Maybe it’s no one’s fault
Last night, flying home from Costa Rica we had a 2.5 year old boy who was NOT enjoying his flight. He and his parents were struggling, and the entire group knew because he whaled a high pitch scream-cry into the aircraft cabin, without release, for what felt like forever.
Earplugs and ear phones couldn’t have been enough to drown out his sound. Perhaps you have been witness to this on board one of your flights?
Ie: “I’ll sit ANYWHERE just keep me away from the screaming, crying baby!” 🙋🏼♀️
I get it.
We all get it.
Moms and dads, they get it the most.
But alas, babies scream, and babies cry. And sweet baby James, did he ever do BOTH!
It was heart breaking. It made the (not-just-yet) maternal instinct cry inside me. I wanted to console him. Hold him. Help him. Make his crying stop. But I also simultaneously hurt for the parents who likely felt judged, embarrassed and without resolution. They had (hadn’t they?) tried everything… And here I was in the middle of service to 150 other guests, it seemed an inappropriate time and I didn’t want to appear critical in my interception!
What is a flight attendant to do?
We could scoff at the parents, assume the worst…Why can’t they quiet him? Give him what he needs? Why is he behaving this way? Is he safe/healthy/loved/otherwise happy?….
…or are they feeling shock? helplessness? defeat? exhaustion?
Maybe his parents thought, “It’s not our fault! We love him, we care, we’re thriving, really! It’s not HIS fault. He’s the sweetest boy, he behaves, we promise!”
I felt compassion for these parents, and to all parents.
I have been witness to 11 years of infants/toddlers just like this.
I have watched parents struggle to cope when their child isn’t a perfect, silent, statuesque angel while in flight.
We are so quick to judge.
We judge and yet you should know… a perfect, silent, statuesque infant, toddler, child OR adult doesn’t exist, not in airline travel... ask ANY flight attendant!! 😂