I've noticed lately that there are a lot of anti-kid movements going on around the country. First, there was this article about 60% of the public wanting a family-only section on airplanes. Then, there was this story about a restaurant in North Carolina posting a sign that they have a no screaming kids policy. Both stories prompted hoards of offended parents to protest. I think the anti-kid movement has 2 causes: (1) parents thinking their kids can do no wrong, and (2) non-parents becoming more self-centered. Let me explain.
When Captain Destructo was born, the hubby and I made a conscious effort not to become fuddy-duddies who sat around at home just because we had kids (says the lady in stained shorts watching Food Network alone on a weekend night). We took her to our normal restaurants,camping trips, vacations, even a Major League baseball game (yeah....don't take a 5 month old to a Major League baseball game. Epic parenting fail.). We've endured our share of annoyed looks and stares from people as we brought our 5-day old into a sushi restaurant and our 17 month old onto a first class cabin for a 6 hour flight (more on this later). But here's the thing-when she gets fussy and inconsolable, WE LEAVE. One of us will walk with her outside while the other one quickly pays the bill, we leave in the 4th inning of a baseball game, or whatever. We realize that no one thinks our kid is cute enough to not care that she is screaming hysterically. I know that everyone goes through that moment when their kid starts whining when we think we can calm them down and continue with our good time. But when they cross the line into full-blown tantrum, it's time to get the heck out of dodge. You're not having a good time anymore, and neither is anyone around you-just cut your losses and hit the road. Secondly, some parents need to realize that their kid is not so supremely well-behaved that they can bring them into completely un-kid-friendly places. I love kids as much as the next guy, but I get so mad when people bring their toddlers into PG-13 or R-rated movies. You know who doesn't want to see a movie in a theater? Your toddler. You know who doesn't think your kid's so cute we don't care she's throwing a fit on our night out? Everyone else in the theater.
The other cause, I think, of the anti-kid phenomena is the selfish un-parents. We get it, ok? We know you are supremely superior to us, sitting quietly on an airplane, drinking cocktails and reading your magazine in peace. But we can do without the looks of death as we lug our kids, car seats, diaper bag, and the Elmo that fell out of the diaper bag down the aisle. We acknowledge that you don't enjoy hearing our kids scream on an airplane. Look at us. Do we look like we enjoy it either? Do you not see the looks of terror in our eyes as soon as the low-level whining starts, knowing it will escalate into a full-blown, 5-alarm tantrum and we are powerless to stop it? I acknowledge that crying kids are annoying, but I would venture to say that people who talk at ridiculously loud volumes on their cell phones, try to shove bags 6 times too big into the overhead bin, and/or people who bring tuna fish sandwiches onto airplanes are just as bad.
I personally love the idea of a family section on airplanes. I would care much less that Captain Destructo was crying, and other families might enjoy the Elmo DVDs we play nonstop more than the last seatmate I had. We've flown with Captain many times since she was a baby, the first at 3 months old (no, we are not independently wealthy. Frequent flier miles are the perk of having a husband who travels 30 weeks a year). Airplanes are not baby-friendly anyway, what with the lack of places to change a diaper-because you know your kid will poop as soon as the plane takes off-and the anti-nursing vibe. Flying as she has gotten older has become easier and harder. Easier because she can now be distracted by the aforementioned Elmo DVDs; harder because sitting in a seat for more than 30 seconds is much less appealing than it used to be.
Oh, my gosh. I just realized that this time next year I'll have a newborn AND a toddler on the plane. Plus 2 carseats and a double stroller. I need a bag to breathe in.
I hope they have kid sections by then.
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