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Youngsters on jets

Posted by toni_ne (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 18, 13 at 14:12

Let's talk about kids travel.
What do you think about this subject?

We all know what we want and expect when we travel. We pay big bucks to have the best experience we can. Quick to the destination and hopefully the weather will be on our side.
We all know what kids do though. Is it fair to expect everyone to cater to our kids? Smile and sit on the edge of the seat as they kick from behind. Being forced to listen to screaming for hours, while having a quite conversation or reading a book.

Kids have the need for airline travel, so what would be a solution to these concerns? Could there be special areas on planes for parents and kids? Or special rules? (no kicking the other seats for example) Or kids have to have a seat bought for them, not just a lap.

I'm a mixture of thoughts on this. Personally I feel parents should wait to travel if they feel their child is a handful at home. They aren't going to turn into angels on a plane. If they are well behaved, they could give it a try. Little ears still have pain though. I traveled alot as a child but my dad was in the Navy and we lived on islands. Traveling by car was not an option. My mom would pack us a fun bag and we were so excited to dig into them while flying. Being naughty wasn't an option and we KNEW it at a fairly early age. Obviously babies aren't going to know better. Is there any thoughts on how babies could be on board and still distract as few customers as possible?
So many parents think everyone loves their screaming child like they do. You see it all over the place, but on a plane, it's impossible to get away from them. Do you see any solutions the airlines might try to help the parents and the travelers who don't love those little ones as much as their parents think they do?
With airlines pushing their seats closer and closer, I don't see any airlines catering to parents with small children, not that they should but for the sake of their clients who travel without them, I think it would be wonderful to have flights that have child /parent areas in the back by the bathrooms. Options for others not to sit by them, or cheaper fairs for those who do. Maybe fairs should cost MORE for babies on board.
So any ideas??


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Youngsters on jets

No.

We took our granddaugter to Disney World for her 2nd birthday last year. She had a little carry on bag with a couple of books and other amusements, candy and gum.
No problems. She had a window seat and was fascinated at take off and landing.

I've seen very few instances of ill behaved children on flights...and have taken hundreds (I flew a lot when I was working).

Sure there are children who are ill behaved in public places...but it's the parent's responsibility to teach them to behave properly and keep them amused....not the airline/restaurant/etc.


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When I took my 2 young daughters on planes, my husband and I handled one kid each. We brought food and drinks along plus plenty of toys and books, crayons,etc as distractions. They never bothered anyone . No shushing or threats needed. Also be sure to bring extra disposable diapers when you fly. Our kids behaved well, and one "perk" we liked is that parents with young children are allowed to board planes early.


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No doubt about it, the parents should have the responsibility. Many don't see a problem even when it smacks them in the face. So I'm looking for solutions.

What about parents who don't buy a seat for the child and sit them on their lap. The child starts to thrash about and the next seat takes the brunt of the childs fit. Personally I think each body should have their own seat. Can't pay it, don't take them.


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That is a good perk Jannie. Well as long as they have a seat behind people who don't mind screaming, crying bouncing children , IF that would happen.
Overall I've been pretty lucky with my seats and most (not all though) of the children around me were within what I considered good behaviour.
There were times I have heard children farther away from me making a scene. I would be feeling sorry for all the surrounding passengers. All they paid for was a nice ride to their destination.


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I flew to Germany with my girls when they were little. No problem. They also had their activities bag, and behaved.

I feel sorry for parents with babies that cry. They are frowned upon, but there isn't much they can do.

My daughter and son in law quit flying, and bought a bigger vehicle after the second child. Now they drive between Albuquerque, Kansas City and Oklahoma City.

Sure takes a lot longer, but if the kids start fussing, no one else needs to hear it.

Moni


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And, if children on a flight is really a problem for anyone....fly mid week (Tues-Thurs).


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Good idea too. Encourage parents to fly less traveled flights.

I can just about see an option pop up on a booking that requests an extra
$56 for a seat that agrees a seat will be at least 6 seats away from a person under 8 yeas old. lol


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Please do not give your child a ball to take on the airplane. I speak from experience that this is not a good idea. Unfortunately the parent didn't realize that the other passengers didn't feel like playing catch!


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given a choice between a crying child on a plane that was descending and an old man speaking vulgarities....I'll take the crying child anyday.

And I'll be on a plane in 4 hrs.


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how about a young man or woman being vulgar? I doubt I'd put up with any of it. That's just me.


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I 'd rather sit near a wiggly child than behind an idiot adult who reclines the seat into my lap. That's when I start kicking. I cross and uncross my legs, being sure to give a good shot to the back of the offending seat. If you want to put your head in my lap, be prepared to have it bounced around.

I do admit that it is incredibly irritating to have a kid kick the back of your seat. One time we asked to have our seats changed for this reason. The mother got a hurt look on her face, as if we were insulting her parenting skills. As a matter of fact, we were. I blame it on the parents not the kid.

One time I was seated next to a kid who was traveling alone. He was kicking the back of the seat in front of him. I simply said don't do that, and he stopped.

I wouldn't mind having all the kids corralled into one section of the plane. It might be easier on all.


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There is a section of the airplane where young children are discouraged - Just by a ticket in First class.

This post was edited by monica_pa on Mon, Feb 18, 13 at 17:03


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RE: Youngsters on jets

Since I don't fly much anymore, cannot make suggestions but this is a problem everywhere. I see it in the mall, in grocery stores etc. Running up and down isles, demanding items, hitting and screaming. Not the majority ,but it seems to be increasing. Several years ago, I had gone grocery shopping and left all the kids home with dad, which I did most of the time. there was a small child just really upset, crying, begging and I FORGOT I did not have my kids and turned around and told (did not yell), the kid to shut up. WHOOPS! and never heard another word. All the mom did was smile, and whispered thank you, thank you. I did feel bad and apologized.


