Protecting airline passengers from vengeful toddlers
Posted by aogMonday, 08 March 2004 at 20:19 TrackBack Ping URL

Tim Blair has a post via Joan Collins concerning the joys of taking small children through our airline security system.

A well-known woman was about to walk through the X-ray machine holding her 18-month-old infant when she was stopped by a brusque security guard. ‘Can he walk?’ he inquired of the infant.

‘He’s just learning,’ she replied.

‘If he can walk then he’s got to walk across by himself — that’s the rules,’ he stated with the authority of a Gestapo commandant. ‘Put him down.’

‘But he doesn’t like walking,’ protested the poor woman, as the baby was wrenched from her arms and stood on its feet. Bedlam ensued — the poor little chap started bawling his brave little lungs out as the frantic mother was rushed through the sensor to encourage him to follow her, which he steadfastly refused to do, unable to comprehend why he’d been so unceremoniously dumped on the floor.

Oh yeah, I’ve been there. My number two son could walk, but he has a lot of separation anxiety. Although he likes airports and planes, unknown people and new locations make him nervous. Being put on the ground while Dad walked away caused him to freak out, to which he responded by screaming, curling in to a fetal position and waiting for Mom or Dad to pick him up. As a bonus feature, number one son could not only walk, was not only a restless soul who liked to explore, but also had no fear of stranger people or places. Ah, the joys of parenting in our modern security state.

Just last week She Who Is Perfect In All Ways came back from a business trip with our 8 week old child. So she’s hauling her luggage, the baby’s luggage, daiper bag, baby carrier, etc. through security. Trying get all this through security, she asked one of the security types to hold the baby for a minute so she can get her stuff arranged. But no, because that was against the rules. The TSA people had been explicitly told not to hold children, even non-walking ones. I suppose it could be because of liability issues, but it’s probably on the theory that helping out would distract them so that someone could sneak through, like this guy.