Although neither is likely to ever read this, today's post is directed to two separate fellow travelers. First, to the harried mother with the screaming child on the early flight to Rome, don't worry or feel bad. I've been there and done that with an 18 month old Sidney crying non-stop from Boston to Rome. I vividly remember the glares from fellow passengers and the arrogant man sitting behind me who hit my seat with full force whenever I tried to recline---which was the only position that comforted Sidney in the least. (If you want to have space then open your wallet and buy a bigger seat instead of expecting luxury in economy). To this mom, I know you were doing the best you could to hush your inconsolable baby but nothing was working. Your distress was obvious and I completely felt your pain. As a wise, well traveled friend once told me, it is unlikely that you will ever see any of us again so don't feel embarrassed. Rather, forget about the incident and move on hoping that the next flight is easier for both you and your baby.
Now to the huffy unpleasant woman sitting across the aisle from us: this message is to you. Just because you were still feeling the ramifications of a too late night is no reason to glare, snap, or yell at the poor woman sitting across from you. She was obviously doing the best she could to calm her baby and your yelling and stomping up and down the aisle did nothing to ease the situation. In fact, your tantrum was worse than that of the baby's. At first I dismissed you as hung over Euro-trash but once you opened your mouth I realized that you were in fact a fellow American. Alas, it has been quite some time since I was so embarrassed by an American's behavior. Your actions give new meaning to the phrase "the ugly American".
Why is it that people look with such distain on babies flying on airplanes? Maybe the noise doesn't bother me because I am just grateful that it isn't my child who is screaming but I always feel the pain of other parents. But if the child's parents are actively trying to calm them don't make the situation worse. If you are going to focus your unpleasant energies on someone why not focus on the burping and farting man sitting in front if you whose ripe aroma I found to be more offensive than the crying. Or the woman throwing her trash on the floor or the man actively ignoring the flight attendant's instructions to turn off his cell phone. All of this bad behavior was being conducted by adults within your sight but you chose to focus on the helpless baby. Really? But then again, you showed up for you flight clearly unbathed, dressed for clubbing, and with a bad attitude. Perhaps you just got what you deserved.....
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