Sympathetic Words From A Stranger

January 29, 2010

in Baby & Kid Stories

I was always one of those single working ladies in my 20’s who couldn’t stand kids, especially on flights! I hated the little creatures and their mothers. Fast forward a few decade later and I became a mother! (be careful kid haters). My first and last flight with my two year old son was taken from SLC to Portland, OR years ago. I was mortified! My son threw the fit of all fits for almost 2 hours. He was arching his back, screaming, crying. Nothing worked. Nothing. Medicine, toys, snack, you name it.

We were seated first of course, and were in the front of the plane. Person after person boarded after us, took one look at us, and ran for cover in the back. Who could blame them?

Finally, a poor middle age man who boarded last was the unlucky soul who had to sit by us. I felt so bad. He was so kind to us. He tried unsuccessfully to help entertain my son and then just patiently waited it out.

At the end of the flight, he looked me in the eyes, obviously knowing how embarrassed I must have been and said, “You know, I used to have young kids, too. They acted just like that,” and he turned around and walked away. I never in all the years since forgot his kindness. People like that make the world a better place.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Demotage January 29, 2010 at 3:10 pm

One word: curare


Me January 29, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Never mind Demotage, it's past his bedtime. Bless that kind man for being so understanding.


Maureen January 29, 2010 at 6:00 pm

I always think these kids throwing hissy fits are doing exactly what every adult on the plane would do if they had the nerve.


Rob January 29, 2010 at 7:47 pm

We were all there once ;0


DSD January 31, 2010 at 6:44 am

Some days there just isn't anything you can do.

I amused the heck out of a couple of Flight Attendants, when my son was 4 months old. He had a "blow out" about an hour into a 3 hour flight (after a blow out a couple of hours earlier in Charlote Airport). There I was in the bathroom holding my naked son upside down by the ankles in one hand and cleaning him up with the other; with my wife watching over my shoulder.


Derek February 1, 2010 at 7:22 am

Alot of the time, it's better to view a situation in the other person's shoes. I was the same way, but until I had a child of my own, I never understood the unpleasentness that a screaming child can cause the parent. Now, anytime I see a child screaming and the parent(s) doing their best to pacify them, I completely understand what they are going through. It can be annoying, but there needs to be more understanding among us, just like the man you mentioned.


EJE February 1, 2010 at 10:30 am

The very worst age for a child to fly is between 18 months to 2 1/2 yrs. As most parents know, that is when they want to do things "by themselves". If at all possible, it is best to fly with a car seat. Children know their limitations once they are seated in something familiar. ALso, PLEASE bring long as many snack, and items to entertain them as possible. It will make your life and everyone seated around them as pleasant as possible. I have been a Flight Attendant for more than 25 yrs., and am a mother of 6. When I see parents board without a car seat, I say a little prayer fo the parents, especially on a long flight long flight, because I know, for the most part, they are in for a trying time. If you have never flown before with your young one, practice by sitting in a chair in your home for the amount of time the flight is expected to take. This will give you some idea as to how it's going to go for you. Good luck!


Jim February 1, 2010 at 12:28 pm

In your 20's, you were a single working lady with no kids.

A few decades later, you had a kid?

You had a child in your fifites? I guess it can happen.

At least you acknowledge the problem…and, note that it was your last flight with your 2 year old. So, thank you for being responsible, and not subjecting everyone else to your child's tirades, once you learned he was not a good flier.

I wish all parents would do the same….know their child's limitations…and, not inconvenience everyone else on behalf of travelling with their child.


Demotage February 2, 2010 at 8:51 am

2 + 2 = 4. 20's plus a couple of decades would be 40's. Not particularly unusual.


Demotage February 2, 2010 at 8:53 am

Oops! She said "few". My bad. Maybe she meant 'couple a few', as my grandfather often said.


Iloveflying February 16, 2016 at 10:27 am

It happens!


Leave a Comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post:

Next post: