Monday, February 11, 2008

Mr. and Mrs. Grumpypants

Our trip was almost perfect. The only blemish on an otherwise fabulous vacation was the lovely experience of sitting behind Mr. and Mrs. Grumpypants.

As you know, we were traveling with our kids, Jack is 6 and Kamden is 3. They are old enough to not cry uncontrollably the entire flight but not old enough to sit still for over 3 hours and will despite our best efforts bump the seats in front of them numerous times.

Most people are understanding and have patience because they have either been there with their own kids or are compassionate enough to put up with this sort of thing for a short time. After all, we were all kids at one time.

Mr. and Mrs. Grumpypants however, are not those kind of people. In fact I might venture to guess that they came out of their mother’s wombs age 45 and scowling. It’s also very clear that they do not have children of their own or if they do, the nanny has been instructed that they are to be seen very infrequently and NEVER heard.

Keep in mind that these people are most likely flying on the same seat sale we were, a WestJet flight from Toronto to Nassau. Consequently it’s most likely that the former is true rather than the latter.

Jay and I had a plan of attack for the 4 flights it took (each way!) for us to travel to our destination and back. We would take turns sitting with the kids and the other would sit directly across the aisle. On this particular flight, Jay was the one sentenced to kid duty. I had the luxury of being all the way across the aisle, free to read or watch TV at my leisure.

Keep in mind that this is a flight with a duration of almost 3 and half hours. Did I mention that there were TV’s for each seat? With Treehouse and Discovery Kids? A channel for each of our son’s discerning tastes.

All I can say is Mr. and Mrs. Grumpypants have no idea how good they had it. If there had been no TV’s this story may have ended quite differently, namely with me in jail somewhere in the Bahamas for aggravated assault of two idiots. Is that even a valid charge? Maybe, maybe not. It likely depends on your perspective.

From my perspective things were going great. The kids were happily occupied watching TV and the seat in front of Kamden was actually empty (Mr. and Mrs. Grumpypants were seated in front of Jay and Jack respectively). When Jay told Kamden to not kick the seat in front of him I commented that it likely wasn’t as big a deal since no one was sitting there.

That’s when he informed me that he had already been asked twice by the gracious and eloquent Mr. Grumpypants to please not allow the children to kick the seats or something to the effect. Jay is not sure exactly what he said, the plane is loud but that was the just of it anyway.

I was somewhat shocked. I have been a parent for 6 and half years now and I have never had someone say anything like that to me yet. I guess I was just lucky and the luck, well she done ran out.

My comment then and it may or may not have been loud enough for them to hear (I’m really classy like that) was that they quite obviously do not have kids. Any parent knows that you can try as you might but no matter what the kids will bump the seat. Not on purpose but their legs, well, they are sticking straight out in front of them for goodness sake.

Oh, and note to my dear friends Mr. and Mrs. Grumpypants – if you don’t want your seats bumped by the children sitting directly behind you? DON’T RECLINE THE THINGS AS FAR BACK AS YOU CAN.

It’s not rocket science for the love of Pete. Do you know Pete? He’s awesome and we love him a lot around here.

Anyway all of this in isolation is really nothing and I wouldn’t have been steaming about it like I am. But the worst is yet to come.

Probably three quarters of the way through the flight Kamden wanted his playdoh. And NO! not the playdoh we had brought but the other playdoh, THE GREEN PLAYDOH. He was yelling. He was upset. He was tired by this point, we had already been traveling for 24 hours (overnight in a hotel granted but with much less sleep than normal). He was screaming at the top of his lungs. It was loud.

I’ll give all that to the Grumpypants. However, it was literally for a total of 7 minutes. Maybe. It might even have been shorter. I was doing EVERYTHING in my arsenal to stop the screaming already. It did seem like an eternity. The heart rate was up, sweat was pouring…

And that was just Mr. Grumpypants, you should have seen me!

But it wasn’t enough for Mr. and Mrs. Grumpypants. Oh no. They felt that if they both turned around on separate occasions and gave me the look of death that would be very helpful.

Oh yes it was. Do you know what it garnered them?

The wrath of Kami.

After the second scowl that would rival the Grim Reaper, I yelled. Yes I did. I am not proud of what I did. Well maybe a little and I would do it again in a second.

My exact words were “Hello! Do you think that I am making him scream on purpose?”

I mean seriously. WTF?

Out of a 3 and half hour trip and I get dirty looks because he is loud for a total of 7 minutes?

These are standards I refuse to live by. I was mad. C’mon!

