You are seated on a plane, watching the remaining passengers board when you notice them: arriving mother and child. The offspring come in all shapes and sizes. Never mind them for now, keep your eye on the mother. The future of your trip - whether it is about to hold reading, working, taking a nap - or its sudden alternative, sitting with a screaming child - is unfolding before your eyes. Watch closely because what you really want to know is whether that mother is coming equipped. Hopefully, she is carrying a small, colorful backpack. If not, run for cover.
I love children but the quarters up here are a little too close. It requires a basic level of parental intelligence - say mid-range- to know that when you bring a child on an airplane you'd better keep him happy. This is not rocket science but common sense in America has been in need of a booster shot for at least the last decade.
Wechsler's Rules for Air Travel with Children: