Now that one took me a little while to consider. Wouldn't any good mother gladly exchange a first class seat in order to sit by her children? I wavered, I'll admit. Then it occurred to me. We have a Lap Infant. Everything changed.
The term Lap Infant is sort of endearing. It sounds cuddly, sweet, desirable. What it actually means is Really Hot Squirming Baby In Your Personal Space For a Really Long Time. Given that reality, I decided that I could legitimately take the first class seat because there were going to be 2 of us.
The 7 of us staggered onto the plane. I plopped down in seat 2B with my computer, my diaper bag, my backpack of lame tricks to keep my lap infant happy and my Lap Infant. The man I was sitting next to smiled. The rest of first class did not. Suddenly I realized. There is an understanding among first class seaters. 1. You will not be loud. 2. You will not jostle nor bump the seats around you. 3. Your stuff will fit neatly under the seat in front of you. 4. You will not touch the back of the head in front of you. 5. You will only touch the tray table when there is a reason to touch the tray table. 6. You will not be a Lap Infant. My right eye developed a twitch. My "I'm A Really Good Mom In Control" persona switched into high gear. I knew I suddenly needed to be Martha Stewart Entertains A Baby for the next 2 hours so that the people around me, who paid about 10x more for their seats than I did, could feel like their ticket was worth it.
All told, we did all right. We broke every rule but not on a continual basis (number 6 aside). I had a good conversation with the man next to me. I learned that in first class I would get a single Twix bar, a bag of pita chips and my garbage picked up more often.
I learned that economy class is forgiving and smily. I learned that being scrunched together gives a little more grace. I learned that the temperature of a baby does not get cooler even in first class.