• Michelle Bennett

    Amen. We traveled to Australia last year with a 3 year old and a 5.5 year old because my mother-in-law was dying and I wanted to punch any person that gave us the stink eye with regard to our kids. Given the choice, we would much rather have flown anywhere without them but that was not an option. People who want to control their plane-mates can simply stay home (or drive themselves – preferably off a cliff).

  • http://www.escapingelegance.com/ Stephanie Reidy

    I LOVE Ali’s comment! “Let’s get this handsome sugar man cleaned up.”

    Heather, that was lovely of you to say that to the woman behind you. Everyone needs some support in those moments.

    I once helped a woman through a difficult flight because she had two young kids and was travelling alone. It wasn’t until we were making small talk during disembarkation that she was moving to work in the same office as my husband. She told this story to everyone and I have the BEST reputation!

    I used to fly for work so I also have a ton of terrible flight stories – NONE of them involve children.

    My worst flight seat companion was an ADULT male (on a very long flight to Australia). He smelled like he had crapped his pants and three times during the flight he refused to let the flight attendant take his empty pop can and then he crushed it against his forehead. I spent the 1st half the flight cringing in fear against the window with my hand over my nose to help block out the smell. After the 3rd can crush, a lovely older man across aisle got up to speak to the flight attendant and she came back and asked me to follow her. I was moved up to a different section. The man and his wife came to find me at the baggage carousel after the flight and I hugged them in gratitude.

  • Jenn R

    I hate to tell you this (and I’m sure you’ll be fine), but I flew to Rome with my 6 month old last Christmas and I would much rather go through labor again than recreate that flight. I have never been more mentally and physically exhausted and uncomfortable. Fortunately, the way back was much better, but I think I might have some kind of PTSD because I start to twitch whenever I think about it.

  • andrea


  • laney

    “short of forcing him to sit with his legs in “butterfly pose” for a 5
    hour flight, I don’t know how I could have prevented his feet from
    occasionally tapping”

    I don’t know how else to take this except that there was no way for you to keep your kid from making someone else uncomfortable.

    Everyone is saying that the woman was wrong to yell at your kid, but yet you keep keep insisting that nobody’s opinion except your own is valid in this situation.

    I am sorry your kid got yelled at by a stranger, but when kids venture out in public they will learn that not everyone is nice. It’s a tough lesson, but a lesson nonetheless.

    I also think the last comment is a generalization for all the comments on this post, not just this particular comment in particular. Deep breaths and don’t take everything so personally.

  • Kimberly Wydeen

    I stated several times that I thought the delivery was inappropriate. The woman in front should not have screamed. To an adult or a child.

    My point here is pretty simple: everybody has problems. Everyone. If you are traveling with a child, then people can clearly see the issue you might be having (screaming, etc.) But there might be somebody who is traveling who also has a problem, who is also on their last nerve, who is also doing the best they can. But their problem is not quite so visible.

    If you want others to give you and your children the benefit of the doubt, then you need to model that behavior. Was the woman in front of the original poster out of line? Absolutely! But is the proper response to get ridiculously defensive and paint your child as an Angle Who Can Clearly Do No Wrong? Perhaps not.

  • lisajey

    I have been there, but it’s been so long… my youngest graduated high school this year, so yeah… It is no picnic, and SOOOO hard! But I must admit, I don’t like to hear baby’s screaming… but really it’s not out of inconvenience to me… it’s more so because if it continues and the mother or parent is totally aloof or unaffected, ignoring the screams, it infuriates me. Even I… I who hasn’t rocked a baby to sleep in over a decade, can figure out how to calm a baby… if nothing, I know how to make him or her/as well as the other poor saps on the plane feel as though I am trying to ease my child’s pain. I’ve been on a red-eye once, where the mother just stood in the aisle bouncing the kid up and down as he howled. She held him around the belly, as he faced out to us. He must have been about two or three… but it was obviously doing nothing – at THREE OCLOCK in the morning. He was miserable, and the bouncing was making it worse, and yet she continued the entire 6 hour flight. It took everything in me to NOT get up and relieve that mother of her burden. I felt so bad for myself – yes – haha – but also for that kid… They should require lessons before they let some people be parents. That is all… :)

  • Courtney Landes

    The guy was an ass and absolutely had no business being so loud and humiliating the mom. If he had thrown that fit because the seat assigned on his ticket placed him next to a child, I would support giving him the option of flying in his assigned seat politely or taking another flight.
    However, he was being asked to volunteer to change his seat, and I support his right to refuse that request (politely.) If I were assigned a seat next to a baby (or a sick person or a loud Republican, or anyone I would rather not sit next to), I would politely suck it up. That’s different from volunteering to move to a seat where you know you will be uncomfortable.

    You were given the choice to move to the front row and could have declined. You mention that you took a moment to think about it before agreeing to move. Declining is not what he did wrong. What he did wrong was making a scene when he declined.

  • Kristen

    YES. When people complain about screaming kids, I want to be like, who has it worse? You, or the person who is responsible for that kid and is being humiliated right now?

  • Bean

    Thank you for posting this, honestly I’ve only ever seen Heather be understanding about lifestyle choices but this post really hurt me. not everyone that is “child free” does it out of choice. Seems nasty.