Dear Guy Sitting In Front of Us on the Plane,
I'm truly sorry that fate frowned on you, and positioned your seat directly in front of me and my squirmy 16-month-old on the long cross-country flight yesterday. I knew you were truly bummed by the exasperated sigh when you first saw us, the dirty looks you kept tossing our way, and your staunch refusal to smile at my son when he blew you kisses.
Please accept this apology for ruining your flight:
I'm sorry my son threw a Crayon in your crotch, and about that Lego that somehow landed in your hair.
I'm sorry you stepped on the cheese curd he threw into the aisle because he wanted a cookie, instead.
I'm sorry I had to squeeze my hips past your armrest 62 times as I lapped up and down the grungy, narrow aisle holding my son's hand.
I'm sorry that the only way I could entertain him between the third and fourth hours of the flight was to let him vigorously stir the ice in the plastic cup sitting on my tray table, which sent vibrations through your seat and ice flying to the floor.
I'm sorry his head accidentally bumped the back of your seat when he arched back in a tantrum from having to read the same dumb animal counting book we'd already read a dozen times.
I'm sorry it smelled like an outhouse for a few minutes because there was a line nine-deep for the bathrooms, and I'd procrastinated changing his diaper earlier since it's pure torture to deal with a rolling, shrieking toddler on a tiny changing table in a bouncing, pee-sprayed closet.
I'm sorry I yelled a curse word when he spilled my $8 Bloody Mary onto my brand-new pants.
I'm sorry you saw me at my wit's end when he wouldn't fall asleep for a much-needed nap, both of us frustrated, cranky, and dog-tired.
I’m sorry that you had to put on earphones during the last hour to drown out the repeated renditions of “Elmo’s Song” emanating from our iPad.
I'm sorry it annoyed you when I sang lullabies to soothe my child's pain during the plane's descent as he whimpered in my arms.
Mostly, though, I'm sorry that you weren't charmed by his hopeful wave each time he passed you. And that, because you were so determined not to like my kid, you closed off any possibility of enjoying his charms, which would have helped in forgiving his faults.
Best of luck in getting a calmer seat next time you fly.
That Mom You Hated