Annoying kid terrorizes flight

Dear Annie: I recently was on a short flight. A young couple and their two children were seated behind me. One was 11 months old; the other was 2 years old. I am a mother of three and grandmother of six; I love kids and don’t consider myself a grouch. However, I just like to sit quietly in my seat and read my book and do not really care to socialize with fellow passengers. I realize that young children and infants can be difficult to entertain on flights, and I didn’t mind some noise and occasional fussing. But when the 2-year-old kept flipping the tray that was attached to the back of my seat up and down, I became very irritated, not with the child but with the parent who allowed him to do it over and over again. I didn’t really want to turn around and be the grouchy old lady complaining. So I endured it for two hours. Am I being unreasonable? Shouldn’t parents be a little more mindful of fellow passengers’ comfort? I’m hoping parents of young children who fly will read this. — Toddler Turbulence

Dear Toddler Turbulence: Better to bear the 30 seconds of discomfort for speaking up than two hours of discomfort for not. And you can speak up while still being perfectly cordial. Face the parent with a smile. Say hello.

Be direct: “Would you please stop him from opening and shutting the tray table? It’s shaking my seat.” Even if the parent judges you as a “grouchy old lady,” I guarantee some other passengers will silently regard you as a hero.

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