There is nothing that can make me angry like a noisy child can. Recently, my flight was delayed and I spent an extra four hours in the airport, took off at 00:45 and landed around 02:30am. Awesome huh?
Add a screeching juvenile sitting behind me. I nearly had a stroke.
I fail to understand parents who let their kid bawl and scream and perform when others are stuck in the situation with them. Like an aeroplane or a train. In fact, I was on my way home the other day, sharing a plane row with a woman bearing very loud spawn which blatantly ignored the bellows being voluptuously expressed by putting her iPod on and drowning her very own irritant out - for herself only. The rest of us had to endure her product for the rest of our journey.
I don't expect draconian control of the products of one's loins, nor do I think it is realistic for a child to be silent all the time (outside my Utopia). I also get that kids just get pissy sometimes, and they are noisy things. But do I have a right to get angry and/or irritable when children are kicking up a fuss and the parents are doing nothing about it? Yes, I think I do.
I do not, for one second, believe that parenting is an easy job that can be done with any kind of flippant attitude that I am displaying right now. And I am not typing the solutions or proffering any kind of non-parent-scribed patronising advice - particularly from a person that has never been in charge of anything more important that a glass bottle of gin, nor noisier than a television.
The point I am making is that I have a right to be irritated when someone else's child is making a noise, the decibels of which are greater than a constantly-regurgitating Maria Sharapova snort.
So how can we come to a happy medium? My suggestion that children, other than going to school, are left at home until age 16 would probably not suffice, and is as extreme as letting them all run wild, like an infestation of noisy and unconquerable ants.
Is a happy medium a quiet kid? Is it an iPod for non-parents? Is it perhaps to sit people travelling with children together on an aeroplane? Is it more patience on my behalf?
Lest I offend all parents, let me make it quite clear that when I point fingers, I point them at myself too. I get as annoyed by constantly barking dogs, my neighbour's angle grinder (I swear, it must be his hobby to carve things up) and the noise of the extractor fan in my kitchen. I am not standing here as a paragon of quietus virtue, condemning all of those who breed or make noise.
What I seek is an active solution to prevent me from hiding your kids' oxygen masks, should there be a sudden loss of cabin pressure.