Let me preface this by saying that I am nobody’s mother yet. I don’t work with children and the closest I come to kids on a regular basis are Sundays with my little cousins at church. I’m no expert on the topic of child rearing. I respect parents, because I know it’s not an easy job. That said, this happened:
So, last week I was on a late flight from Chicago to L.A. I got my window seat, my headphones and hunkered down for the four-hour trip. There happened to be a lot of families with small kids on this flight. One of which sat directly behind me – a mother, father and 4- or 5-year-old daughter.
Usually for me, that’s not a big deal. I am not of the opinion that parents should have to give every passenger a goodie bag and apology for their kids being on an airplane. Kids will be kids. I don’t think you need to apologize for that.
This kid? She needed to calm down. She needed my grandmother's side eye. She needed some kind of checking. I didn’t want an apology or goodie bag as much as I wanted her mother or father or the flight attendant or the tooth fairy to put their foot down. She yelled at her mother at the top of her lungs on this flight for a smooth hour.
“Why are we still sitting?! I want to be in the air!”
“We will honey, we’re just waiting on the green light. We'll going to take off soon. Don't worry.”
“I want to take off now! Waaaah!”
Then when we get in the air…
“You said I was going to be able to see the clouds! You’re a liar! I can’t see anything! It looks like sidewalk! Wahhhh!”
“It’s okay, it’s just dark right now, sweetheart. Here, have a snack.”
…30 more minutes of arbitrary yelling/whining/kicking the back of my chair.
“I want to go to Disney Land right now and I don’t want to wait another minute!”
*mom chuckles at how adorable that question is*
“We will be there soon sweetheart. Don’t worry. Here, play with my iPad.”
I sat there quietly, desperately trying to get some sleep. You know, because it was late. After so long I pictured myself aggressively turning around in my chair like:
But then *I* would be in the wrong for that. And apparently the flight attendant, the tooth fairy and everybody else on the plane felt the same way, because nobody said anything. But, at what point would her mom stop negotiating with her? WHEN WAS SHE GOING TO TELL HER TO STOP IT? It never happened. I think the girl eventually wore herself out. But, in the meantime, it seemed like her mother just wanted to appease her or try to do anything that she thought would keep this kid calm (#fail) and her father went RADIO silent.
In my non-expert, no-kid-having opinion, she is not the boss. She does not get to throw a tantrum and then get rewarded... and THEN go to Disney Land? No ma'am! I was just waiting to hear "Don't make me turn this plane around" or "Do you want to go home?" or some kind of "respect my authoritahhh" conversation happening. I was waiting for that Vanessa-went-to-have-big-fun-with-the-Wretched Claire Huxtable to show up. Lady - STAND UP TO YOUR KID.
Like I said, kids will be kids. I get rambunctious. I don't get the disrespect and the cry-whining for no reason for an hour with no repercussions.
But, like I said, I am nobody's mother. Don't listen to me.