To Our Eye-rolling Seat Mate

I last flew with Wildman in the middle of my first trimester. Seated next to a less-than-impressed young adult, I wrote this when I got back to Denver to release some frustration.  

To the annoyed twenty-something seated next to us on this flight:

You wouldn’t know it, but I’ve been up since 4:30 AM preparing for this flight. I woke my toddler three hours earlier than usual so that we could make it to the airport on time for me to haul our carry-on bag, checked bag, stroller and car seat to the Southwest check-in counter.

I get that this was the last open seat. I get you probably don’t want to sit next to a pregnant woman with a whiny toddler. Yet, here we are.

I see your eye rolls. I hear your loud, passive aggressive sighs. Please know, I’m doing my best.

Here’s what you don’t see about us…

I’ve been nauseous and exhausted for WEEKS. The last place I want to be is in this confined seat, sweating through these “morning” sickness waves and balancing a toddler on my ever-shrinking lap.

My desperate attempts to keep my toddler from touching you are making him more agitated. He’s social, he’s friendly and he just wants to say hi.

He’s one and a half. He’s tired and slap happy and just wants to run, climb and explore.

Between his fussing and squirming, he’s clawing at my face, pulling my hair from my bun and kicking my bladder. I’m pretty sure I’m bleeding from that bite he took out of my shoulder.

I want him to behave as badly as you do. The books, toys and “mystery bag” aren’t cutting it right now.

Finally, he sleeps. This is when you give me a shy smile. Maybe you’re relieved for the silence, or maybe you’ve come around to realize how much work it can be to fly solo with a child. Either way, I don’t expect you to fully understand what I just went through.

I want to explain my day to you so you can feel just how stressed I am. I want to make sure you know we’re not intentionally trying to ruin your day. I want to talk through all of this with you, but I don’t.

Instead, I write you this note.

Happy flying,


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