Bart’s Airplane Rant… Sort Of

Ok I am going to rant on myself this time. Why do I have to get so stressed out when I fly with my kids? Am I the only one? From the time I leave the house until the plane touches down wherever we are going, I am a basket case. I am so afraid of being “that family.” You know the ones. The kids are kicking the back of the seat in front of them, screaming, crying, throwing a fit etc. Oh my goodness the walls are closing in just thinking about it. And what’s the deal with kids automatically pooping their pants the second we take off? Is it the altitude? Man, nothing better than taking all of the plane’s air hostage with a nappy ol’ diaper.

Right now we are on a plane headed to Disney world. MercyMe is performing tomorrow night, and we are gonna stay for a few days afterwards. I have already told my kids if they act up on the plane they will never see Mickey Mouse again. Too harsh? Drastic times call for drastic measures. I seriously do not want to be this way, but maybe it is just part of being a guy….maybe? Are there any other dads out there that get stressed out about this or am I alone? I would love some ideas on how not to be this way. Since taking up smoking is not an option, I must find ways to deal with my stress.

Shannon is amazing during these situations. Super calm and in control while I just stare into space and start drooling trying to go to my happy place. Thank God for her or we’d never leave the house. Oh great gotta go. Charlie just realized the table in front of him makes a great drum set. Lord help us all.


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  • Andrew

    I know this is off subject, but I feel the need to leave this comment somewhere. I had to listen to “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” tonight. The Mercy Me version of that song drives me to my knees in tears everytime I listen. B_E_A_U_T_I_F_U_L! Thank you for making music that matters.

  • Kristen Lenders

    Hey Bart, I just found your blog…I was so excited to read that you are touring with Bebo Norman (you can tell Bebo that we named our Golden Retriever after him!). You two are our family favorites so together…wow…what a concert! Excitement turned quickly to disappointment when I discovered you won’t be coming to Orange County!! What happened? Remember how much fun you had at Mariners? It was great! I think you should add us in at the end…think about it! We need you guys here!
    Have fun with the fam at Disney World.

  • Sara

    I’ve never been on a plane, so I don’t really know what you are talking about…but I’m sorry. Have fun in Orlando!

  • myrna

    you know, sometimes you’ve just got to let kids be kids. of course, they need to know that they still need to be respectful of those around them. just know that as long as your children are being respectful, yet playing and having a good ole time, the other passengers probably will be very understanding. if the kids are not little brats, and people still have a problem with them–well, the problem is just that–it’s with them (passengers).
    as for the poo in the air — you’re flyin’ on your own with that. i’ll bet when the plane is taking off, there’s just a little excitement going on in that diaper……
    ps mickey prevention sounds like a great bribe. i LIKE that!

  • Heidi Reed

    Bart: You are not alone. My husband gets so uptight when we are even in the car all together. If he’s driving it’s even worse. I can see his grip on the steering wheel tighten. I can’t speak for him, but I could tell he wasn’t quite right on the airplanes when we took a trip to Arizona last year. Granted — it was the trip from hades. But his reaction might have made matters worse. I don’t know. I have no advice because I’m like your wife in those situations. I might get ticked off in a major way when one kid hits the other one at home — but put me in a car on a long road trip or on the plane and I’m usually cool as ice. Good luck and try to remember on the way there that you are all going to love Disney and on the way home your own bed awaits you. Have fun!!

  • april

    We need a new Charlie video! Drumming on an airplane sounds delightful! 😉

  • tam

    hehe. sorry to be laughing at your stressful situation. but if you wouldnt make it sound so funny…well…then i wouldnt be laughing.

    anyway…when my kiddos were younger and we took long trips, i would have goody bags made up for them. the dollar store actually can be good sometimes. i would fill little bags with a piece of candy, a matchbox car, a press on tattoo (little things) each bag had different items in them. depending on the length of the trip i would give the goody bags out in 30 minutes increments or longer depending… they loved this! but there was a catch…they had to follow the travel rules, whatever you say they are, if they dont – they dont get their next goody bag. but they can try again to receive the next one.

    got it? great.

