After a day of traveling and missing my kids dearly, it was refreshing to sit next to a mother and her young son on my flight from NYC to Montreal. The child like any other child, eager to move and explore and the mother wanted so desperately trying to please the little boy to keep him happy and occupied for the short flight. As a mother, I completely understand because there is nothing worse then having your child throw a fit on an airplane and receiving evil looks from other passengers acting bothered. Except after a few short minutes I noticed the child drawing all over the airplane wall and the mother allowing it, smiling.

I was shocked. My eyes were about to bug out of my head in disbelief. I tried not to stare but I could not help it. She had to have known better!

This beautiful woman with flawless looking hair, dressed like a million dollars with Prada shoes, a Kate Spade bag, Bugaboo stroller, 5 carat diamond ring and earnings – certainly had to know better! Right, who would just let their child deface something and smile because her child was cute?

I sat and pondered this for the next 55 minutes, trying to make sense of the situation. Would she erase it, it was pencil after all? Would she try washing it off with a baby wipe?  Was she the type of parent that thought her child was a free spirit and wanted to embrace their creativity so writing on wall and cleaning up after him is normal? I know she saw me looking and I’m sure the look on my face was worth a million dollars but she just smiled and opened up her People Magazine.

Her son continued to draw and was redirected a few times but as you can see from my photo, it was never erased or cleaned. As a parent I’ve tried to make sense of the situation but over my dead body would I let my child write all over a wall. Not in my home, not on my wall, not in public – no way no how! The airplane is private property and she allowed her little boy to draw on it as though it was okay. She caught me looking again and shrugged her shoulders and said it washable and he loved to write. What message was she sending? Would she let him write on her walls, her shoes? Doubtful.

Hours later I am still thinking about why this mother would allow this! It scares me that young children could be taught that it is okay to deface other’s properties for their own pleasure. It disturbs me that parents will do anything to make their child happy even when it isn’t the right thing. In this case, that child should have had the pencil taken away from him and if he screamed for the entire plane trip and bothered everyone, oh well!

 Sometimes as parents we have to do what is right, not what is easy.

Give me your thoughts on this. What would you have done? Do you think it was acceptable or should I have said something? In this case, I did not speak up but pencil is not permanent – which still does not make my choice a good one but I kept waiting for her to wash it off or start erasing.

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