By now, it’s a common stereotype – the terrible toddler on the plane. Everyone who has ever been on vacation has a story about a screaming brat of a kid and the parent who simply wouldn’t control them. And while I know that these awful parents exist somewhere out there in the universe, most of the time I wonder if it really could have been that bad. I mean, what parent honestly doesn’t care if their child won’t behave? I can’t even imagine seeing my child scream or throw a fit or annoy total strangers without being embarrassed and irate.

Well now, it’s my chance to find out just how this perception of bratty children got started. I’ve about to take my three year old on her first flight. And I’m completely terrified that she’ll misbehave.

See, I’m trying to figure out just what the expected behavior is for a toddler on an airplane. I’m nervous because if people are expecting me to keep my toddler silent during an entire two hour flight, they’re delusional. Unless I drug her, which I might be considering as long as this isn’t CPS I’m talking to, a little girl is going to talk. They’re kids. That’s what they do. She’s going to want to talk about the airplane. She’s going to want to look out the window. She’ll be curious about everything that’s happening. My daughter is going to talk.

If my fellow passengers are expecting this little girl to hold her tongue for hours, they’ll be disappointed. But one thing I can promise is that my daughter will be polite. I can’t make her zip a lip, but she will keep her voice down. I can’t stop her from saying hello to you, but I promise she won’t badger you while you’re trying to sleep. And I can’t force her to fall asleep, but she won’t be allowed to run up and down the aisles.

I’m hoping that this is enough for the travelling public. After all, polite little girls are adorable, right? I mean, I realize this is terrible, but can we get a pass because my daughter is intelligent and adorable? That should win us some goodwill. And if nothing else, I guess I just won’t check out any internet rants next week, so please file your hate pieces accordingly.

(Photo: Kids Confidential)