Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Flying Toddler

Found on Craigslist while shopping for airplane accessories for the Boy's room:


My name is Josh - I'm 2 years old. I live with my mom in Toronto and my dad lives in Calgary. I want to spend lots of time with both my parents and my parents are looking for a woman to accompany me on flights Calgary/Toronto. I would only need you to accompany me about 4 flights a year as my visits with mom and dad will be very long. My mom or dad will meet us at the airport - all you have to do is stay with me on the plane. My mom or dad will pack me a meal and I can feed myself. I am a self-entertaining child and I can open up my own books and look at pictures. I will probably sleep most of the time. When I'm awake we can babble and giggle with each other.

If you fly Calgary/Toronto two or more times a year for business or pleasure, perhaps this might be for you. My mom would require some references and a child welfare check.

Thank you Josh

Does this bother anyone but me?? The Boy is two-and-a-half and I would have reservations about him flying with a relative, much less a complete stranger. I guess this could be thought of as a different version of a Nanny gig, but STILL.

That being said, this mother doesn't sound like she's looking for a nanny-type person, it sounds like she's looking for someone who happens to fly between Calgary and Toronto, and wouldn't mind taking a 2 year old with them. Is Josh toilet-trained? Judging by most male 2 year olds I've met (a surprising number, actually), I'm going to venture a guess that he's not. Or, at least not reliably. What happens if he has a poopy diaper? Does he just sit in it?? And, he may be able to open his own books, but I'm assuming he doesn't know how to read them. He may be very mature for his age, but taking a 2 year old on a plane is not the same as taking, say, an 8 year old.

I appreciate that the mother may not have the time/resources to take her son and herself to Calgary several times a year. I fully realize that I don't know her circumstances - that this may be her only option. Without, I hope, coming across as judgmental (not my intention here), I have to say that this ad makes me VERY uncomfortable.

That, and the fact that I found this advertisement on CRAIGSLIST.


LoryKC said...

Desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess but...Wow

Suz said...

My twins are just under this age, and would have a very hard time being left in an uncertain situation with a stranger. It does bother me, too, because what are they looking for? If the ticket would be paid for the escort, then why doesn't the mom or dad just go? If the escort would pay for their own ticket, then they're asking alot and, my experience is, that when you ask alot of strangers without offering much, then you typically get very little. Who would suffer? The 2.5 year old who can't say anything. Not right.

kgirl said...

I find this pretty shocking. And a little sad. Mostly for Josh.

NotSoSage said...

Hey, if he can write, he can probably read, too. And make origami. A four hour flight with this kid? Sounds like an easy gig.


painted maypole said...

wow, that is very scary. And if you have ever been on a plane with a child of any age you know that it is very rare for them to sleep most of the time or self entertain. They cry, complain about their ears, kick the seat in front of them, open and close the window, and want to be paid attention to.

Frankly, I'm tempted to call child protective services. Yikes.

Poor Josh.

Kyla said...

Wow. No way. I'd have a hard time letting my five year old fly with a close relative...much less my TWO year old with a stranger!

And while I do know a great many well-behaved two year olds, I don't know any that would be self-sufficient on an airplane ride. Heh.

jen said...

i could never do it. but i'd imagine most moms couldn't. she must be in a terrible, terrible bind.

but still.

Beck said...

That's abusively irresponsible. Just flat out is.

Christine said...

i find this very, very weird. if she can afford to pay someone's airfare (Which I am just guessing is the case) can't she pay for herself to make the trip? don't worry about being judgmental. we know that is not your intention. sometimes we just have to take a position and stick with it.

bren j. said...

Good grief. That's just weird. I hope for her son's sake, that she finds somebody trustworthy!

crazymumma said...

no. your instincts are good.

ewe are here said...

Wow. The parents must be desperate to have posted this on Craigs List. Parents ending up on opposite sides of the country after a divorce must be brutal for the kids.

I flew cross country on my own when I was 4, California to Florida, to visit my grandparents for the summer. I had a brilliant time, but it was back in the day of direct flights and cheerful flight attendants who had time and attention for solo flying children.

From what I've seen, kids flying on their 'own' often to behave much better than many with their parents... it's the 'behaves better with people who don't know them as well' phenomenon we see all the time (school, nursery, friends' houses). But, knowing what air travel is like these days --delays, stops, changing planes, packed full-- I think this is a little too young.

mamatulip said...

Wow. I'm pretty shocked by this. I mean, different strokes for different folks and all, but like...he's TWO.

b*babbler said...

Wow... that is scary and sad at the same time.

How sad that a mother feels she has to advertise for someone on craigslist because of the family situation... and how sad for the son that not only are his parents divorced and in two different cities from such an early age, but that he has to "fly well" because he will be with a stranger. And flying? It's scary... I can't imagine doing something that scary as a two-year old with a complete stranger beside me. Hell, I barely like flying as an adult with a complete stranger beside me.

Lisa b said...

there are lots of people I think are completely facking nuts but I guess I don't know their situation. I am just having trouble envisioning ANY kind of situation that would explain sending a two year old by themselves on a plane.