Toddler tantrum, terrible twos, passengers, plane, angry, baby, screaming

Dear passengers on that plane, let me explain

I know you all wished to have a nice, quiet trip from Dubai to Bangkok, but my daughter had a secret plan to showcase her best talent on that day in the plane – a talent that was clearly not appreciated by everyone.

You see, in our last two weeks in Dubai our house had changed enormously: all our furniture and items were shipped to Bangkok and the house looked vast and empty. In my daughter’s world this translates to having a new room with nothing to play with. Her crib and favorite toys were gone.

Now, in case you’re wondering, yes I did keep some toys for her to play with, but there were just a few of them (small ones that can fit in our suitcases). And of course, we did have a replacement crib for her to sleep in (you see, my daughter’s well-being and safety are very important to me), but that new crib was still disturbing enough for her, reminding her that a lot had changed in our house.

And on the morning of our trip to Bangkok, we had to wake her up two hours earlier than usual. Our house was full of people who came to say goodbye and help with the luggage, and for an enthusiastic child this meant a lot, especially that it was still dark outside. I’m sure her little mind was wondering ”what is going on today, and why are all these people hugging and kissing me?”.

Then we arrived at the airport, a whole new world to explore and a large space to run in.

And then she saw the planes, one of her biggest obsessions lately.

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So, all this time her adrenaline was going from high to higher, and by the time the plane took off, she was extremely tired and sleepy – but as a toddler faithful to her species, she did not want to acknowledge it.

Sleeping was not an option. 

It was about an hour and half after the plane took off that the volcano (also known as toddler tantrum) erupted.

Like a soldier in a lost battle, she screamed high and loud to fight tiredness and stay awake.

…She screamed so loud that I HAD to get out of my seat and stand in the small alley next to the toilets to sway her and make her sleep.

…She screamed so loud that all the passengers on the plane heard her. And just for the record, I am not paranoid, I know this because we were seated in the back of the plane, and I could SEE everyone’s head turn in our direction to find out what was happening. A couple of them whispered starring at me with their big eyes. Another woman looked at me with sympathy, as if saying “I know what you’re going through – and I’m glad it’s not happening to me!

So, at that moment I had to make a choice: feel bad for being judged so badly by a bunch of strangers, or attend to my baby’s needs.

You see, one thing I’ve learned in my two years as a mom is that when kids misbehave it’s because one of their needs has not been attended to. So ignoring her worries to focus on one of my own was not what my baby needed at that time.

In such a busy day, full of new things to explore (and planes to look at), she needed comfort and to know that it was ok to take a rest and give her body what it needed most: sleep!

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And that’s what I had to do.

Help her to sleep.

It took her about 10 minutes to entirely give-up to this unwanted temptation, but once she did, she enjoyed it for the next…. 4 hours!

Yes, that’s how sleepy she was, and that’s how stubborn she could be!

So, dear passengers on that plane, I apologize if my baby’s talent took you by surprise and disturbed your flight (for a very short time, let’s be honest here…).

I am not a bad mother.

I just happen to have a toddler full of energy.

With love.

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Mom Blogger | A little obsessed with gossiping about my kids. I blog abut the fun side of parenting: milestones, tantrums and the lack of communication!


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Have you been on an airplane with a very active toddler? I have. Here is my story: I know you all wished to have a nice, quiet trip from Dubai to Bangkok, but my daughter had a secret plan to showcase her best talent on that day in the plane – a talent that was clearly not appreciated by everyone. [Click to read more]

10 thoughts on “Dear passengers on that plane, let me explain

  1. This is actually one of the concerns that I have! You have perfectly represented one of my biggest fears these days.
    In less that two weeks I have to take a plane to fly by myself with my little one. He’ll be almost 5 months then and we will fly from Calgary (Canada) to Seville (Spain) with a connection in Amsterdam… It’s going to be “interesting”!!

    1. Hahaha .. .yeah, “interesting” is the word. Although at five months you might be lucky to get a few hours of sleep, especially if you’re dealing with a long trip. Good luck! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you 🙂

  2. I feel you, Ghada. My daughter showcased her talent during our Singapore-Manila trip for a whole 2 hours and while the plane was landing! It was one of my most memorable trips ever! I never felt so popular while riding a plane! Lol! 5 mins after we disembarked, she was as happy as could be! And I was soooo tired that I just wanted to hit the sack right then and there! It happened a year ago and I can still vividly remember every bit of it. 🙂

  3. Hi Ghada,

    I totally can relate to this story, as I was myself in a similar situation just last weekend.
    My baby (5 months) wouldn’t want to settle and every little sound made her head go up and roundly demonstrate to people that she is fully awake.
    Having an ignorant man sitting next to us who wouldn’t let me sit on the Isle seat in order to be more flexible with my daughter didn’t help much…
    What I have learnt: if people stare – I stare back… And I have this “murder look” my husband always refers to, which makes everyone look shyly away.
    So here to you – all of you super duper experts or annoyed co-passengers – leave us alone and try to emphasise for a change!

    Umm T

  4. Hello Ghada,

    You made me remember my days when my son was 2 years old and what I went through traveling alone as a single mum 🙁 Trust me, that was not easy at all, flight of 8 hours felt like 38 and sometimes 88. People without kids wont ever understand… until they feel it 🙂

    1. Thumbs up to all single moms out there! I don’t know how you do it!
      The non-parents WILL NEVER understand what we go through until they join our club. They can keep judging until they are judged back one day .. and they’ll feel all the remorse of the world. I have so much to tell them that I have dedicated a post just for that. Keep reading the blog for more updates and thanks for visiting!

  5. Hi Ghada,

    Congratulations on your blog. I just love it ! and love your tone; that I can imagine you right in front of me chatting together.

    Well, I always used to complain when there are kids on plane. But now that I have a baby, baby Caline, I so much understand what moms feel on a plane. and how irritated we get by the passengers looks.

    But seriously, as long as I am doing my complete job as a mom, there are times that things go out of control. What to do!

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