Grabby Baby Pesters Passenger

May 20, 2016

in Baby & Kid Stories

One time on a flight with my sister, we didn’t prebook seats but were able to pick our seats upon check in. We opted to each get a window seat in rows beside each other so we could both relax a bit. We get on the plane, get seated, and all is well.

A woman gets on with an older lap baby and takes the seat beside mine, the middle seat. Throughout the 4 hour flight this baby kept trying to grab my stuff off my tray, whether it was my snacks and drink, or my magazine and headphones. Every couple of minutes it was reaching for something. All the while the mother not once made any attempt to stop the child from grabbing my stuff.

I ended up putting everything away except my headphones and leaned against the window so I could try watching a movie in peace. This child wasn’t having any of it; he proceeded to start kicking me and grabbing at me. Needless to say it was the longest 4 hour flight I’ve ever been on. The mother never stopped the behaviour, she never apologized, nothing; she just pretended it wasn’t happening.

I have a toddler, I understand how they can get, but you do not ignore them disturbing other passengers. You stop the behaviour, or at the very least apologize to the passenger they’re bothering. Thankfully the kid never once cried, but I think that would have been more tolerable than grabbing at my stuff constantly.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Traveler1 May 21, 2016 at 5:18 am

Maybe the mother actually didn't notice. Did you ever think to make it known? "Excuse me, but your baby keeps grabbing my stuff, I'm finding it hard to do anything".


creepingjennie May 23, 2016 at 1:52 pm

Then the mother should not be in charge of a child if she doesn't notice her child, who is sitting on her lap, grabbing at another passenger for four hours.


poledra June 27, 2016 at 2:59 pm

A mother that ignores a grabby toddler for four straight hours is either: a) Horrifically incompetent, and should not be in charge of a toddler (amen, creepingjennie!) or b) Deliberatelyy ignoring the behavior, and should not be in charge of a toddler.

I'm kind of evil…I would have said, LOUDLY, "Just because you CAN spawn doesn't mean you SHOULD!"


Rjj May 25, 2016 at 5:33 am

You refer to a baby as "it". The Mother should have been aware that's true, and good manners dictate she should have apologized although I don't think the baby was out of line he/ she (not it) was just being a normal baby. I am thinking you were probably just easily agitated, and I doubt that you really would have preferred a crying child to a curious but quiet child. The scenario you describe is totally different from an older child who should know right from wrong in which case I would be totally in your corner. But short of putting a straight jacket on the baby I don't think expecting a two year old to sit perfectly still for four hours and know enough about manners is reasonable or realistic.


Reader May 25, 2016 at 7:54 am

Agreed for the most part. However, a parent should be correcting the 2-year-old and not allowing it (since I don't know if it was a boy or girl) to grab at other passengers. The mother was inconvenienced? Too bad, it was her child and her responsibility to control the child. The OP should have said something to the parent, a very polite "please keep your child from [grabbing my things/grabbing at me]"; it's unclear if that was said. Since the parent wasn't doing anything, the OP would have been entitled to directly tell the child "stop taking my things/stop hitting me/whatever."


Rjj May 26, 2016 at 5:22 am

Oh I agree that the parent needs to be aware and take the opportunity to teach the toddler the right way to behave in a public place such as an airplane and I sympathize with the op but I just see too many people get so unreasonably irate at things like babies crying and little children not being perfect. These things are beyond even the best parent's control sometimes. I'm not excusing someone from being a lackadaisical parent.


thisgirl June 23, 2016 at 6:52 pm

I'm going to assume she said it because she was unsure of the child's gender


Jen June 20, 2016 at 3:59 pm

I was taking the 5 hour flight from SFO to Hawaii. We hadn't even started to taxi for takeoff when the 6 year old behind me started kicking my seat (3 kids under the ago of 10 behind us, no parent in sight-turns out they were 7-8 rows back) I politely peeked between the seats and said "please stop kicking the seat, ok?" 5 seconds later he was doing it again and giggling. I got up out of my seat, leaned over to him and in a quiet but stern voice said "if you kick my seat again, I'll break your little legs" He didn't kick again. The parents should have split up and each sat with their own children.


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