No good deed goes unpunished.

June 15, 2011

I’m on the plane coming home from Georgia. It’s headed home, from a layover in Dallas. Crowded and hot, everyone is tired. It seems to be a popular flight for children.

The mom behind me already looks worn out. Her child begins to scream uncontrollably as soon as the plane starts to move. In between screams I hear her explain to the man sitting next to her that on the previous flight from North Carolina, her child also fell apart. I feel sorry for her, but am unable to do much with Bella on my lap and her directly behind me.

My seat is kicked and punched repeatedly as I hope no one gets rude with her. She’s doing the best she can with everything to distract and soothe her 13 month old daughter. Everyone just looks sympathetic.

A flight attendant offers to walk the child for a while, and I can hear the complete relief in the mother’s voice as she thanks her over and over. The little girl instantly is all smiles as she is paraded up and down the aisle. I finally am able to turn and talk with her a little. An Army wife, early 20’s. She’s spending the summer with her mother. This is her first time flying with her daughter.

When the flight begins it’s descent, the attendant hands back the baby and the screaming begins again. I hear the girl say, “It’s ok, oh, it’s really ok, how about this? No, ok, this? No, wait, this?”

Realizing distraction might work, I pull out the nearest toy I have. A small stuffed bear from the PX (store) on Ft. Gordon that Daddy bought for Bella. He let her pick whatever she wanted and the moment she saw that bear she fell in love. It has an Army dogtag around it’s neck and she proudly says, “Dada” every time she sees it.

Handing it back behind my head, I say, “Maybe this will work? Something new?” And lo and behold, it does. She quiets down and I don’t hear another peep. As we land, the mom flings the bear over the seat, stands to leave and practically bolts off the plane, barely glancing at me. I stuff the bear in my backpack and wonder if she thought I was implying we were tired of hearing her child yell?

At the baggage claim, once again she sees me and moves further away. I am completely confused but leave her alone.

Grabbing our bags, I walk past her and say, “Have a great trip!” She glances up surprised and mumbles something I can’t hear.

Once in the car, I pull out the Army bear to give to Bella for the ride home. She stares at it and then points, “Meh!”

It’s entire face is covered in wet slobber and ripped off with stuffing hanging out the sides. I give her a book instead, and take it home to try to mend it. I can’t sew, so I simply tuck the stuffing in and super glue the muzzle back on to the head.

That’s right, super glue. Thisclose to being like sewing only – so far away.

Next time I’m handing back a Tonka truck.


  • jules

    June 18, 2011 at 7:32 am

    If given the opportunity I would have handed the toy back to the lady and said ummmm…I don’t sew…you can have it. 🙂

  • Teresa

    June 17, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Ok, I love creating stories in my head to rationalize people’s strange behavior:

    Maybe she didn’t look at the bear when you handed it over and after her child chewed it, she looked down and, seeing the damage, thought you gave her baby a toy with stuffing hanging out! So, maybe she thought that YOU were the inconsiderate one?k idk. ppl are weird.

  • Kelly

    June 16, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    That was so rude of her on so many levels – as a woman, mom, fellow Army wife, and human being! Who destroys a child’s toy and then is so rude and hostile about it.

  • Kim

    June 16, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    When you told me about the super glue I laughed. Reading about it just now? I totally snarfed water up my nose. Priceless. I do feel badly that Bella lost her toy, BUT I feel safe knowing that she has a practical, smart mom who can sew on the fly. Now I’m off to fix some toys we have hanging around who are ‘bleeding.’

  • Jennifer @ Also Known As…the Wife

    June 16, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Accidents and overly aggressive kids happen; mom should have been a grown up and apologized.

    I can’t sew either but your superglue trick is genius. Heck, doctors use superglue in lieu of stitches these days.

  • Miranda

    June 16, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Ehh, and by saying it was probably cheaply made, I don’t mean to minimize its importance.

    Gah. I should proofread before I hit submit.

  • Miranda

    June 16, 2011 at 8:17 am

    I have multiple reactions to this.

    1) If it came apart that easily, it was probably cheaply made.


    2) It wasn’t hers to destroy and she could’ve AT LEAST said “I’m so, so sorry. Thank you, but I’m so sorry.” And offered to pay to replace it.

    I hope the superglue holds.

  • Jen

    June 16, 2011 at 6:54 am

    Poor Bella. She should have at least told you, and apologized, if not volunteering to pay for it. Understandably she was probably embassased, but that is not an excuse. I am sorry Diana! How did your super glue sewing job go?

  • Ashley

    June 15, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    Holy cow that baby must of had some chompers!

  • Desi

    June 15, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    That baffles my mind! I have flown with liv a lot and I still get sick with worry before and during every flight…I hope it gets easier at some point.

  • cathy

    June 15, 2011 at 9:40 pm


  • Traci

    June 15, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    I too am an army wife and I happen to live on fort Gordon. If you would like, send me a picture of the toy and I’ll go by the pxtra and see if they have another. I’m sorry she destroyed the toy 🙁 being a mom of crazy little ones is hard. Email me if you would like me to visit the px for you. Your military wife sister – Traci

  • Adam

    June 15, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    I can’t believe her mom didn’t stop her at some point in the face-destruction process. Ridiculous.

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