I’m not quite sure how we ended up in Toronto of all places, but we’re here. I assumed we’d fly through Chicago then north into Canada from there. That seems the most direct route. But, we were routed through Houston, then had a direct 4 hour flight from there.
But, apparently, if this happens to you, when they scan your economy ticket at the gate, the screen lights up and it makes a happy little sound and you know you’ve hit the jackpot. The reason I know this is because it happened to Jake, who was standing in line in front of me.
I hoped my ticket would make that happy little sound too, but it made the regular scanning noise, sealing my fate for my cramped little seat at the back of the plane and a lukewarm coffee, if I was lucky.
Jake politely reveled in his win of the day, while the Frenchman behind me tried to talk him into trading seats. But, two minutes later when we boarded the plane, the Frenchman and I decided economy wasn’t so bad after all.
Jake happened to have won a seat right next to a screaming infant. The Frenchman and I bid him adieu and made our own jokes about how he had to sit by the be’be.
As usual, I was seated on the last row of the plane. And as I took my seat, I could still hear the little guy next to Jake yelling.
Some people might not expect this of me, but I’m not really great with kids. Kids are okay, I don’t dislike them. And they don’t dislike me. We generally get along. They smile at me and I smile back. We make small talk with each other. They hold my hand and look at my bracelets. But, I just don’t really know what to do with them.
I’m fine with little babies, they pretty much just eat and sleep. If they’re crying, you have about three options for what they need. They’re pretty predictable.
But, from around 1 on to about 7, kids kinda baffle me. They can almost take care of themselves, but not really. They’ve got strong little personalities they’re developing. They don’t like coffee, they generally don’t like vegetables, they’re just not really that compatible with me.
Jake, on the other hand, loves kids. He knows exactly what they want, he knows how to talk to them on their level, he can engage them, and they love it. If there is a kid in the room, they naturally gravitate towards him.
I settled into the flight, talking to my new French friend, and putting on my headphones to watch a movie. As the flight attendant came to ask me what I wanted to drink, I took my headphones off and noticed that the be’be had finally quieted down.
I resumed my movie, until something caught my attention.
Apparently, Peter’s mom couldn’t get him to calm down, so she handed him off to Jake. Peter’s dad and older sister were sitting in economy and as Jake walked by carrying Peter, the dad thanked him for helping out with the boy.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, Peter had been throwing a fit in first class, in the seat between Jake and his mother. His mom had tried calming him to no avail, but Jake grabbed him up, set him on his lap, and he became content. “Peter likes you, Jacob” was the mother’s consent, and thus, Jacob and Peter were a pair.
The family was Nigerian, and from what I could tell, the saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” is used in the most literal terms there.
Upon getting off the plane, Jake told me that he had been commended by the flight crew for making that flight enjoyable for them and the other passengers around him. He also informed me that he had been invited to Nigeria, in case we ever wanted to visit.
I don’t think we’ll be going anytime soon, but I am having him add Nigerian Nanny to his list of job experiences on his resume’. I’d hire him any day.