By Miss Pollyanna, 16th August 2015

When Kids Kick Your Plane Seat

An Open Letter to the Passenger from Hell...

An Open Letter to the Passenger from Hell…

Thank you for giving me a hard time for no reason. No, really, I sincerely mean it!
But first let’s rewind… you sneering, cold-hearted woman. How dare you turn around to me as the aircraft starts to reverse in preparation for its taxi to the runway and dish your pompously snide – and may I add, super loud – comments out at me about my son kicking your seat; me, a mum traveling alone and sandwiched between her two under 8 year olds, like you were some kind of Prima Donna?!

This was Easy Jet, not British Airways.
If you didn’t want to hobnob with kids and their ‘inept’ parents, then quite frankly you should’ve made a left for first class on a BA upper middle class voyage of sophistication. What did you expect from Stelios’s all-in-orange economy funfair? You, Madam, you were well out of order making me ping for the cabin crews’ attention via the call button button overhead to nip your superfluous charade in the bud before we were even airborne! Had you known I was an unassuming, on-the-surface-of-it mouse (albeit stubborn when irate, Taurus), then you and linen suited Hubby – who looked as if he’d walked straight out of a colonial tea house in Darjeeling – would have kept your traps well and truly shut.


Red rag to a bull.
But I simply didn’t care who heard me. The whole plane was my audience now. And I happily informed my hero of a cabin crew member, who swiftly came over to us as the jet engines were revving ready for take-off, and breathed a sigh of utter relief when he backed me up by promising me ‘all would be fine’ and that he’d be ‘keeping an eye on the situation… let me know if anything escalates.’ Ha. You didn’t see that coming, did you? And I wonder if you’d have taken the same approach with my husband had it been him sat behind you? I strongly suspect that you and your under-the-thumb Hooray Henry wouldn’t have dared…

The fact of the matter was…
My little boy wasn’t even kicking your seat! Oh, trust me, I’d know when my 4 year old kicks your plane seat. I do have a pair of eyes. We have traveled before… and I do know how irritating it can be to receive a continuous thud, thud, thud in your coccyx. But like I say, that’s par for the course on a budget airline. So my ever-probing, curious mind couldn’t help but wonder if you’d suddenly lost your life savings… and thus couldn’t cruise it down to our Mediterranean destination in the manner in which Her Ladyship was usually accustomed? Was my son a scapegoat for your sudden change in fortunes? Your outburst was so extreme, you can’t blame me for wondering.

Because nobody hollers at a little boy like that.
Not even me. And I am his mum. And a flippin’ good mum I am too. For two and a half hours he sat, feet in sandals outstretched (oh, do excuse me, did they brush your seat back a couple of times? It’s just that at aged 4 his legs aren’t quite long enough to bend and tuck under his plane seat like like an adults’…) colouring in, gently unfastening the tray that was oh-so-inconveniently located on the back of your seat – do excuse him – so he could eat, drink, read, and yes, have a supervised play on his Tablet. No, nobody hollers at a defenseless little boy unless they are bloody unhappy in their own skin.

child aeroplane

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And as for the gaggle of passengers who all faced down at their feet as I looked North, South, East and West for some morally supportive trading of eye rolls, thanks a bloody bunch! What a load of pathetic fence sitters you all were… except for the bald-headed gent one row diagonally ahead of us. You kind sir, and your wink, were a guardian angel… but you really could’ve thrown that into the mix 20 minutes earlier when I had almost – close to tears – decided we were going to disembark the plane there and then and get a later flight!

Better late than never I suppose. That wink was all the non-verbal clue that I needed. I was right, Madam Hyacinth Bouquet was decidedly wrong…

Then I bizarrely started to feel empathy towards her.
Well, I guess a 2 and a half hour trip in a pressurised container however many miles up from the earth will do that for you. I’m a thinker you see. And I am a naturally positive person… except for that last hour and a bit. I think it was after you’d poked your nose through the crack in your seats for the 56th time – yes, I was counting, not much else to do except stew over your hideous behaviour – that my heart began to melt for you. Poor lady. What was going on inside your head? Why all this anger directed at completely innocent strangers? Because if it wasn’t us sat behind you, for sure it would’ve been another young family… with a child who wriggled, twisted and turned far more like an eel than my relatively still (the poor lad didn’t dare move an inch) little boy; my wee 4 year old.

