Traveling with kids is no easy task, especially during this season of peace and good will overbooked flights and cranky passengers and employees. Traveling with babies and toddlers on a good day is challenging, but the holidays take on a whole other level of crazy. Which is why this guest post on Free Range Kids struck me. It's basically the solution to all travel problems: The parents who are stressed out by crazy normal kids who don't understand the concept of sitting in one place until you're back on the ground, and those child-free passengers who hate them.
It's simple, really. If you're not traveling with a child, why not help those who are?
I can hear the nasty comments now: "You had those kids, you should take care of them." As if having children were akin to wearing strong perfume or eating stinky cheese in a closed compartment. Instead of shooting daggers, why not try and entertain the little hellion who is sitting behind you? You diffuse the baby or toddler meltdown, and peace is restored on your flight. In other words, make an effort.
Last spring I was traveling back home with my daughter after a harrowing trip and was getting a little bit (or a lot, really) exhausted by entertaining her and her short attention span. The lady sitting next to her pulled out her iPhone and thus my daughter was introduced to "Talking Tom." Even as I tried to give the lady an out by saying, "Okay, iPhone time is over!" while looking at her with an incredibly grateful expression, she would constantly reassure me that she was more than happy to let my daughter play with her very expensive phone. It was a miracle.
Not only 'tis the season for some neighborly love, we should always think like this rather than hiding in our corners and condemning those who aren't as lucky as we are to be traveling with ease. It's nasty behavior, and it has no place in a civilized society. We're all in this together people, especially when you're thousands of feet above the earth locked into a moving object. Try a little compassion, and a little fun, and you'll get where you're going much easier.
Have you ever helped out a mom to young kids on an airplane?
Image via Christian Haugen/Flickr