Up until this flight we were so lucky. Everybody has been so kind. On this flight I thought we were SET, as our neighbors were a 2 year old and Dad- great! A bigger kid for distraction; how excellent. And it was. 

Then the tray table was down. MLP kicked the tray table. I did not react. He did it for another few moments. 9C, you gave me a glare that would have stopped a train from around the seatback and in that moment, I was sorry. I stopped MLP’s kicking. 

I put the tray table up. Down. Up. I reached for things in the seat pocket, took things out, put things in, took things out, put things in. MLP squawked a few times, slipped down my lap twice and contacted your seat, 9C, twice. I counted, cringing. When I had my own snack and that tray table was down again and MLP didn’t kick it but he sure was wiggly you turned around again, 9C and there was that glare, and I said “I’m trying, I’m sorry, I’m trying.” But I knew our chances for redemption were slim, at best.

Oh 9C you were so angry. I swear to you I have searched through EVERY moment on the flight to see was there something I missed? Did MLP pull your hair? Did MLP grab the seat and shake it? (He did not.)

That flight was hard. The seatbelt sign was on a lot. As much as it is very physically demanding to keep your lap toddler occupied in your seat, it is downright dangerous to walk said toddler around even when the seatbelt sign is off, and no way am I going to be out of my seat with kiddo when it’s on, unless it is by accident.

I should have preempted the end of this flight with a sincere apology for whatever it was the MLP did that destroyed your afternoon, 9C. Seriously, I really should have. Because it is IMPOSSIBLE to respond rationally to a series of vicious glares. I failed, but I swear to you it wasn’t a failure of parenting, or a failure of MLP to be a good kid. 

It was a failure to communicate. That’s what I had there.

The flight landed- MLP was pretty dang good that last half hour, actually.

I had MLP strapped on in front, the backpack in the back, and was reaching for my bag in the overhead compartment when I noticed you staring at me with fierce hatred. Pretty sure I am not exaggerating here, 9C. 

In that moment, my better self would have said, very calmly “I am so sorry for when he disturbed you.” and I would have left it at that. 

It is that for which I am sorry. 

But what I said was, “Really?” and what you said, 9C, and WHO TALKS LIKE THIS, was “Don’t even start with me lady!”  

Again, I should have left it alone.