A Mom Traveling With Kids — And the Older Lady Who Put Her 2 Cents In

A note for anyone traveling with kids or around any kids who are traveling!

Dear hybzzfhkzz
Free-Range Kids:

Had the usual shenanigans travelling with the kids yesterday. After 45 minutes waiting for our luggage in a hot, busy baggage hall the kids were bouncing off the walls. I was desperately trying to keep them entertained and not annoying other people. An elderly lady beckoned me over to where she was sitting to say “my son used to be a little monkey and he’s an orthopaedic surgeon now, so there’s hope!” Nothing like a little adult solidarity in these situations 😉

— Fiona McEwen


How easy it is to judge — and how easy it is to do the opposite and make someone’s day!  L


Traveling with kids = parenting on parade.



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25 Responses to A Mom Traveling With Kids — And the Older Lady Who Put Her 2 Cents In

  1. Artyom May 28, 2017 at 11:28 am #

    There is no reason why kus should not be bored out of their minds when standing around for so long. Jere, they probably would have went watching the planes come and go, but I guess that letting the kids do that is nooption in the US.

  2. Artyom May 28, 2017 at 11:29 am #

    *kids *here – sorry, phone

  3. Crystal May 28, 2017 at 11:49 am #

    I am a mother of four small children born within five years of each other. I have also been the recipient of kind words from older women while traveling (which we do a lot). It makes all the difference in the world.

  4. Gina May 28, 2017 at 12:21 pm #

    I always try to do that, especially when the kids are having a rough time. I raised 5 and I know that there are moments when there is truly NOTHING you can do.

  5. Suzanne Lucas May 28, 2017 at 12:22 pm #

    Artyom, they were in baggage claim. In all the airports I’ve been to there’s never been an option to watch planes in baggage claim.

  6. Artyom May 28, 2017 at 12:42 pm #

    @Suzanne Lucas
    Oh, I don’t mean at the baggage claim. (I think you can watch the airfield from there at the Salt Lake City airport) Quite often, there is a lounge where kids can wait and watch the airfield processes. The children won’t go anywhere, are happy discussing wether that plane is a Tupolev 204 or an airbus 757. And safety is granted by all the people and security personell around. Of course, when all the waiting rooms are in another part of the airport, that’s not an option.

  7. Jeni May 28, 2017 at 12:46 pm #

    I feel like every mom who’s been there becomes responsible for being that older lady who passes on some hope to the next generation. If nothing more than just smiling and holding doors open, or offering words of encouragement. Keep paying it forward, you know.

  8. SKL May 28, 2017 at 12:58 pm #

    I agree, this is our responsibility as veteran moms. It can be lonely out there. 😛

    I have done this on many occasions and it really helps the moms calm down – and that in turn helps the kids calm down.

  9. Artyom May 28, 2017 at 12:59 pm #

    Yup, true. It always is a good idea to be kind to people and make them feel better, especially when they seem to be embarrassed for something that is not their fault. A few kind words might undo a whole lot of nasty looks from others before.

  10. Reziac May 28, 2017 at 1:14 pm #

    Maybe if they were allowed to “annoy” other people, interacting with kids could get normalized again!

  11. Frank May 28, 2017 at 1:38 pm #

    I was in line at a grocery store and the kids were “I want this and I want that “. A lady behind me in line said “Things will get better. I have had the opportunity to pass that on a couple of times.

  12. That mum May 28, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

    Finally a nice old lady story.

  13. Papilio May 28, 2017 at 5:14 pm #

    That reminds me of the last time I went shopping with my mother. There was a mom with a boy of about 5 (?) who had been misbehaving, so mom told him to put back a toy that he wanted. At first he did, but then, when he was close enough for her to hear him, he just started crying, CLEARLY because he had not gotten what he wanted.
    So we laughed at him. His mother was embarrassed, I think, but the kid was so clearly pretending, it was actually rather amusing.

    By the way, if that isn’t Schiphol in that picture I’ll eat my shoe 😀

  14. CrazyCatLady May 29, 2017 at 12:26 am #

    I try to do the same when I can. I tell the parent that I have 3 teens…it is okay if your kid is bouncing off the walls.

