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          In case you were unsure where I stood, I completely side with Monica.

      

          I am jaded, honestly, and that may be the only reason I am taking her side.  While I agree that airport security is a necessity and no one should be exempt, some things are just silly.

          When I flew home from CA, we had a similar run-in with airport security and I was furious.  I had Mega in the travel system – stroller and car seat.  The stroller was to be checked at the gate, and he had his own ticket and seat, so he would sit in the car seat.  It’s an eight hour flight, so we had a diaper bag.  Mind you, on the flight there, we used another carry-on bag.  I didn’t empty every pocket and wound up taking a box cutter on board without realizing it.  The bag I used was also the bag I used to use for work – I worked in a warehouse and a box cutter was a necessity.  Having not used the bag in over a year, I never thought twice about checking to see if the box cutter was still in there.  Anyway, we flew to CA without incident…  Carrying a boxcutter.  When we got to CA, I found it while looking for something for Mega.  I felt terrible, and left it in CA.  When we went to the airport, we ran the diaper bag through the X-ray machine, just like we had the first time (so again, how they missed the box cutter, I will never know).  This is where things got ugly.  The first time, I just had to pop the car seat off the stroller and let them pull the stroller through the metal detector.  Then I had to hand Mega, in the car seat, to an agent on the other side, passing him and the car seat through the metal detector.  Since it had metal buckles, they passed over him with the wand and sent us on our way, just after I, too, walked through the metal detector.  At the airport in CA, Mega was dead asleep and they made me take him out of the car seat…  Our bag went through the x-ray and then they took it and held it.  I am trying to hold Mega while detaching the car seat because they want to see each piece and wand over it.  Um, hello…  Stroller = metal frame…  But whatever.  At this point, they are physically searching the diaper bag.  They pull out a pair of blunt, round-tipped baby nails scissors and very small baby nail clippers…

          "Ma’am, we’re going to need you to hand your son to the agent and step over here while we pat you down."

          I informed them I would do no such thing.  I was not going to hand my son to a stranger, thank you very much.  At this point, they took Mega and I to the security office.  It boiled down to stripping Mega to his diaper, taking off my shoes, leaving the stupid scissors and nail clippers at the airport, and us getting on the flight by the skin of our teeth.  I had to take the cover off the car seat, fold and re-set the stroller 3 different times.  It was insane.

          While I agree that having a child doesn’t make you automatically a non-threat, it is ridiculous to make a mother and her infant jump through flaming hoops.  Clearly, there was nothing in Mega’s car seat besides baby butt.  I told them they could keep the damn scissors and clippers as soon as they "detained", but by then, they informed me that we would have to be searched.  I felt like I was being treated more severely simply because I had a child.  If I had walked through that metal detector with a nail clipper in my pocket, they would have asked me to surrender it and been done with it.  Instead, I was patted down, had to undress my son, surrender items we owned, fold and re-set the stroller, re-pack our bag, put a now very grumpy, very unhappy, squirming infant back into his car seat, and then run for our flight.  It was very stressful and over the top on the part of the airport security team members.  I am not a criminal and while I have nothing to hide, having an infant an infant gear doesn’t make me more likely to smuggle something aboard a plane than someone who is only carrying a brief case, flying alone. 

          And people wonder why I am always looking at mother-child friendly initiatives.  Crap like this!

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