A plane passenger is wondering if he is in the in the wrong after reporting a kid crafting in the seat next to him to the flight attendants. At first read, this story surely sounds like a curmudgeon who wants to stifle a child’s artistic genius. However, parents might change their tunes once they learn what the little kid was crafting with.
Every parent’s nightmare — glitter. And it was going everywhere.
The glitter reporter posted in Reddit’s “Am I the A**hole” forum to ask if he was wrong for getting a flight attendant to intervene when his young seatmate, who was playing with glitter, suddenly decided to take her crafting from her own tray table to his lap. All this occurred while mom was paying no attention.
“I had a situation that happened to me on a long-haul flight yesterday and I need your verdict,” he wrote. “I’d paid for an aisle seat in main cabin extra because of my long legs. It was a packed flight and my row-mates were a mother (late 30s?) with a young child (maybe 5 or 6). They brought a bunch of arts and crafts to keep the kid busy — things like a glue stick, markers, paper, craft sticks. Sounds cute, right? Well, not when the glitter came out.”
The original poster (OP) continued, “The child, let’s call her Glitter Godzilla (GG), was making a mess, and since she was in the middle seat, the glitter would spill over onto my side. If you remember glitter from elementary school, it’s messy AF if you try attaching it to paper. There’s a lot of shake off and most of it doesn’t stick. So yeah the glitter and marks from the glue stick rolling off the gray table was everywhere — on my shoes, my backpack, and my jeans. I’m patient and get kids can be messy, but this felt crazy. I tried catching the mom’s eye, hoping she’d step in. But she just gave me a blank look like ‘this is how it is.'”
Sitting next to a kid who is using my body as a glitter canvas while mom looks on with no abandon? Couldn’t be me!
Whether I was in the position of the passenger or the mom, there is no way that this glitter incident would have ever happened. I am way too aware of others on a plane when my kid is with me. She gets to go to town on an iPad in silence while I read a book. Why bring glitter into this?
The OP finished his post and said, “I’m not confrontational so when I got up to use the bathroom, I quietly shared the situation with a flight attendant. She promised to discretely address it. When I got back to my seat, the mother was pissed. Idk what the flight attendant said but the mom claimed I was being discriminatory against mothers, and since the flight was delayed she was just trying to keep her child entertained. Then she started raising her voice, accusing me of being ‘a selfish man with no understanding of children.’ All this despite the fact that my lower half now looks bedazzled.”
For the rest of the flight, the OP says the mom verbally attacked him while flight attendants gave him sympathetic looks but didn’t want to step in to diffuse the angry mom.
“Of course the mother gave me a final f*ck you as we deplaned,” he wrote.
After the AITA post went viral, the OP cleared up some common questions and comments from other Reddit users, particularly those who stood up for the glitter mom, noting that the OP is not a parent and doesn’t understand the stressors of traveling with kids.
The OP clarified that he was not, in fact, a parent but still understands that adults shouldn’t behave in the manner the mom did post-glitter report.
“As time goes on I feel worst for the kid,” he wrote.
As for those wondering why he didn’t just saying something to the mom before going to the flight staff, he clarified a few things.
“I tried initiating a conversation but the mother made it very clear she had no interest in doing so. Between her body language and ignoring me there wasn’t really a way to start a conversation,” he wrote.
“I wasn't going to press it considering she had already argued with the flight attendant during boarding about having to gate check a bag ... Based on her later reaction I stand my by decision to ask for assistance. I’m glad the Flight Attendants knew what was going on, especially when things started escalating.”
Despite a few Reddit users who took the mom’s side, most readers sided with the OP.
“NTA She could've at least been a glitter shield by putting her kid on the window seat,” one user wrote.
The OP replied, “Should have thought of that. Maybe I should have just asked the mom to swap seats. Although I’m not really sure how that would have gone over.”
“NTA. A plane is not a child's classroom,” another wrote. “Of course, it's not always easy to entertain children on planes. But if you bring arts and crafts, it shouldn't be anyone else responsibility but the parents to clean it up, and they shouldn't be surprised if people are put off it.”
“Given her actions, she's just selfish and inconsiderate of others around her.”
Another user, who happened to be a mom, echoed, “NTA I'm a mom. Who the f*ck brings glitter on a plane? Even if you're adamantly against screens there's a TON of other things that don't involve thousands of tiny sparkly things that inevitably get everywhere. Not only was she inconsiderate of you but she was inconsiderate of whomever had to clean that ungodly mess.”
Agreed — stick to coloring books and tablets and never, ever bring f*cking glitter on an airplane. In fact, let’s just not bring glitter anywhere, ever again for the rest of time!