Posted at 3:57 PM Nov 02, 2009By Andrea Grimes
So, it's too bad I was on American instead of Southwest, which is apparently now happy to chuck screaming babies and accompanying parents off planes (while they're still on the ground). Mom Pamela Root and her 2-year-old were kicked off the plane before takeoff because they kid wouldn't quit yelling "Go, plane, go!" and "I want Daddy!" Root insisted her kid would quiet down after takeoff, but the flight crew did not take her word for it. And they shouldn't have.
Broadsheet's Kate Harding takes on the issue and is surprisingly punch-pulling, hemming and hawing about who was in the wrong, wondering about bad parents and bad childless people and good versions of same. I will do no such hemming: by all means, kick a screaming baby off the plane or, better yet, don't let them on in the first place.
So, fellow childless people, please try to remember that the kid crying behind you on a plane might be terrified or in pain, and his parents are probably trying really hard to soothe him. And parents, please try to remember that those of us who complain about crappy parenting we've witnessed are probably not talking about people like you -- unless you actually are one of the ones who would completely ignore your kid throwing herself into a display case or kicking a fellow passenger's seat for two hours.In speculating about crappy parenting, Harding illustrates why it's completely pointless to do so: a common trait in children is that that they don't shut up if they are terrified or in pain. Or are alive. And therefore they do not belong on airplanes. It's not the parents' fault. It's not even the kids' fault. Blame it on nature if you have to. Even the best parents can't control their kids all the time. Which means children have no business being crammed into an enclosed space from which others cannot escape.
I've heard folks propose a family section on airplanes, and I am totally behind this idea. That way, parents could pool resources--maybe you're out of milk, don't have a coloring book, whatever--and avoid confrontations with adult passengers who value their sanity.