Your Mother Would be Ashamed If…
she saw you treat another mother that way.
I have four children. They are all over twenty. So it’s easy to forget how complicated the infant years actually were.
I was on a plane a few months ago sitting directly in front of a mom with a newborn. (I bet you know where this story is going.) Actually, her baby was amazing. Not one whimper the entire two-hour flight.
But the other baby that was directly across the aisle was not so quiet. I honestly believe there was only one ten-minute stretch where this kid was not wailing. It was the kind of scream that hurts your teeth if you are sitting within one hundred feet. The mother tried everything she could think of—toys, videos, pacifier, food, wine. Nothing worked.
You could tell the mother was extremely stressed and a few of the passengers were pretty irritated.
There was a lady in front of me who kept turning around and glaring backward across the aisle every few minutes. She would roll her eyes, sit back down in her seat and mumble a complaint loud enough for everyone to hear. At one point she actually stood up and glared at the mom with the infant for a few seconds as if to say, “Can’t you control your screaming baby?”
By the time we landed everyone was pretty nervous and exhausted. When we pulled into the gate, people began to stand up and get their luggage. That’s when the lady in front of me turned and looked at the quiet child sitting directly behind me. She raised her voice so the other mother could hear and said, “Thank you for being such a good baby.”
I turned and looked at the mom with the crying child in time to see her turn red and drop her head in embarrassment. My biggest regret that day is I didn’t look the rude lady in the eye and say, “What did you say? Your mother would be ashamed if she saw you treat another mother that way!”
Now, every time a baby starts crying, and I’m around non-mothers or adults who are not accustomed to infants, I feel the urge to stand up and do a PowerPoint presentation. I just think it’s important for everyone who is not a new parent to remember the following things when someone’s baby is annoying you.
1. You were a crying baby once.
I bet you annoyed someone like you. And I guarantee you could stink up a diaper as good as anyone. So don’t be a hypocrite.
2. You had a mother.
And she gave birth to you. (I’m not claiming to understand what any woman goes through in labor, but I have heard it is like “taking your bottom lip and pulling it over your head.”) The point is, every mother went through what your mother went through, so show some respect.
3. Children are the future.
Okay. I know that’s a song and not an original thought, but a good presentation has three points. (It would really create a moment here if the soundtrack could kick in while you are reading this.) Anyway, imagine what this world would be like without children. Before you get sarcastic with that last statement, really think about it. If this world was just full of adults, it would be a sad place.
I know there are some parents who act like the world revolves around their children. They totally ignore the distraction their baby makes in the middle of church, a restaurant or a professional setting. But most parents are doing their best to manage the situation. When you are flying above 10,000 feet, your options are limited.
So, next time you are in an airport, and you see a nervous mom getting ready to board the plane, look her in the eye, smile and say, “Thanks for being a mom.” Make your mother proud!
Got any flying infant stories or tips?