And then my daughter said you gave her the evils…
Well, that was a nasty thing to do after I’d melted a little, spotting your opportunity to start on the next eldest in my family as I escorted my littlest to the toilet, wasn’t it? But it didn’t stop there, did it? Oh no. For as much as I tried to bask you in a positive glow, I could literally feel your glare as we ‘all rised’ to disembark the aircraft upon our arrival. And of course it was sod’s law that at every turn of the zigzagging barriers, you and Linen Suit would be walking parallel to me and my Little Ones; a direct reflection, mirroring our every move.

Oh how relieved I was when my husband picked us up in the car!
Except of course in a totally un-rose-tinted way, I proceeded to spill the entire story out once again. Then I got home and I told my Facebook Family. Then I relayed the whole thing to my parents. This was too big, too juicy, too frustrating. That woman was, after all, quite plainly the bitch from hell.

And then I slept on it.
The next morning, slumber having restored my mind, I felt like I was back to my old self again. It felt sublime. And knowing full well that we are the ones who attract every single person, circumstance and event into our lives, I knew I had some soul searching of my own to do to get to the bottom of this…

But what I didn’t get was I’d been in a positive mood the day before!
The holiday spent visiting family and friends had been great! We’d been to Legoland, spent lots of happy hours with our loved ones, enjoyed fabulous (for the UK) weather, and had been really looking forward to getting home to see Daddy… So how in the hell did this ‘monster’ and her sidekick end up in our periphery? I just didn’t get it. And then I did. Oh, Eureka! Suddenly it all made sense. The reality crashed down on me and I realised I had been paving the way for this not-so-little lesson in self-love all along.

For weeks I’d been feeling like a Guilty Mum.
And that had only been heightened (subconsciously) during our trip. Here are some of the thoughts the ‘chatter box’ inside my head had been thinking:

– I was mean to be sending my children to summer school (9-2) each day as soon as we got home
– I was the ‘poor cousin’ to the friend we’d visited at her lavish mansion. How could I ever provide the kind of lifestyle and finances for my kids as she did for hers?
– Due to an error back home, my son was a little late receiving a vaccination he should have had earlier… we got it all sorted in the UK during our trip, but I ‘sensed’ that the nurses were looking down at me and being judgmental
– At the airport, since we had a delay, I let the children play on their Tablets… and then felt self-conscious that other parents might be critiquing my parenting skills.
– I have recently set up a business with friends and as a result, need to be on the computer a little more than I used to be… I am not spending enough time with my children.

And the list went on and on. But I think you probably get the gist.

As we give out, so we shall receive back
So actually, far from being the woman from hell, the lady sat in front of us was truly a gift from the Universe. A gift to bring me back to self-love. For her critique of my son and his ‘kicking’ was simply a reflection back to me of my own harsh critique of myself.

I had been feeling like a crap mum, the world around me had to mirror that back because that’s just the way the Law of Attraction works. In fact it’s quite laughable. My feelings must have been so intense on this subject that the woman yelled it back to me in such a way as to almost stop a flight from taking off. Imagine the headlines in the papers! No, actually, let’s not go there.

love letters

Yep, guys, take it from me: this is how super powerful our thoughts are. So choose wisely as to the seeds you plant in your mind… for they grow and grow until BAM, they finally get you to notice them. Then you get the message. Then you realise it was all only ever about LOVE. Self Love.

We’re all great Mums. Every single one of us. We simply need to focus on our uniqueness as parents, stop thinking everyone else must be doing a better job than us and give ourselves a really BIG pat on the backs… rendering posh ladies sat in front of us on planes, trains or automobiles speechless!

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