A parenting blogger has called out the negative reactions of a fellow plane passenger in response to her tearful toddler on a cross-country flight.
In an open letter published on the Facebook group for parenting site Momstrosity, Stephanie Hollifield revealed how she was taking her first trip with her two-year-old and described feeling “very nervous”, particularly as her daughter was recovering from a sinus infection.
From the moment the pair sat down, Hollifield said that the male passenger in front of her made a series of “dramatic huffs and puffs”, letting her know that he was “annoyed by our very presence.”
Despite making extensive preparations prior to the journey, Hollifield’s daughter began to cry and scream as the plane took off.
“I did everything in my power to keep her calm and quiet. I shushed her, and made sure her little feet didn’t kick your seat,” she wrote.
“She was exhausted and fussy,” the 33-year-old continued. “You did not let up with your mutters of annoyance and looks over your shoulder. I apologised to everyone around me. I almost started crying myself.”
Salvation came in the form of an “angel” flight attendant who gave her daughter a cup and a straw to play with.
“The kind attendant told us, ‘It’s ok! Flying is tough on everyone, and you are both doing great!’”
These simple words had a calming effect on both mother and child.
“She was right. We were doing great! We were doing our best, and that’s as great as it gets.”
On reflection, Hollifield had some choice words for the irritable passenger: “What you need to know, is that while children can be terribly inconvenient now, they will run the world when you are old and grey,” she wrote.
“I get it, kids can be a nuisance, but next time you are forced to be near one, I hope that you will be more like the flight attendant. I hope that instead of frustration and annoyance, you feel hope and goodness.
“This world certainly has enough negativity without us adding to it, and just maybe the kindness you give out today, will be returned to you in the future.”
Other parents acknowledged the challenges of travelling with young children and sympathised with Hollifield’s predicament.
“He’s had decades to learn to deal with his emotions under stressful circumstances, she is still learning self-control. One of them was being a brat and it wasn’t your child,” one commenter wrote.
Another said: “I never know what someone is going through, so I try to always be empathetic but mommin is hard…no need to compound an already stressful situation. You did great and hopefully his wife lovingly explained why HE was wrong.”