Today's topic: children. More specifically, other people's children and why I loathe the people who assume I'll babysit them.
|Photo Credit: Microsoft Clipart|
The boy started off fairly nice...until he fell asleep. He moved about the 3-seat row like it was his bed. His mom, seated behind me, poked me once to ask if he was asleep; a second time to ask me to grab headphones out of his bookbag on the floor and then a third time to see if I could ask the boy if he had to go to the bathroom.
My first thought to myself was "I'm a stepmom, I'm used to taking care of non-biological children. This shouldn't be too bad." I was wrong.
After the boy took an hour nap, he spent the remaining 2 1/2 hours in fits. He would scream or cry, hit me and the guy next to me. Never once during this did his mom or dad peek over to see if he was okay. I suppose I could have peaked my head over the seat and said, "Listen 'rents, your kid is waking up from a nap and he seems inconsolable. Is it normal for him to beat things up when he's waking up?"
I decided to keep quiet. Unfortunately, the other 7 children in our section of the plane had the opposite idea and spent the last hour of the flight screaming and yelling.
I do believe this was one of the worst flights of my life. Worse than the 7 hour trip from Tokyo to Thailand were I almost puked from the smell of the food, worse than the trip from London to Chicago where the turbulence was so bad people were throwing up in their vomit bags, even worse than flying through a hurricane on my way to New York.
As I recounted my miserable tale to my husband, we both agreed that parents who treat nice strangers like babysitters are awful.
I'm predisposed to not like most children -- other than the well-behaved ones I know. I make it a point to not hang out as a family unit with any friends that have bratty children. There are a few that squeak by, but I try to limit my time with them.
I'm of the opinion most kids today are raised with halos on their heads and that their parents think they can do no wrong. I don't subscribe to that notion. I believe in groundings and parental dictatorships. But these are my opinions and not everyone else's. I could no more ground a stranger than I could walk on the moon. I think that's what makes the whole inflight babysitting -- or other instances where this has happened (and yes, it's happened elsewhere) -- globally frustrating.
Maybe I'm jaded because I decided not to have children. I took 6 months of clomid after which, when it didn't work, I decided I wanted my own peace, quiet and life more than I wanted my own child. While I was trying to conceive, I had a whole list of parental things I would -- or wouldn't -- do. It's tough sometimes to carry around that list in my head and realize I don't have a child that will reap the fortunate rewards of knowing what it's like to hear the word "No" or to be grounded because they behaved poorly. True, I have stepchildren, but I don't discipline them so it's a moot point.
What makes my plight more interesting is that I'm a nice lady. I'm helpful and conversational when need be. I think the nice lady part of me might be what's getting me into trouble though. When parents assume my 'nice lady' demeanor means I'll just sit by calmly while their child unleashes terror on me, I think I reserve the right to demand money for my services.
I realize I sound like a bitch and I take full responsibility for my opinion. But so help me gravy if I'm the assumed babysitter one more time...