  • tam

    oh my cow…i did not explain that well.


    good luck 😉

  • Neri

    i’m not a dad, so all I can say is: may the Lord help you Bart

  • Holly

    🙁 Oh, it’s Night of Joy weekend! I wish we still lived in Florida. We used to go nearly every year.

    Have a blast!

    We’ll be praying the weekend is a success and that your family enjoys the time together in the Sunshine State.

    God Bless you!

  • Lisa

    How I wish I were on that plane headed to FL too! Mercy Me and Mickey Mouse! Too much fun.

    We don’t get to fly often, but are pros at the road trip. Your kids seem kind of little for this, but I would give mine each a container with quarters in it. Every time they acted up, fought with each other, whined, or the numerous other things they do to make you wish you’d never left the house, they lost a quarter. Whatever they had left at the end of the trip was theirs to spend on whatever they wanted. But, as I said, yours are still little so bribing with Mickey works too:-) We all do it whether we admit to it or not (bribing our kids that is.) Enjoy your time in Disney!

  • Toby

    I get that feeling any time we go anywhere with the kids. My wife swears that I “will” them to be bad cuz I stress so much about it.
    I was horrified at the thought of flying 10 hours to Germany back in February. I was pleasantly surprised…No screams, no poops, no ear-poppin fun….It was at that point I realized that I was too busy in my own mind, stressing and didn’t externalize my stress. The kids didn’t see it, and therefore, didn’t react to it. That’s the secret Bart. If you’re calm…OR APPEAR TO BE…so will they be :-).

  • Brenda E

    Bart, I remember worrying too and yes, there are some uptight people on planes. My son and daughter sat there good as gold and I didn’t even hear or notice that my son’s foot gently tapped the seat in front of us a couple times. I saw two single people with very uptight faces give us a glare. So I apoligized and tried to spend the rest of the flight making sure he didn’t move. You know what? It’s usually the people who don’t have kids who respond the worst, and look like genuinly unhappy people in the process.
    The best way to counteract it is don’t be one of them. Enjoy your trip!!! I would LOVE to go back and have more of those experiences when my kids were that small as yours are. Don’t sweat it.

    So here’s one thing you can do. I’d always try to get something NEW for them to do that would occupy their minds. Shannon might already have this one packed and ready but get a new game, toy, coloring book… whatever. BUT they never knew I had it and I tried to never pull it out until THAT Moment when you KNEW they were bored beyond belief *But still behaving, as not to encourage getting rewarded for having a hissy fit! (Fine line there but watch for it)
    POOF!, out comes new distraction item! And it’s time you are going to remember with them that’s special. The unhappy types will just have to see you enjoy this time with your kids and deal with it.
    By the way, the best game you can give them is one you can play with them. Or color with them.. have a contest! Most of all, have fun. These times pass too fast.

    By the way, again! We were suprised we didn’t get kicked off a plane when my son decided to throw up immediately before we boarded. I dashed into the restroom and did my best to clean us up but we almost missed the plane. Only to board last and leave the lingering aroma of vomit around us! Ugh!!!
    This too SHALL pass!

  • Tammy~S.L.O.B.

    Even more than CTGB, I LOVE your airplane rants!! No advise for you just a lot of laughter! Thank you for the entertainment!! Have fun in Disney world!

  • Yettiebug

    That is my fear too! So instead of taking the kids (2 and 10 months) on a plane we are driving 19 hours to Disneyland! At least we are only bothering ourselves LOL!

    Have a great time at NOJ. How we wish we were there with you!!

  • Lisa


    You are such a wonderful and talented person. I can see where you get it. I know your mom and aunt and they are such wonderful beautiful women that it has been a joy in my life to know them, I guess you could include Richard in that also. My husband and Richard served in the Texas Army National Guard together for 8 years and we have became close friends. Your Aunt just bragged about you last week that I have had to go buy your lastest CD for me and my whole family. And by the way congradulations on the weight loss you look awsome.

  • Family Jules

    Thank you for your honesty, because even though I’m not a dad, I freak. Not just right before the plane ride, but a whole week before. The best plane ride I have ever had with the kids was a huge prop plane out of Bakersfield. It was so noisy that the kids could have yelled and screamed at the top of their lungs and no one would have been the wiser.

