most of us experience.......was exhausting, embarrassing, maddening, frustrating.........you name the "ing" word and as a parent you know what I mean! Kids, like adults, love the idea of going somewhere special, whether it be to see grandparents, or Disneyworld........but getting to and from there generally turns out to be one of those experiences we hope we never have to live through again.
Kids have little patience for waiting in lines.......they have no interest in standing still..........a long line of chairs in an airport just
screams "roll under me" or "jump from one of us to the next one"........you know the scene. And of course a nice long concourse just mandates that your toddler take off in the run of their lifetime. Then there's the meltdown while standing in the security line, and little boo-boo needs a new diaper, pacifier, bottle, snack........anything that's going to require you to inconvenience yourself and the others around you.
So what do you do? For one, forget the day-to-day rules of snacks and food......I say give them whatever makes them happy, and when you get home,
get back to your happy "normal". Take little things for them to play with (beware of things that roll! Magnets are your friends)......things they haven't seen before is the key (unless they have their fav, "I'll die if I don't have it blankie or toy"), but new things always fascinate kids. Take a variety of types of little toys, crayons, and if you're lucky enough to have an I-Pad or Kindle........load it up with games and their favorite movies. The secret to traveling happy.......give them what they want just to keep them occupied (especially with babies and toddlers!) and when you get home, then go back to rules and regulations. I realize that sounds like caving in, but in today's world of conflicts, you have to pick your battles......trying to prove your authority in a crowded terminal is really like losing the war.
If you're the lucky traveler with no kids, you generally seem to find the mode of transportation that has the most kids on it, and they usually want to sit next to, in front of, or behind you. Ever been on a plane where the little kid behind you is kicking your seat without stop, or sat next the window only to have a young couple with a crying baby sitting in the middle and on the aisle next to you--you CAN'T escape!
So this is how I see it......
- You can pretend you don't notice (while you're about to explode inside);
- you can glare angrily at the parents and kids (that always makes a kid straighten up....not);
- you can try to engage the child--with the parent's permission of course!
No, it's not your responsibility to help out, but in the scheme of things, if you're not incapacitated yourself, doesn't it make more sense to try and find a way to help calm that screaming child down? Everyone benefits, and the best part is, your trip will go a lot faster, and you'll feel good about helping. Those parents who were sweating buckets of sweat....they will get off that plane with a smile on their face instead. Not to mention, all the other curmudgeons who will forever be in your debt for averting a trip of screaming and crying.
Be someone's hero/heroine during
the holidays if you're traveling!