He started to scream before the flight even took off. We were in the same row, but on opposite sides of the aisle. I figure he was about 2 and a half. He was sandwiched in between his parents… two people who desperately wished the three of them could somehow disappear.
You know why?
Because their baby was HURTING. On an airplane.
Because it took absolutely NO TIME for the stares, the deep sighs and the eye rolling to start.
The LOOKS. I’m stuck sitting near the screaming baby.
The woman in front of me actually asked to have her seat moved because, LOUD VOICE , “of the screaming baby”. She turned to the people next to her and said, “and they aren’t doing ANYTHING to stop it”.
As if the parents were doing shots instead of rocking him, trying to play with him, offering him milk and snacks and doing everything they could to alleviate potential pressure in his ears.
Not one to keep quiet in a situation like that, I used an equally loud conversation with my daughter as a teaching moment, “That family is doing everything they can to help that little guy. We don’t know why he is crying. Clearly he is unhappy. His ears might be hurting him very badly. Yes, he is loud…. But know that no one wants him to be ok more than his mom and dad”.
Hey, Lady in front of me… I’m talking to YOU.
That little boy – I believe she said his name was Christopher, screamed for the better part of a two-plus hour flight…. And I have a little newsflash for the ridiculously behaved people sitting around me:
THERE IS NO ONE ON THAT FLIGHT WHO WANTED THAT LITTLE GUY TO STOP CRYING MORE THAN HIS PARENTS. NO ONE.
Look… I get it. Listening to a screaming child or baby for any length of time isn’t a picnic…. In fact, I had a headache just like everyone else….But to turn around and shoot daggers at the family every minute…. How does that help? You are only succeeding in making a very difficult situation virtually unbearable for that family.
I have a few suspicions…. The adults who were acting out are
- a) not parents
- b) have forgotten what it was like to be a parent or are disillusiioned enough to believe that their children were perfect (I suspect otherwise having seen the uncharitable behavior of some of their offspring)
- c) they have no souls
That little guy cried himself out and feel asleep about 10 minutes before we landed. That’s when his mom’s tears started. She simply broke down…. sitting in her seat, red-eyed, softly rubbing the face of that tuckered-out boy. Even as passengers exited the plane, she stayed in her seat, hand on his back and cried.
At one point she looked at me and mouthed, ‘I’m sorry”.
Not to worry, my friend. Not to worry.
I patted her arm as I left and told her I’ve been there.
And I mean it.
You snuggle that little guy when you get home and just make sure you make another mom, on another flight feel less alone.