair I am totally over new age, super sensitive parenting. Seriously, I cannot recall a time in my life when my mother ASKED me to brush my hair. She just...did. And I'm not totally psychologically scarred. Also, it seemed a little weird, because it's one thing to give the child a choice and then go with that. It's another to give a child a choice, but only pay attention if they make the pre-determined choice that you have made for them. I mean, if you already have decided that one choice is unacceptable, why even make it a choice?
Do you know what else my mother never let me do that did not, in fact, ruin my entire life? She never let me run around and around and around the baggage carousel shrieking. And she never let me actually climb INTO the part of the carousel where heavy luggage comes crashing out.
By the time we got out of there I was no longer irritated with the children. But I did want to smack the parent's heads together. And I know, since I have no kids, people will be like, you don't have any idea what its like. But there were 2 parents traveling together, here, and we aren't talking like, the child was tired and had a 15 minute tantrum that is completely not the parents' fault. We are talking about a situation in which neither of the parents even ATTEMPTED to exert ANY control at all.
Best. Birth control. Ever.