Yesterday, a United Airlines plane returned to the gate from a taxiing position because a pregnant mother couldn’t quiet her crying two-year-old. A fellow passenger told the story on his Facebook page:
Sarah Blackwood was 7-months pregnant with her toddler in tow. Fantastic. It’s super easy to board a plane with a toddler in tow when you’re 7-months pregnant. Also, toddlers come with “off switches,” so I have no idea why she didn’t just flip it. Oh, wait — no they don’t. But apparently that’s what this flight attendant thought.
The entire flight was delayed for over an hour so they could retrieve Blackwood’s bag. I’m pretty sure everyone on the plane would’ve rather listened to a crying child for a few minutes. It’s simply not okay to treat parents of small children this way. Just a few weeks ago a mother, her three children, and a grandmother were kicked off a US Airways flight because a toddler was kicking his feet into the aisle. Can this not become a trend, flight attendants? Please?
My son was always an amazing flier — until one awful day. He got carsick on the way to the airport, so he was already miserable before we boarded the plane. He wasn’t crying when we boarded, but as soon as we started to taxi, my usually great flier started thrashing around and screaming like a banshee. It was terrible. The jerk next to me muttered something like, This should be fun. Ugh. I had already blown through one bottle calming him after we boarded so I was screwed. All of a sudden, a flight attendant appeared with a smile and offered to warm a bottle or do whatever else I needed to help. It was amazing. I sent a nice email, and I’d like to thank you again, Jet Blue flight attendant whose name I don’t remember. I’m the mom who was covered in puke, piss, and warm milk. And you made a terrible situation better.
I hate, hate, hate it when people say things like, “I don’t mind toddlers, it’s the parents that bother me. If parents are doing enough to calm their crying child, I’m totally okay with it. If they’re not — I have a problem.” Oh, shut up. “Warning” a pregnant mom to keep her toddler quiet? When someone develops a foolproof way of doing that, let the rest of us know. Until then, can we all try to understand that sometimes it’s impossible?