Tuesday, July 30, 2013

We've got a screamer

When you travel by airline you know that it's going to be terrible. Airlines have become so awful that it should be expected to be lousy. If you are a business traveler then you very well may have access to those special seats up front where they serve you drinks on a cloud sent by angels. Lucky you.

For everyone else back in the general population seating it's generally uncomfortable. I'm baffled by the number of people who think that traveling by plane means that children some how will not be there too. The comments I hear are quite hilarious. They are almost as funny as saying "Whoa, there are chickens on farms?!" when the obvious has been some how missed. I know there are people out there that believe it impossible for families to travel together on planes but of all times of the year that those crazy families decide to leave home summer is going to be it. When a baby/toddler screams on the plane it is terrible. No one is going to disagree with that statement. The problem is this little ones scream for any reason. I could list about 50 things right now that would cause my toddler to cry on the plane. The list is not going to make any one feel better about the crying. The parent(s) know the chid is crying. Parents want to stop the crying more than anyone else so what I don't understand is why people can't understand that logic.

On our trip home from Denver we sat behind a woman traveling with her 14 month old daughter. The little girl was fine until take off. It was that point in the climb up when EVERYONE is feeling crummy because of the pressure change. You just can't explain to a small child that the pain in their ears will pass and that soon they will feel better. All that kid knows is there is some strange pain going on and they want their parents to make it stop. This is what was making this little girl upset. She was in pain and tired. Her mother tried for 20 minutes to calm her down hoping the baby would fall asleep but nothing was working. The poor little girl was so worked up that all she could think to do was scream and cry.

The mother was getting frustrated. The baby was suffering. Everyone on the plane was becoming annoyed. A woman in a pink dress approached the young mother and offered to hold the baby for a little bit. Clearly a mother herself she knew that the baby and mother needed a break. The woman in the pink dress took the baby and walked her up the row until silence fell. The mother desperate to silence her baby was relieved for the break. Still I could tell that the young mother was worried. A stranger offered to hold her child but where's anyone going to go on an airplane? She sat there about 25 minutes before getting up to check on this lady in a pink dress holding her baby. Coming back to her seat we overheard the mother report that the lady in pink would hold the baby a little longer to let the baby sleep some more. Also it may have gone unsaid but to give that mother a break.

We all need a break sometimes. Taking a break does not mean we are failures. I could sense that this young mother felt like a failure. She couldn't calm her daughter down and hence failed. Untrue. Some things we can't do. Having help and taking it is not failure. Children are not easy. We do our best every minute we can hoping that we are doing the right things. Success comes eventually. The important thing is that we learn. We learn how to be better at comforting our children. We learn how to better teach them about the world. Most importantly we learn to accept help from others to be a success.

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