Every so often I free-write whatever comes to mind.

I can’t promise you quality. I can’t promise you the feels. I can’t promise you anything, really. Except that it will always be raw, it will always be unedited, it will always be all over the place, and it will always be me. Oh, and it will always be done in my pajamas. Always. Because that’s how I roll.

Hmmm. What to talk about today…

How about… I don’t know… ­babies on airplanes?

Last weekend my girlfriend and I hopped on a plane bound for Phoenix. The flight is barely over an hour. And, since we bought last minute tickets, we weren’t sitting together. I was stuffed in a middle seat somewhere back in the back of the plane. She was some ten rows up, in that same middle seat. God, I hate middle seats.

To my right was an icky, icky man. He exuded sexuality. He also exuded the creepy “I kill people in the woods and stew them up with squirrels” look. Still, I tried to talk to him and hear his story. All he wanted to do was tell me how he wished the window was a busty blonde whom he could lean against instead of such boring, cold plastic.

To my left was a new mother. She had a five or six month old on her lap, and she boarded the plane with a look that said, I’m ready for war.

I know that look. I’ve had that look. Bringing your baby on an airplane can be daunting and difficult at best. The poor things have no ability to pop their ears when the pressure changes, and so they often scream in weird agony for as long it takes that alien what-the-heck-is-going-on-in-my-head sensation leaves them.

Oh, man. It sucks taking babies on planes. Not only are you sitting there the entire time worried about your baby and wanting to figure out how to make it better and less painful and weird for your baby, but you are constantly worried about how the other passengers are feeling about you and your now screaming hysterically baby.

As a dad, I got that, and I didn’t really care. This baby started screaming three thousand feet up and kept screaming for the next forty minutes at least. Mom tried everything to help, but the little guy was miserable. The only thing she didn’t try was conversation with me. Every time I tried to crack a little joke to make her feel better, or tell her it was all good, no worries mama, her head shot forward, her eyes went glossy, and she pretended I didn’t exist.

She wasn’t being rude. She just had some protective something going on inside her head. She was tuning out all other passengers, and that included me, so that she could mentally make it to the end of this flight. I know this because I saw that wall come down twice. Once, when I did the worst thing a giant sitting in the middle row could do, and once at the end when she didn’t have to worry any longer about being stuck on the flight with fellow passengers.