But that was it. I kept my cool once we landed. Even when I had to stand in the aisle waiting to disembark while they stood in front of me, facing me. I guess they were trying to intimidate me or something. Whatever. I am sure they had more right to be on the flight than we did. Positive. I mean what are we doing taking our kids on a fun beach vacation? Don’t we know that is for old, grumpy childless couples?

Anyway, we went on to enjoy our holiday and come across yet another child hating person. I walked into a store on a different island (we took a day trip excursion over there to do some shopping) with Kamden. The store had very little in it and even less than I was interested in but I didn’t want to turn around and walk right out since the lady who either worked there or owned the place was standing right there. I said hello as we walked in and she almost immediately interrupted me while I was talking to Kamden to ask if I need help.

No, I am just looking was my response. Her next sentence, and I quote, was,

“Well, do not let you child touch anything. If he breaks it, you have to pay for it. You should know that m’am.”

Me to Kamden, “Come on Kamden, I don’t think this is our kind of store.”

To my mom who was now walking into the store, “COME ON. We are leaving. GOODBYE (kind of rudely I admit to store lady).”

And as I walked out, my next comment was that I have never met so many child hating people in all my life.

And this is the sign that welcomes you to the island:

(Welcome to Harbour Island Home of Friendly People)

Apparently this lady hasn’t seen it. I think perhaps she might want to consider a new line of business because owning a gift shop on an island in the Bahamas that caters to tourists is probably not her thing.

Also if you want to see steam come out of me, this is sure fire way to get it going.

Oh and when we arrived at Nassau to catch our departing flight, who should we see?

That’s right! Mr. and Mrs. Grumpypants, in the flesh thankyouverymuch! I cannot thank the good Lord above enough for the fact that they didn’t sit anywhere near us.

I would not have been accountable for my actions if they had.


Hannah said...

Oh man!! Who knew there were so many child haters in one place? But YOU GO GIRL!! You rock! I love your responses in both situations. Not ugly, but telling it like it is. Let's hope Mr. and Mrs. Grumpypants get stuck next to some REALLY BAD kids on every single flight they take for the rest of their lives. That would be sweet.

It's a shame that some people have such a dislike for children. And not all childless people are in that category, it's just some. The minority. I would hazard to say that 99% of the world's population actually likes children. Bummer that the 1% who don't were part of YOUR vacation!

Ashley said...

Wow! What at trip you had. You should have told Jay to kick their seats once or twice, by "accident".
You kept your composure better than I would have.

The only up's a great blog post and story. Sorry you had to go through it!

Family Of Five said...

OMG! You make me laugh!!! Great story telling ability you have! I think we are equally as subdle! I LOVE it! :)

LVGurl said...

Okay, just thinking about all that flying with two little ones is making me twitch!

GOOD FOR YOU for yelling at that couple! Sheesh! Do people really expect any plane flight to be a perfect, relaxing experience? Pay for a first class ticket then, folks!

I saw your pictures on Facebook, your trip looked so amazing!!

LaskiGal said...

This post was hilarious. I think you handled yourself GREAT! I'm not so sure I could have been as calm and patient with Mr. and Mrs. Grumpypants (you are being too nice with those names). They were rude and clearly had issues--IMHO.

I mean, for goodness sake, it wasn't like you were letting them run all over the plane doing whatever they wanted!!! To hannah's point--I hope they had the kids from hell on the way back--they'd be begging to be near you and your kiddies again.

I'm with Ashley--I'm sorry that this happened, but it made a great story! Thanks for enduring pain for our entertainment :)

All I can say is that KARMA is SWEET . . .

The Foulds said...

Some people!
I am sure I would have said what you said if not more...


Tracey said...

Ack! You go girl on snapping at the people on the plane. I rarely snap at strangers (my family's not so lucky) but have been known to let off on occasion... it's not a pretty thing....

4 Little Men said...

Oh don't you hate that... I have encountered my fair share of child haters and i swear I have yet to get it. do people just forget what it's like or what? And most of the time my kids were being 'good'. I would have said something too... I don't do quiet silence in situations like that.

Glad you had a great trip anyway!

teeni said...

I have had an adult turn around and give me the evil eye when I was a kid and bumped her chair. Honestly, as an adult, I don't like it myself, but accidents happen. It makes me wonder if one of Mr. or Mrs. Grumpypants had a medical condition for them to have specifically asked not to have their chairs bumped. I dunno - just playing devil's advocate. I kind of have to since I don't have kids myself and don't want to be thought of as a child hater. ;) On a side note: not all kids are so well-behaved no matter what their parents think, but that shouldn't ruin it for all children, since so many of them ARE well behaved. Shop owner probably saw too many of the bad kind. Too bad it has made her bitter to everyone.

