Friday, 4 November 2016

Do you apologize if your crying baby disturbs co-passengers while travelling?

Before my marriage, every time I boarded the train, my eyes were peeled for brave parents travelling with children, especially babies. I noticed all the time how parents used to calm down their babies when they cried inconsolably. It happens and it happened to me as well after I became a mother. My hometown is almost 600 kms away from Delhi where I work. And on every special occasion and festival I, with family, travel there. I prefer train travel, because first, I feel it's more comfortable and second, my hometown is still waiting for its own airport. I am now in the habit of this overnight journey which is close to 10 hours, minimum. When my son was 6 months old, he did his first train travel. We both husband-wife were having our stars at best as he was mostly sleeping during the journey. But our stars couldn't give us this luxury for a longer time. In our next travel only, he made a big fuss in the train. I was in place of those parents whom I had many times seen confronting their crying babies.
My husband took our tot in his arms and started walking inside the coach to calm him down. But somehow he was not stopping, may be because of turbulence in his sleep. We tried everything, repeatedly. A man in the same coach kept turning around to glare at us and after some time he started uttering things which made my husband angry. This led to a small argument between my husband, who was struggling to console our son, with the man who was having maximum issues with our crying baby. But I wanted to ask him and other people like him, “Do you think we want our babies to cry this way?”, OR, should parents not travel with babies until they master the skill of making their babies stop crying instantly?
Perhaps few people travelling in trains or flights think so. But if co-passengers expect parents to apologize because their crying babies are disturbing them, then news flash: babies cry. Adults can control their behaviour but babies can't. For sure, this doesn't excuse the parent from doing everything in their control to stop it, but asking for an apology for something over which they really have no control makes no sense to me. To be honest, I don’t mind a baby being a baby on an airplane or inside a train. That is expected and very natural. What boils my blood is how the adults behave. I have got much advice to take toys, books, and tabs while travelling with a baby, but the thing is, babies are going to cry at times, throw up and make a mess with a smelly diaper and this is normal. Why should parents be so concerned about offending other people and have to apologize for normal kid behavior? We, parents, can give such people only one thing "Smile". Deal with it. A responding smile, a bit of patience and a little respect for another human being (taking care of another little human being) would be great in these cases. Even if co-passengers don’t do so, we parents should still try our best to get the peace back as soon as possible. Nobody likes to hear crying, especially the parents!

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