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(Photo: Twenty20)

Dear Parents Flying with a Baby: I’m Judging You

SmarterTravel

Dear Parents Getting on the Plane with a Baby,

You’re nodding apologetically, cradling your small irrational human as you struggle under the weight of the gear, the car seat, and the necessary supplies for Plans A, B, C, and D for entertainment, diaper disasters, and unexpected snacking binges. You think I’m judging you.

You’re right.

I make eye contact and smile, hoping it’s encouraging rather than rueful. Just in case it doesn’t translate, though: I see you. I see that you are wedged tightly between a rock and a hard place—the scorn of your fellow passengers on one side and the complete unpredictability of your baby on the other. Aside from the flight crew, you’re about to be the hardest working people on this plane.

In my judgment, you are a bold adventurer, and this plane ride is your Everest.

Anyone who once brought young children to new places and helped those children become curious explorers knows that these are the first steps. They do not always go well, but more people than you think are supporting you on this journey. Look around and know that not all silence is judgment—some of it is quiet applause.

And yes, many, many (many) people you pass as you make this anticipatory walk-of-shame down the aisle are hoping you will not sit within three rows of them. Peppered among the haters, though,  are those of us who would high five you if only your hands weren’t full of squirming baby and all the just-in-case gear you could jam into a carry-on.

Yours,

A fellow traveler, parent, and former traveling baby

More from SmarterTravel:

Christine Sarkis travels with two kids under five. Follow her on Twitter @ChristineSarkis and Instagram @postcartography for more advice about making every vacation the best vacation.

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