The Best Help You Can Give Other Parents
The baby on the plane that was so tired she couldn’t make sense of where she was or what she wanted. The two toddlers, maybe one year apart, who zigzagged across the moving sidewalk between terminals. The preschooler trying to drag his baby sister and her stroller onto the baggage scale because he saw everything else go on it.
What I noticed was that I was on high alert, with Mom Ears on and Mom Voice engaged and Mom Smile at the ready. I was watching them to see that they didn’t go too far or do anything iffy when their parents were reading arrival and departure screens, or digging in bags for a toy, or showing ID to the gate attendant. A little girl made a break for the seating area just as her parents cleared the gate and started down the jet way; I sidled into her path and smiled sweetly at her until she turned and found her mother’s hand. An older infant started to squirm in her mama’s arms, made the little moue that presaged a tantrum, so I played peek-a-boo with her until she smiled, and then realized she didn’t know me and snuggled back down into her mama’s warm shoulder.