Last night on Alaska Air flying home solo with our 2 1/2 year old, I was judged. It was assumed I never fly. It was explained that I was a poor parent with bad parenting skills. It was said that my daughter's behavior was awful.
All this from a large, woman in seat 6A. She was sitting in front of our toddler in 7A who hadn't squealed once. Who was happy as a clam with her play dough, markers, stickers, or iPad. Whichever did the trick at the time. Usually 15 minute increments.
As soon as we took off, I was asked by this woman "...to please stop my child from kicking her seat."
"of course. I'm so sorry." was my reply.
Later as the toddler (NO, not my daughter) behind me screamed, sung the abc's at the top of his lungs, or threw his snack box at my head, all I thought was how smooth we were doing.
About an hour into the flight, the woman turned around and said "please make her stop." Now mind you, my daughter is tall. She's 40" these days with her long legs. (We're not quite sure where these come from...) Of course I wasn't allowing her to kick endlessly, I was trying to occupy her to keep still and as quiet as a 2 1/2 year old can be on a 2 1/2+ hr flight.
Then 20 minutes to landing, the woman went off on me.
"Could you please control your child?!?" she rudely said.
"Excuse me?" I replied.
"You heard me. Tell her to stop!" She said.
Shocked, I replied "Um, I'm doing the best I can. She's 2 years old. We're almost in Seattle."
"I travel ALL the time. I'm coming from 2 days of straight travel. If you can't control her, move her. Put her in your lap. WHATEVER." she snipped.
"Please stop yelling at me. She's TWO. I'm doing the best I can. Give me a break." Was my last somewhat calm reply.
After a few more nonsense comments, I pushed the flight attendant button. The flight attendant would put her in her place I thought.
Instead I was told to move seats with my daughter. I wasn't supported. The woman wasn't told to stop acting more like a 2 year old than my daughter.
I'm disappointed with the lack of support from my flight "audience." At the very least, I was hoping the 2 parents behind me with the crazy toddler would pull me aside to see if I was okay.
I'm sad that a woman, and a woman of color doesn't see that we all need to stick together as women, no matter what. I mean, COME ON!
I'm sad that I got so sad and angry next to my girl.
I'm ticked off at Alaska Air and not sure we're going to fly again on the airline - regardless of our (insert cough) MVP status due to frequent flights. (My husband has flown 39 times this year. 35 on Alaska Air.)
Honestly the whole situation upset me. How dare she judge MY parenting
skills, MY amazing daughter, or assume I didn't know how to fly? This whole thing is a big JOKE.
Maybe Alaska Air just isn't into Toddlers/kids flying these days even though they too have purchased a ticket. Toddler kicked off Alaska Air - just this year.
As our little amazing girl summed it up later, "Momma, I didn't like that mean old man in front of us. He wasn't very nice."
"No hon. She wasn't."