  • The Honey Family

    Mickey withdrawl will probably work, but awfully burdensome.

    One time we were at Pizza Hut and Larry threatened to rip the kids ears off and throw them in the deep fryer………then we all started wondering if Pizza Hut actually had a deep fryer.

    At that point, they called his bluff.

    On a side note, how do you fellow slobbers add those cute thumbnail pictures? Tam? Toby? Anyone?

  • Toby

    Hey Honey…wow, that’s forward of me….One more time…Hey Honey Family!!! Go to and it’ll walk ya through getting a cute thumbnail :-). Well, in my case, a not so cute one, but you get the idea.
    On a side note to your side note, the ripping of the ears made me laugh quite hard….and hating to admit my managing Pizza Huts for a year of my life, I never seen a fryer. EVERYTHING goes through the big ole oven :-).

  • The Honey Family

    Thanks Toby!

  • Russ

    Bart, Bart, Bart…I will be in the same spot very soon since we are expecting our first child in February. I really think it’s a guy thing with wanting our children to not go totally crazy when in public. I mean when you look around at all the children bouncing off the walls in restaurants, malls, movie theaters and so on we get completely freaked out. Though I bet if you asked your parents about traveling with you when you were a child they probably had their hands full and were wondering if they were the only parents with a wild animal as a child or maybe that’s just me. As far as the pooping their pants I would have to say it’s probably just the physical pressure put on their bodies from the air pressure and all…ok almost got through that with out loosing it but I really don’t know and I think the rest of the plane is just going to have to hold their breath.

    Have a good one in Florida…


  • buzz

    Hi Bart!!

    i never took the kids on an airplane, but many car trips. when we’d get close to a rest area, i would ask if anyone had to go? 95% of the time, the answer was no. then about 100 yards past it, my son would often look at me and say,”dad, i have to go pee”. i’d look at him in the back seat and he would say,,,”right now”. well, at least you can pull a car over? LOL love ya

  • Dave


    About kids on traveling…Codeine my friend, Codeine. My mom used to drug me and my brother when we were little when traveling and we turned out fine…other than the twitches, that is.

    Do you see the spiders on the t.v. screen too?

  • Nanny


    Tell Charlie I said “Way to Go” ! With no guitar he had to find some way to entertain the passengers. Have fun a Disney!!!

    Love you guys!!!!!!

  • Brenda

    Well Bart i’ve never flown before …so i dont have advise on that but GOOD LUCK …..we drove to TN from Fl. (visiting Nana )and with a laptop in the back seat with headphones and a bag of DVD’s — works very NICE… very quiet trip .. oh and lots of snacks and water NOT juice… (less stops)…. Enjoy Disney …. but don’t ever go in AUGUST a million degrees AND a million people. We actually havn’t been to Disney that many times , we’re only like 2 hours awaybut next time we go … i want to have to wear a jacket!!! ps. while no Mickey mouse is a good bribe– it could back fire on you…be careful 🙂

  • Brenda

    P.S. So Bart when you were just walking around riding the rides at Disney….. did anyone recognize you????

  • Shelley

    Cough medicine and lots of it!! Just kidding. Actually we always made sure the kids were so exhausted that they slept the whole time. As for the poop – it can’t be any worse than the adults ripping some and the non deodorant wearing people! Heavy perfume is also stomach churning to me.
    A tip from a Floridian – Disney in September is NEVER recommended.

  • Rhonda

    Considering you have really great kids….and a wonderful wife…..then I would think you would be humming the hymn “count your many blessings”…this could help!

  • Kim

    I recently took my 5 and 3 yr. old kids on a plane trip, and while riding in the car can be a harrowing experience, they were actually really well-behaved on the plane. We were uber-prepared for all sorts of boredom and behavior, which was great, but come to find out we didn’t need half of the crap we packed!

    I always feel like the unreasonably stressed out parent, too. My hubby died almost three years ago, and I feel a lot of pressure to have very well-behaved kids, lest people feel like terrible behavior is because I’m not able to keep my wits about me because of my situation. Travelling with kids is a daunting task, even when there are two of you to run defense!!