Kami said...

You know Teeni all of those things have run through my mind and had they explained it to us politely, I would have bent over backwards to ensure that we didn’t bother them. Their approach just made me angry and made me feel like a second class citizen.

And I would NEVER include you in the child hater category nor did I mean that all people who don’t have children of their own are in that category. Not so. I think that majority of people, whether they have kids of their own or not, see the joy that children bring to anyone’s lives by far outweighs that kicking and screaming that also accompanies them.

And the lady in the store, again absolutely that is likely why she is so bitter but again, rather than lecturing me on what I should know and shouldn’t she could have just asked me politely and noted that she has had a lot of children break things. I would have been more than happy to oblige. It’s all in the approach I think,

Thanks for playing devil’s advocate because there is always two sides to any story!

teeni said...


Angella said...


I giggled at what you said to those grumpy people. I would likely have applauded you if I was on the plane with you ;)

Lizzy in the Burbs said...

Good for you, Kami! Some people are just ignorant to that fact that other people do use public transportation and that those people might be children! Perhaps Mr. and Mrs. Grumpypants should charter a private plane if they want to be left all alone! I think you exhibited great control, I probably would have freaked!


Anonymous said...

was that you people behind us? am so sorry and i`ll have a word with that person working in MY

Kellan said...

You handled the situation marvelously! I've have been furious too - I'd have probably been thrown in jail in the Bahamas too!! You get a lot of credit for biting your tongue as much as you did and those people - those people - they will get theirs! Somehow, someday - they will get theirs for being so mean and so miserable.

Take care and I'll see you soon. Kellan

kaylee said...

oh man!!!!!!!! can i email you something????????? dont hate me if i do lol ;)

Karen MEG said...

That was infuriating Kami, but good for you! Travel is a challenge with children, even the best behaved kids have their limit. Those planes are so cramped too; but I've been on the receiving end of Grumpypant (I love that name, BTW) behaviour.

Once little G and her BFF were playing ring around the rosy, in their PJ's (they'd just had a playgroup party) - granted it was at Costco's eating area, but there was plenty of room and most people when they walked by would smile and notice how cute they were (they were 2 at the time).

But a couple of times they drifted a bit too close to this older couple who were sitting and talking (finished their meal). The woman got up to throw something out, and one of the girls walked slightly into her path (not into it totally, but the old biddy had to move an inch over). She said loudly "People should control their children!"

And I said loudly back to my friend "Some people don't get out much and should adjust their attitude before they leave the house in the morning".

So, yeah, I think I woulda done the same thing you did, if not more, LOL!

R Family of 4 said...

I dont know what would have been better reading this fabulously written story or hearing it in person ;-) Good for you for standing up to Mr and Mrs Grumpypants, which by the way is a far nicer name than I would have given them. Sorry it had to happen but like others said it made for a good story.

familymclean said...

Oh Kami!!!! You crack me up with your writing, but my gosh!!!!!
What a hell of a time!

Lets do a play date for sure, how about friday?

Stacie said...


Some people suck.

Lizzy in the Burbs said...

Hi, Kami!

If you get a minute, could you stop by my blog? I tagged you for a really easy meme. Thanks!


mommyknows said...

People are so rude. They forget they were ever children themselves.


Anonymous said...

Heard the story a time or two....well maybe even more!!! But you wrote it up perfectly. Now looking back it is easy to laugh at these very ignorant people and unfortunately the world does have a few of them!! Till later, Grams

Anonymous said...

Heard the story a time or two....well maybe even more!!! But you wrote it up perfectly. Now looking back it is easy to laugh at these very ignorant people and unfortunately the world does have a few of them!! Till later, Grams

Alex Elliot said...

They were on your flight on the way back?!!!! I particularly don't get why people can be so nasty on airplanes. It's a form of public transportation! Next time they should take a private jet.

Elaine A. said...

I can't believe I didn't comment the first time on this. I know I read it. I mean I remember Mr. and Mrs. Grumpypants! Guess I was being a slacker that day. Anyway, hope you didn't encounter anyone like this on your last trip. And thanks for linking up my friend! : )

Natalie said...

okay, that was funny. i know i read it before but that was back before i became a loyal commentor and way before i discovered google reader so that i could keep up better!!!

um yeah, people can be horrible...i tend to go a little crazy when people "pick" on my kids too.