99 Problems

Published on September 29th, 2016 | by Lisa Brown

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Lisa Brown on Playing THE AIRPORT GAME

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My son began flying back and forth across the United States with us when he was three months old in order to placate my mother who has never forgiven us for having a baby on the West Coast instead of the Eastern seaboard, where she and all sensible people live.

My husband and I figured out very quickly how to make our infant-laden travels go a little more smoothly. This included the following:

1) Benedryl (the pediatrician swore it was okay).

2) Throwing our stringent anti-technology stance out the window. A child raised on no screens will be hypnotized for hours when presented with any video. The best argument for screen-free parenting I have yet to hear.

3) And this, the most effective of all: pretending that my husband was traveling with the kid COMPLETELY ALONE, (sorry, couples sans male-presenting types, you are out of luck). A woman traveling with a child is a nuisance. A man is the BEST FATHER EVER. Flight attendants and fellow passengers will bend over backwards to help the “helpless” dad.

Of course, even with these road-tested precautions, there were complications. Like the inevitable TSA meltdowns. Like forgotten and misplaced stuffed animals. Like irrational fear in the face of auto-flush toilets. And like the time I was asked to nurse in the bathroom. Traveling with a child is tantamount to a game of Chutes and Ladders—one step forward, 2 steps back. For those of you who have never experienced the horror of taking a child on an airplane, here is a little taste.

Welcome to my world.

Art and text (c) Lisa Brown, all rights reserved.

PS: If you are about to roll the dice on this particular-circle-of-hell adventure, do tote along Lisa Brown’s adorable new picture book, The Airport Game! It’s been MUTHA-kid-tested and approved. 

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About the Author

Lisa Brown

LISA BROWN is an illustrator, author and cartoonist. Her books include: How to Be, The Airport Book, The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming by Lemony Snicket, Emily’s Blue Period by Cathleen Daly, and Mummy Cat by Marcus Ewert.  She created the “Baby Be of Use” series of board books, including Baby Mix Me a Drink, for McSweeney’s, and the 3 Panel Book Review comics for the San Francisco Chronicle. She teaches illustration at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, but can mostly be found wasting time on the internets: www.americanchickens.com; @lisabrowndraws.
Author photo © Kristen Sard



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