Now that I am a mother, I have come to realize that there are three types of airplane passengers: the kid-less; the families; and the ever-patient, kid-lovers/retirees.
After a recent less-than-pleasant flight (think engine trouble, no air conditioner, cranky baby, and delays), I felt the need to write a letter to my fellow passengers…
To the Kid-less Passengers:
I remember the days when I used to be one of you. I cherished those long flights when I could read a book, watch a movie, listen to music, or even sleep on my way to a well-deserved vacation destination. I would cringe if a family with small children sat near me and I would sigh when the passenger in front of me reclined their seat or a child kicked the back of my chair. My patience was so thin with my fellow passengers that I would often be stressed out just from the flight!
I’ve been in your shoes–I get where you are coming from. I kindly ask that you have a little bit of patience, because you just might have a child of your own someday kicking the seat in front of them. But in the meantime, if you glare at my baby for crying ONE MORE TIME, Mama Bear is going to give you a piece of her mind!
To the Families:
Now that I’m one of you, I understand just how much you want your child to behave!
I know that you packed a bag full of snacks and distractions and even tried to fly during nap time in hopes your baby would sleep through the flight. I understand your frustration when the Flight Attendant asks you to remove your sleeping baby from your baby carrier to sit in your lap, or tells you that your sleeping toddler needs to be in their seat instead of your arms. I know that you would rather watch hours of Caillou (the ultimate punishment) than tell your kid to stop kicking the chair in front of him or escort your daughter to the closet-sized bathroom ONE MORE TIME.
I know your patience is dwindling and you feel like all eyes are on you, just know that you aren’t alone.
To the Kid-Lovers/Retirees:
Your never-ending patience is a breath of fresh air. You may be an Elementary/Sunday School Teacher, Nanny, Grandparent, or just a kid-lover–I like to call you a blessing from God! All of us families hope and pray to be seated next to one of you. Even when our children are acting like heathens, you just smile and help us try to distract them. You never complain or act annoyed when a toy accidentally gets hurled towards your head or I have to climb over you (with baby in tow) to go walk the aisle or change a diaper.
This is the only time I would consider letting a stranger hold my baby and you sense that. You can feel my patience coming to an end and you offer a helping hand. All I have to say, is Thank you!