Thursday, December 9, 2010

babies on board

It seems like I'm spending more and more time around infants these days, maybe because a lot of my friends and siblings have been having children lately. Anyhow, one thing I've noticed is that these little tykes can be a lot of fun. Another new revelation for me: they don't scream and carry on all the time! In fact, it seems that kind of behavior is usually the exception, rather than the rule.

This discovery has changed my perspective on noisy kids on planes. It used to be that when a kid was crying or fussing, I would just chalk it up to being in an strange, possibly uncomfortable environment. Heck, there've been times I wanted to behave that way myself on a flight! Maybe just hunger, or a wet diaper, or missing one's crib and toys. But now, I realize the root cause of those tantrums is just bad parenting. And that in turn has changed the way I respond.

Right now, for instance, I'm flying back to Mad City. There are a couple of youngsters in the row across from me, sitting with their father, and they're making a lot of noise. Spouting a bunch of jibber-jabber, asking for juice, giggling, singing some toddler songs, telling various people that they love them, etc. I've already asked the father several times if he could PLEASE get them to simmer down. I mean, I've got things to do over here: I'm blogging, and I'm eating my pretzels. It looks like he's doing his best, in a semi-frantic kind of way, but I suspect he just doesn't have the parenting skills to handle the situation. And the really sad part is that the mother, a capable-appearing woman, is in the row behind them with another small child. No problems coming from that area ...

I think what I'll try next is groaning or gasping every time one of those kids acts up again. Or maybe some silent glaring and eye-rolling, since I don't want to personally encroach on another passenger's Zone of Seclusion. It's amazing what the stink eye can accomplish, when the recipient is strapped in and helpless just a few feet away from you. And to all those parents out there whose kids actually behave well - and you know who you are! - a silent salute ...

1 comment:

Melissa said...

I hate the parents that wont buy a seat for the kid (even though it is 5 years old and almost as tall as the parent) and make the kid sit on their lap where it proceeds to spend the entire flight kicking the back of one's seat. As you say, horrible parenting skills.

I fully support putting parents with kids in the cargo hold and letting the doggies and kitties fly with real people.