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Explaining the airplane safety card…to my three year old

on September 13, 2014

One of the requirements of parenting is answering questions. A LOT of questions. Some questions are funny and some questions we wish we didn’t have to answer, but we do. Here is how a Q&A session went on an airplane flight from SEATTLE to PARIS with my three-year old daughter.

My three-year old got a hold of the airplane “Safety card” from the seat pocket in front of her. It didn’t help that the flight attendant pointed it out but I guess that is their job. I’d like to say this card held her attention for about an hour. That would even seem long…but no! It held her attention from Seattle to Paris with about a two-hour nap break mid-flight. That’s over EIGHT HOURS!!! The question and answer session went something like this. .

Trigger warning: If you are afraid of flying or the like this post will not be helpful…

Q&A about the airplane safety card. With a three-year old. The questions in bold are my little sweets and the answers are mine. The italics are the comments I was really thinking but couldn’t say for obvious reasons.

Is this a plane? Yes. What’s the grey stuff? Smoke. Why is there smoke? Something got too hot. Is that fire? Yep. In the plane? Yep. Why? Well, sometimes when things get too hot there are flames.

Shoot, now I’ve done it. I should have said that was mist or fog or anything but smoke….

Is the plane landing in the water? Yep. Will we land in the water? I really don’t think so. But then there is a slide, see? Yes, I see it. What is the lady doing? Sliding down the slide. But it has the red no circle, why? Well, that means no sitting at the top, you have to jump down the slide a little. Why can’t I just slide? We hope we don’t have to slide. Why? Well that means the airplane had to land somewhere else instead of the airport.

It is not a fun slide!! It is a death slide, if you aren’t dead already. You never want to slide down a plane slide!! It is not a good thing. AT ALL!! No sliding!

But there is a boat, can I go in the boat? No sweetie, we won’t be going in that boat. Like Grampys boat? No. Not really. Why is the man hanging off the side of the boat? Maybe there are other people in it. Like kids? Maybe kids. Then why can’t I go in the boat? Because I told you that we hope we don’t have to. Why? Because that means there is an emergency. What’s an emergency? When something doesn’t go right.

At this point our plane neighbors are snickering and I’m thinking….It is not a sky and sea adventure. That is a rescue boat to get in if the plane crashes. That is not a fun No boat, no slide. Nada!! Oh dear god, please let’s never have to go in the rubber raft boat after sliding down a plane slide. I guess though that would mean we didn’t burn up with the plane or die on impact. Maybe it would be a good thing to make it actually to the boat. But then there is hypothermia, starvation, dehydration, sharks…god, we’d just die there. That man hanging off the side may not have legs, because they were ripped off in the crash…that’s why he isn’t in the boat. Can’t get in. No raft, no slide, no water at all should be associated with any airplane flight!!

Is this a picture of pointy shoes? Yes. With the red no circle? Yep. So you can’t wear pointy shoes on the slide? Nope.

Just don’t wear heels when you fly ever. Not a practical footwear. Running to catch almost missed flight…if you have to for a job later in life, pack slippers type flats for the plane. You will not be wearing your heels when you’re crawling through the smoke about to jump out of a burning plane. Your fashionable shoes won’t matter! Jimmy Choos save no-one.

Why is the lady crawling on the floor? Because of the smoke. Why is there smoke? Because something got too hot. You told me not to crawl on the floor, right? Yes, I did because it’s dirty. Is she getting dirty? Yes, probably but if there is smoke it’s ok. Remember the air is less smoky by the ground. But I still do not want you crawling around on the ground. But what if there is smoke? Then it’s ok.

Oh my god!! We already talked about the smoke already. We hope there is NEVER EVER SMOKE!! And stay off the gross carpet of the plane. Please!!

Is that how you open the door? Yes. Can I open the door? No! Kids don’t open the door.

Reminder to self to never sit by the doors on a plane with my daughter, EVER!

Is that a picture of a phone?  Yes. With the red no circle? Yes. So no phones allowed? Yep. Is that why you won’t let me play a game on your phone? No, that’s because you can’t use the phone on the airplane.

Is that a suitcase? Yes. With the red no circle? Yes. I can’t bring my backpack down the slide? Nope, not if we land in the water. And we don’t want to slide!! Are we going to land in the water? I hope not. But then we could maybe use the slide? We don’t want to ever use an airplane slide. But what if I really like to slide? When we land we’ll go to the park.

Enough about the slide!! It is not like jump planet or any of the inflatables you love! It is horrible and we do not want to slide. No more safety talking. It won’t probably matter if the plane is on fire or in the water. We won’t even know because we are unconscious or worse! I don’t want to talk about this anymore.

Put the card away. Ok Mommy.  For the love of God!!

(5 minutes later the card is back out and the Q & A started again). She must have it memorized…ugh I dread when she’s older and I have to revise my less is more answer system 😉

I do believe the benefits of seeing the world out-weigh any chance of an airplane emergency 🙂

airline safety card


* thanks wordpress  kill your darlings editing challenge for getting me to think more about airplane safety than I thought I ever could 😉

6 responses to “Explaining the airplane safety card…to my three year old

  1. I remember those years, but with children in the late teens and early twenties it seems so long ago. What a fun post to read, children are SO full of questions (and a flight between Seattle and Paris would involve a LOT of questions) 🙂 Thank you for bringing along on the flight. It was almost like I were sitting across the aisle listening in! 🙂
    Have finished my “One Lovely Blog Award” compilation. Thank you for the award. 🙂
    Here is the link to my blog post

    • Megan L. says:

      Thank-you Carl! It was pretty funny…She just kept going on and on. She really wanted to slide that airplane slide ; I just didn’t want to scare her so I was trying to make it sound not quite as bad as it would be if there was an actually emergency….We love to travel so there are many more flights in her future. I just figure the risk of any airplane mishap is out- weighed by the benefits of seeing the world 🙂

  2. Nicola Young says:

    I had the same with my five year old. Boy does he ask a lot of questions. Can’t imagine how the conversation would go if he ever met your daughter!!

  3. I admire your patience. I really do. I think I would have lost it about half way through. My son didn’t touch that card when we were flying. And at that point in time he wasn’t a chatterbox, now he is and now we have a gazillion and one question (mind you he is 12 now).

Thoughts?? :)

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