The last thing parents want is for their child to throw a fit in public—on an aeroplane of all places. It gets worse if someone airs their annoyance too… One mom had to deal with this awkward situation, and she was feeling quite defeated until she received support from fellow passengers and a note from the crew.
Danielle Walker, a mom and author of the New York Times best-selling cookbook Against all Grain, had always taken pride in having “good fliers” in her young children. But she couldn’t say the same when she, her husband, and their children were traveling on an Alaska Airlines flight in October 2018.
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In her now-viral Facebook post, Walker recalled how her youngest child, Kezia, kicked up a fuss that led to one passenger making a snide comment.
“Kezia was down a nap and we flew at bedtime and she was not having it,” Walker wrote.
Kezia started screaming for “a good hour straight,” though Walker recalled that the moment felt like it lasted for over two hours.
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Like other parents, Walker tried to calm her daughter down, but it was to no avail.
“Nothing worked,” Walker recounted. “No distraction, no bouncing, no walking, no snack, brothers, kind passengers trying to help, bottles, coloring books, phones, TVs, baby wearing, or even a desperate attempt of a lollipop.”
Walker had no idea why Kezia was crying, and eventually, Walker started crying too.
To make matters worse, her son, Easton, also became “cranky for a split second.”
That’s when a man sitting in the row behind her said, “oh great now both of them are going to go at it.”
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The comment made Walker more anxious. She cried even more.
Fortunately, there were some sympathetic passengers sitting near the family.
A couple sitting behind played patty cake (a hand-clapping game) with Kezia and asked Walker if she would like them to hold Kezia for her; another woman came over to sing a song (which turned out to be a song from Walker’s best friend) for Kezia.
Walker couldn’t be more grateful for the kind gestures.
“Every mother needs a village,” she wrote.
But the kindness didn’t end there.
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The flight crew slipped an encouraging note into a bag and gave it to her. When Walker saw the message, she broke down again.
“You’re doing a great job as a mom so don’t be so hard on yourself,” the crew wrote.
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Although it was a challenging flight, she disembarked feeling blessed by people’s humanity.
With her experience, Walker hopes that others will cut parents some slack if they are flying with young children.
“If you’re flying with a parent—please always give them grace,” she explained. “They want their baby to scream much less than you do, I promise.”
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As for Kezia, Walker vowed not to bring her on a flight again until she turned 2.
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