If you've ever pondered the difference between parents who maintain friendships with the child-free and the parents from whom everyone without kids (and sometimes those with) run, it's simple. The parents who still have friends are the ones who recognize that sometimes their kids can be complete and total pains in the ass. Take the couple who recently decided to bribe an entire airplane's worth of passengers with bags of candy so they'd put up with their twin sons' crying.
The parents' genius move has gone viral since a photo of the goodie bags was uploaded to Reddit. But what's really remarkable isn't that the parents filled the snack baggies with Jolly Ranchers and Werthers or even their note that lists their seat numbers and offers earplugs to anyone who needs them. It's who uploaded the picture in the first place.
The candy bribe photo came from a passenger who had to share the flight with the mom and dad and their babies. The grateful passenger describes the couple as "Brilliant and thoughtful parents" and admits he got a little teary when he later saw the babies meeting their grandparents for the first time at baggage claim.
And that is exactly how winning over the child-free is done.
Oh, I'm sure some of you are rolling your eyes and readying to drag the little stool out of the bathroom that Junior uses to reach the potty when he tinkles so you can climb up on it and start spouting off about how haaaard it is being a parent and how haaaaard it is to take a baby on an airplane/grocery shop with a tantruming child/ever get out to a bar once you've spawned.
And you're right. It downright sucks being a parent sometimes.
But you know all that stuff that really annoys you about your kid? Like the way the baby keeps taking stuff out of the cart and throwing it across the aisle in the supermarket when you are sick and tired of picking up the same box of rice?
If it's bothering you, don't you think it's bothering everyone else too?
The beauty of the whole a-hole kid out in public thing is that we're not the only ones dealing with it. And while there are probably people out there who are going to try to make our lives a living hell about it, we can diffuse a fair amount of the hate with a simple, "I'm sorry."
Try it. Look at the clerk who is watching your 10-month-old grab at all that damn candy right beside the checkout lane thinking, "OMG, I just straightened that shelf, and my manager is going to be pisssssed." Tell him you're sorry.
If you think you can, try to get him laughing. Just look how much it helped the airplane parents when they admitted that they are now just their sons' "portable milk machine" and "diaper changer"!
OK, so maybe it's not always funny. Sometimes you're just going to have to admit that your kid isn't making anyone's day better. In that case, might I suggest stashing a few Jolly Ranchers in your diaper bag to hand out?
Candy always works ... just ask your kids.
What do you do to diffuse the tension when your kids are acting badly in public?
Image via Imgur