I was overjoyed to have a 3 and a half year old sitting next to me. The poor boy's mother was on leg 2 of three (from West Palm Beach to Houston to San Fran to Australia). I have found that since I have begun traveling with a child, I am much more tolerant of children on the plane, and their attendant needs.
That said, this little boy had some issues. The woman was literally dragging him on his stomach back to where she wanted him. He was hitting and pinching her, screaming, demanding things...basically a camera crew away from a Super Nanny special.
Even when he reached into my drink and grabbed an ice cube I remained cool. Frankly, it didn't bother me. Somewhere, deep inside me, I have definitely achieved a calm and sense of peace when dealing with little people issues and travel. Perhaps I believe that I am saving travel karma in a bank for when my little Chickpea, or soon my LittleCannon, decide to act up when we go on one of our trips.
The hardest part was not trying to control any form of anger or frustration directed at the child, but restraining from offering up parenting tips to this woman. Let's just say she did a lot of things I would not have done, and did not do many things I might have tried. Not to say that what I would have tried would have worked, but what was doing wasn't, and it was clear she wasn't getting creative.
Oh well, here's to hoping my future travel days are somehow made easier that hers.