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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kid free zones, Kids only zones

I've been reading a lot of stuff recently in the news about airlines and restaurants considering 'kids only' sections or 'kid free' sections.  At first, I questioned it, but thinking about it more, I freaking love the idea.

I have been both the single unencumbered traveler and now, have also been the Mom trying to keep my child from disturbing others on a flight or in a restaurant, completely grateful when we touch ground or scarfing down my food or taking it to go to get out of the restaurant asap.  I remember the days of looking at children on a plane and being pissed if they were seated anywhere near me.  I was going on vacation and didn't need some hellion kicking my seat and playing with the tray table constantly.  The same goes for dining out, I didn't want to be seated by a family with kids throwing sippy cups, cheerios and crayons while screaming.  Now, I'm THAT Mom with THAT kid and realize, that by no fault of my own or lacking of parenting skill, my daughter is at the stage where she is exploring and she is going to kick things, throw things and play with things that look new and interesting.  It's not intentional, she's learning how her body moves and is starting to understand what is ok and what is not ok to do.

  The last flight we were on my daughter was able to sit still for 20 minutes and that was it, she needed to take off.  She had recently started walking and sitting still for 2 and 1/2 hours was not going to happen by any stretch of the imagination or due to the praying I did the night before.  The flight attendants encouraged me, to my surprise, to let her walk the aisles, one even offered to make me a cocktail, which I declined since it was noon, but greatly appreciated the gesture.  I felt okay with my daughter walking up and down the aisles because I had the support of the flight attendants, but several people were giving me dirty looks as my daughter went up and down the aisles with her squeals of delight waving at various passengers in her path.  I was so happy when we landed, but exhausted.

The idea of a kids section on a plane or a restaurant, or a specific route that caters to children would be welcomed.  I would feel much less stressed since I'm sure I could look over at the family in the row across when their children go bonkers and we could exchange empathetic glances and perhaps see the humor in it all, instead of apologizing for something that is inevitable with children.

 I love this idea because when I'm out without my daughter, I want some guaranteed kid free time too, it recharges the batteries.

What are your thoughts on kid free or kids only zones?

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