  • Sproul family

    Hey Bart

    I too am a 300 pound kid, and flights are times of growth for us dads. We had our “Wishes” come to be! We stayed all week.
    I had the time of my life at Night Of Joy. I wish to thank you on behalf of all of us especially our blind Kymberlee. We so appreciated all that Mercy me does to help us understand a little more about how amazing our God is. Kym is still talking about all of her special trip from Maine to Florida. There was one thing she will always remember, and it took place in front of the facade of a cafe to right of the stage. I found that our father fears are real and its always difficult being a “DAD”.
    I always try to remember that God dosen’t call the qualified …he qualifies the called!
    I would like to say that we hope you will read/watch all the stuff Mike carries in that backpack. I hope someday you will visit Waterville Maine!!!!!!!

    Thank You Joe & Darlene, along with Kymberlee and the gang

  • Christie

    I put some pics of you guys on my Myspace from Night Of Joy if you’re interested!

  • Jen B

    It was raining and my kids didn’t want to stay for the night of joy. I was so mad. I REALLY wanted to hear you guys. I think I saw Jim at Crystal Palace with the pooh characters. Did he have a good time? My kids love that place. I was looking for you, Bart. But I didn’t see you. We just got back today. A week of Disney is a lot…I think I need a vacation from my vacation.

  • Jen B

    I forgot to add this. Poopy diaper on a short flight…no problem..changing it, a bit more difficult. At least you weren’t driving from Florida to Michigan with two kids who decided to throw up within two hours of each other. I’m still doing laundry. They got it everywhere!!

  • Christie

    Jen B –

    We drove from Michigan, too! We had 3 kids with us, but no diapers. We have twins and did do the drive twice while they were in diapers. Crazy!

  • Cathy Dee

    You said smoking was out of the question…ok…alcohol? (For them, of course…) KIDDING!

    I do understand what you’re saying and it’s a good thing the Mrs. is the calm force. It would be more difficult if both of you were freaking out :P.

    I get that “oh no what COULD happen” mindset sometimes, which has kept me from doing many things. Usually when I look back, I’m sorry I kept me from doing things I would have liked to have done.

    Kids are only young for a small time. Enjoy their madness!

  • chris


  • Megan Schrieber

    Bart….I could feel your pain on the plane! As a Mother of 6(ages 11-3) we have taken many trips on airplanes and I have eventually learned a few things: Yes….plan on having “goodie bags”(but watch the sugar intake…may lead to even louder drumming by Charlie). The biggest thing I have learned is that most people on the plane have been in the same position before and if they cannot understand that children are…well…children…then they are missing the point of those beautiful little faces. Lets remember how the Lord viewed children! Of course, there will will always be the moment when a child is kicking the seat in front of him…and of course, there will always be the rude comments from strangers. Try to let them go….Last thing I have learned…..I will most likely never see these people again! Most important, do not let the potential views of complete strangers become more important than your little ones feelings and needs. Be strong, firm and loving.
    God bless!

  • Lynn

    Bart, as a parent of three, I understand completely how you feel. My advice to you is this, “If you can’t beat em, join em”. Not saying you should become completely obnoxious, but sometimes I just find it’s easier to just have fun with the kids (within reason) and pray I can distract them from the more crazy stuff. That and video games are great babysitters on planes and in the car. Saved my sanity more than once. I’m not proposing it as a full-time thing, just as a treat. It works for me, every time. Anyhoo, hope you have better luck next time! God bless you guys…

  • Liz

    Thought I’d say my piece too. I sing on the praise and worship team at my church (NOT on a plane, but never-the-less). Sometimes I have to take my two kids – 4 and 2 years old with me. They basically have free reign in the sanctuary until practice is over – I’m mortified sometimes at what they do. This morning my daughter (2) crumpled up two calendars, grabbed the offering buckets and put them on her feet and head, my son (4) danced on the pews – I think I had to get off the stage like 17 times. Afterward I apologized to the praise and worship leader about it and she laughed at me. “No big deal – doesn’t bother me” she said. I think when it’s our own children, the “offense factor” is bigger in our heads than it is in reality. Sometimes Kiddos will be kiddos – no matter WHAT we do! Might as well enjoy it as much as possible…… that or cry A LOT!!! 😀

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