    I too, try to not let my kids bounce off the walls. But…when you middle turned 5, he needed his shots for school. I scheduled for a nurse visit to get this done. They said it would be in and out, about 15 minutes. Sounds good.

    Only the first 4 sets of 15 minutes came and went. And my son, the most active child I have ever seen (due to combination of vision issues and ADHD,) was getting a bit out of hand. I asked about our appointment. At 90 minutes past time, my son had played with every toy, talked to every person, child and adult and was crawling under the chairs. At 2 hours, I asked again. They had forgotten that we were there…..no one in the waiting room had though!

    But my son got the last laugh. When they FINALLY got us to see the nurse, he refused to do the shots and had a melt down. (2 hours of thinking about it really doesn’t help.) They had to bring in THREE other adults to hold him and give him the shots. But before they were willing to do that, they wanted me to reschedule….no way in He double L! No need to waste another 2 hours of our lives on that.

    Most other kids I see…they always seem to do so much better than mine did. Moms need to know that it is okay for their kids to be kids, especially when faced with long waits in a grown up environment.

  15. John B. May 29, 2017 at 1:40 am #

    The bottom line here is that so many people see kids acting naughty and rambunctious and mean and cruel and then rush to judgment and comment how horrible their parents are and that their kids will turn out to be career criminals, yada, yada, yada. But when all is well and done, the kids turn out just fine!

  16. Jessica May 29, 2017 at 6:59 am #

    Aw what a lovely story!

    I’ve traveled a bunch with my son. And I will say that, while there have been one or two busybodies who give advice about what I’m doing wrong, the vast majority of travelers are always tolerant and helpful.

  17. Jessica May 29, 2017 at 7:01 am #


    Yes, that was the problem in this story. I mean, there are obviously lots of places in all airports that are more fun for kids (the one at OHare even has a little kids play area with stuff to climb on). This family was waiting for their luggage.

  18. theresa May 29, 2017 at 12:25 pm #

    Sometimes life has no fun moments even more so when you’re a kid.

  19. jimc5499 May 29, 2017 at 3:14 pm #

    A couple weeks ago I flew back from Washington State. I was traveling alone and was assigned a seat next to a Mother and her 8 year old son. She asked if I would take the window seat (I had the aisle) because she was sure that her son was going to have to used the restroom several times during the flight and she didn’t want to bother me with their getting in and out.
    Her son started reading a book about helicopters. When I told him that I had fixed helicopters in the Navy, his eyes grew big. We sat there and talked about helicopters and I explained to him how they worked. The next thing that I knew we were landing. I walked off the plane with them and his Mother thanked me for keeping him occupied. I told her that HE kept me occupied. I asked for an e-mail address so that I could send him some pictures and a few other thing that might interest him. I told her that she had a very nice well mannered son and I enjoyed our discussion.

  20. Vaughan Evans May 29, 2017 at 7:39 pm #

    Couldn’t the kids be taught how o amuse themselves with colouring books-and crossword puzzles,etc.

  21. Roger the Shrubber May 30, 2017 at 8:37 am #

    Really, Vaughan? Why don’t you keep to your home so you wont have to be exposed to kids who aren’t always behaving in the perfect manner that you find acceptable? Why don’t you cut people some slack when you can and it’s no sweat off your back? You should expect better behavior at a theater or four-star restaurant. You should be willing to let it slide in the baggage claim area.

  22. pentamom May 31, 2017 at 2:51 pm #

    Makes mental note to become that old lady.

  23. James May 31, 2017 at 8:01 pm #

    I’ve found that there are two groups of travelers when it comes to kids. Those without kids have annoyed looks and want the screaming to stop. Those with kids–even if the kids aren’t with them–want to take the parents off to the side, give them a good stiff drink, and tell them it’s going to be okay.

  24. MichelleB June 6, 2017 at 3:22 pm #

    “Couldn’t the kids be taught how o amuse themselves with colouring books-and crossword puzzles,etc.”

    In baggage claim? I’m just not picturing that.

  25. Jessica June 6, 2017 at 4:06 pm #

    Two types of people in the world: the jimc5499 and the Vaughn. Guess which group has the more pleasant, peaceful life?