Friday, September 12, 2008

Ben, Booze and Benadryl

Ben, 4 months before the booze incident

I've had several e-mails since yesterday asking if it's true that I got Ben drunk.

Yes, it's true--but I had a really good reason!!

In September 2001 we were living in Germany. I decided to take Ben, who was 2, and fly to New Hampshire to visit my family. Our flight was 2 legs: Paris to London and then London to Boston.

Ben slept for the one hour Paris to London flight, but then started acting up while we waited for our flight in Heathrow airport. So...I slipped him a Benadryl. It normally knocks kids out. I even had a doctor recommend it.

An hour into our 4 hour trans-atlantic flight, Ben starts going crazy. Squirming, kicking, screaming, crying...Nothing I did calmed him down. I walked with him, held him, you name it. He just became more and more agitated. A kind family in front of us, who were getting the brunt of his fit, offered him things to play with and eat. He was not having it. People around us were offering to pay money to be moved up to first class to escape him. They were yelling at me to calm him down and make him be quiet--you know, because I was enjoying having him like that.

By the second hour I was crying as much as Ben.

The flight attendant came over at one point and said--to a two year old, mind you--"You need to sit and mind your manners now. It's time for high tea and we're tired of this nonsense." (The effect is better if you read that in a snooty British accent).

About thirty minutes before we landed, one of the pilots came back. He informed me that my return ticket would be honored, but that in the future I would be banned from British Airways. Banned!!!

We finally landed in Boston, getting dirty looks and fingers pointed at us as we waited for our luggage.

I told my mother, a nurse, about what hapenned and she told me that sometimes Benadryl makes kids feel like their skin is crawling rather than making them sleepy.

Now she tells me.

While we were visiting, September 11th hapenned. I couldn't bear the thought of a repeat performance on the way home, especially with everyone nervous and edgy after the attacks. I was pretty certain his behavior was a result of the Benadryl, but I couldn't be positive.

So, my mother suggested we get him good and liquored up.

We bought a fruit flavored wine cooler (which has a pretty low alcohol content) and mixed half of it with Hawaiian Punch in his sippy cup. I had him drink it at the airport.

That kid slept not only from Boston to London, but all the way to Paris and during the 2 hour car ride from Paris to our house in Germany.

Sometimes a mother's got to do what a mother's got to do.

*If you try this yourself and something goes wrong, I am not liable and you're an idiot for getting harebrained ideas about drugging your kids from a blog.


  1. We were told to give Laura Tylenol before we took off, but we didn't. We had her pacifier, food and the Tylenol at the ready, but she just looked out the window while the plane taxi'd and then was sleeping by the time we took off. She did the same routine on the way back (which was a great thing because I was with her by myself on the way back and there were 3 of us on the way there). Poor little guy. I remember you telling us that story when you returned.

    Cortney and Scott had a similar issue flying. They were changing Jordan's diaper in the bathroom but had the door open because they didn't have enough room. The flight attendant told them they couldn't change the baby because it was near a "working kitchen". So, they were like he stinks. So, we either change him here and inconvenience people for a short time or let him sit in poo and inconvenience everyone during this long flight. They're still irate over that.

  2. Wow! I guess those international flights aren't nearly as tolerant or "family friendly." You were certainly brave to travel that far alone with a small child. After reading your story, I will never fly international with kids without another adult with me. I have enough of my own nightmare stories just traveling across the country. Anyway, that was quite a story. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I am SO sorry! I have had bad experience flying, but that is awful! We had to give Ainsley benadryl along with steroids flying to japan because she'd had an allergic reaction. It didn't make her sleepy. Luckily she wasn't nearly as bad and it was a military flight, everyone's kids were cranky.

  4. Benadryl wakes me the heck up! It does that creepy crawly thing to me too. Poor kid.


Be nice or I'll punch you in the taco.