I flew with my husband, our then three year old and four of our best friends from JFK to Rhodes several years ago. We were all split up as we booked them rather last minute. In fact, the only two together were taken by my son, and alternatively by my husband and me, five hours on and five hours off.
I had a feeling about the empty seat beside us from the moment we got on. Lo and behold, who came but the mother with her screaming eight year old who sat in front of her. During the entire flight she made no effort to control her behaviour, letting her kick the seat in front where my friend was sitting. The child would shout, scream, throw things, basically do whatever she wanted as her mother sat there and drank wine, reading her magazine.
My son was a three year old; he watched TV, he colored, he played with his toys on the fold-down table, we read. We did everything normal parents do to keep their kids entertained on a long flight not only for their sanity but for the cabin’s. Whenever he so much as breathed, the woman glared in my direction and made a snide remark about how “little girls shouldn’t have babies if they couldn’t control them.” I was 28 at the time so I took this as a compliment. As my son started to fall asleep, he kicked out slightly, catching her thigh. I apologised profusely but that didn’t stop her from slapping his leg, hard.
When he started to cry, she shouted over to a flight attendant and demanded to be moved. She began effing and blinding when they said she had to stay with her kid, who at this moment in time was singing loudly along with whatever movie she was watching. We decided at that moment that we had made a very grave error in judgement and should have indeed asked to swap seats with someone to try to get us a three.
Unfortunately for him, my husband had to spend the remainder of the flight in the middle seat with our son sprawled on top of him with this woman drooling on his shoulder after she had passed out.
As we landed, many passengers had a few choice words with her about her parenting, whilst we gathered our things and ran from the scary psycho biatch.