No car seats. No stroller. It was shaping up to be an easy flight with 2 young boys. Three seats together, with a kind man across the isle. (From the sounds of it, we lucked out, because the lady behind us sounded like a mean ol’ nun who would have caned anyone who even thought about being impolite. I thought, briefly, about saying something to her about her preachy demeanor, but decided it was better to keep my mouth shut.) The boys were very happy with their pasta dinners and their toys. Two hours in and they were still content with an iPad and a Leapster. No big surprise there, but it still was blissful. Seven o’clock came up quicker than any of us would have liked, because I knew our littlest boy needed to sleep, since he hadn’t napped. The boy had other ideas.
For a bit, he laid on my lap, and his big brother graciously allowed him to prop his feet on his lap. I read stories to him for a long time, and was hoping that’d be it for him. I was wrong, oh so wrong. That was all the rest he needed to decide it was time to be wild-eyed. He flailed and flopped, kicked and hit, laughed at me, and topped it off by yelling (on a crowded airplane), “You’re hurting me. Stop hurting me.” I explained to him, in my ‘scary-calm’ voice that I was not hurting him, but that if he kept hitting me, I wasn’t letting go.
I really have no idea how long that went on for, but finally, I gave up, switched myself to the middle seat and completely ignored him. (Perfect parenting, right? He should have gotten bored and fallen asleep, right? Thanks to that kind man across the isle, he had some built-in entertainment, complete with pictures on the man’s phone.) I wasn’t happy about it, but I had been defeated, and was watching from the sidelines.
We landed and I was still furious. I couldn’t wait to get off that plane. But, of course, it took forever to get the door open and all the people in front of us to move. While sitting there, that unlikable lady from one row back came up behind me, put her hand on my shoulder and said, “I have 4 kids, and I couldn’t have done half as good of a job as you did.”
I think I said thank you to her, but I was crying so much, I couldn’t speak. She actually kissed me on the head at that point, gave me a hug and went back to her seat, and I continued to cry.
Then, that little guy who caused the ordeal, asked, “Momma, why are you crying?”
I couldn’t speak. I wanted to tell him exactly WHY I WAS CRYING. Thankfully, the lady came to my rescue again and said, “Because she loves you so much, sometimes it comes out in tears.”
The people behind me were even consoling me.
I don’t think I did that good of a job. I think I was too harsh with him. But, even if they were ALL lying to me, their lie was welcomed more than I can say.