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My Favorite Things

  • Naptime
  • Caffeine in various forms
  • Italy
  • The Beach
  • Family camping trips
  • The gym
  • Storytime at the Library
  • Rachael Ray
  • Running

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Kids' Table

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.


  1. You can do it Kristin!!! You're supermom!! And I'll be coming to you for mommy advice when I actually have kids in 15 years

  2. I loved this post and am going to share it on facebook. I think a kids section might be a good idea on planes but imagine the noise! At least we wouldn't worry about it though. Yes, traveling with two is quite full on, requires a lot of forward planning!

  3. ha ha so true and so funny! =) I too have had so many people glare at me as I get on the plane. Like they think I'm super pumped about getting on the flight with my kids. And hey it's either Elmo or screaming ok? And no he won't put on headphones. The craziest thing was trying to figure out how to get my toddler in that itty bitty bathroom while holding a baby.

    I would like to end this vent session by saying thank goodness for the people on the plane and in the grocery store that totally "get and it" smile sympathetically. thank you! Thank you for not making me feel so losery as I'm loading my full cart of groceries onto the belt, my teething/drool covered baby screaming angrily in the cart and my toddler next to her shouting something that I'm too busy to hear. Oh and thanks to the person in the parking lot that is walking into the store that offers to take my cart. Thank you!

    wow I had no idea I so much to say about that. =)

    great post!

  4. Ummm ya, smug non-parents should really take a second look at themselves. Children are part of the world they live in, and no, they aren't meant to be hidden. They are meant to live and experience life as well. That said, you are so right about parents who FAIL to think of others around them.
    And yes, the person who brings the tuna fish sandwhich on the plane is just as rude. Maybe even more so. GROSS!

  5. And who thinks it's OK to glare at a stranger for whatever they're doing?? Tuna sandwich or screaming baby, it's not OK to be rude by giving dirty looks. What are we, 12? And anyone who thinks they're better than someone with kids needs to take care of a kid for a week!! I don't have kids, but I took care of my 2-year-old nephew for 2 months. It's HARD!! Especially when there's a fit, a stroller, a car seat, a playground or errands involved!!