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Funny Marie! I was in Super Saver the other day where a little girl was throwing a major tantrum. The entire store could hear her and it was a giant store. Finally, one of the parents took her outside. It really doesn't matter to me what the problem was with the child. Over tired, autism, whatever, she was screaming and needed a different atmosphere pronto!
Thankfully the parents finally did take her out, it was truly uncomfortable. Some people think their children are extra special and their tantrums are "different" for some reason. I DO see it happening more often for many reasons. Most of the reasons are lame though.


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The past several flights I was on, American and USAirways, there was no preboarding for adults w/kids (I was trying to get a preboard because I was traveling -- in the middle seat -- with my below-the-seat puppy, whose ticket was almost the same price as mine and who basically just goes to sleep for the flight, creating less of a nuisance than some adults...).

And I'm not sure there are any more "less-traveled" flights -- at least on some trips, the airlines are using smaller planes to make sure it flies at capacity.

I think there are parents who are just frazzled before going on a trip and just don't prepare for the moment when their kids (might) get crazy. Snacks, books, a small DVD player, an inexpensive tablet to play games on can all help.

If a child is kicking the seat, what else can you do but turn around and talk sweetly to the child? It did work for me a time or two. As long as children are allowed on flights, there's only so much a flight attendant will do nowadays, so maybe just invest in a pair of noise-reducing headphones. (And I usually don't wait to pop the aspirin.)

IMHO, we're not guaranteed a calm, restful flight. All we're really getting for our money is getting to our destination a heck of a lot faster than the Trailways bus would get us there, so I try to have a little compassion when I see a frazzled parent.

And for the parents who make no attempt to do anything to calm a child? Maybe a dirty look? I dunno ... kind of a losing game no matter how you look at it.


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"I 'd rather sit near a wiggly child than behind an idiot adult who reclines the seat into my lap. That's when I start kicking. I cross and uncross my legs, being sure to give a good shot to the back of the offending seat. If you want to put your head in my lap, be prepared to have it bounced around."

Big Ditto. One of my pet peaves. Kids can be kids. Adults should know better.


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I think it's abominable that a kid is allowed to ride on the lap. That kid should be strapped in a bucket just like a car. Watch a few episodes of Air Crash Disasters and guess why. Any idea what is supposed to be done with the kid in the event of an air emergency? Put the kid on the floor. Yup. Get a little turbulence and have a kid flying around the compartment is going to bother more than a few.

Kids take the space adults take. They often require more attention from crew than average adults. Why shouldn't they at least pay full fare? And I won't go into the inane argument of would you rather hit your hand with a hammer or slam it in the car door??? I'll choose neither thank you.

Pets go in the baggage compartments. Maybe.... well, that wouldn't happen, but nice to think about. At least have some duct tape available.

At least in my flying experience the majority of kids have been pretty good.


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Sometimes, kids must travel. That's life. We buy tickets to get from point a to point b, that's all. No guarantees about not being annoyed - that's a personal issue that an airline has no responsibilities to manage.


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Sometimes, kids must travel. That's life. We buy tickets to get from point a to point b, that's all. No guarantees about not being annoyed - that's a personal issue that an airline has no responsibilities to manage.


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I was just going to say that. Life is messy, sometimes kids have to be on planes. I just grin and bear it. The plane will land some time. I agree with red lover too. Oh, and the guy that complained because my husband's legs were in his way and he couldn't put down his seat,... tough you know what! lol I also hate the chair recliner person. yuck. Kids I can handle. Badly behaving adults... no way.


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Sorry but I have heard recently stories of adults, one the other passengers ducktaped him to his seat as he was out of control.
There have been ones that get so drunk on the planes.

don't blame it all on kids.

Well, you could hire your own jet then and be by yourself and be bothered by no one.

Families are goign to travel as that is just life today, they fly all over the place, kids fly back and forth when parents are divorced and they visit them.

Yes, little ones, their ears can be very sore due to the pressure, babies too and some no matter what the parents do it plain hurts.

I had that one time flying from mainland to home and it wasn't long flight a 30 minutes or so flight and it got rough and let me tell you about pain in the ears due to I got sick where I went to visit. It was excuriating and if I was a kid, I would be screaming too.

Kids don't sit long and with add/adh, etc. there are some that need to move.

Yes, there are parents that don't do anything no matter where they take their kids and there will be ones that ruin it for other parents that work very hard to make their little ones have a good flight and keep reasonably quiet.

Yes, you bring lots of goodies that are small for them to sit and play, books to look and read to them. Special toy or blankie they might need to snuggle with. Snacks to eat and ask for juice for them.

Babies you prepare ahead of time, I went to australia and the male stewardess was so helpful to this mom, he held the little one while she ate her meal and so why otter, I know some moms they must travel with their little ones, some are moving or visiting from where they live over seas and come to your country for hiatus, vacation and they have no choice and its hard when you have 2-3 little ones but they do their best.

My own oldest nephew had ear problems and they went to hawaii for vacation and he gets swimming ear and he was in agony and his parents were exhausted. On the way home, he got sick again but before they took off and so the mom took him to emergency and they drugged him off to sleep the whole way home which was hours long and they arrived and my brother had to carry off a very long 6 years old sound asleep off the plane.

Another I worked for a family and on the plane one of their boys got the painful ears and they felt horrible but at same time their son was hurting bad.


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My grandkids have been flying long distances from the time they were babies......they are now 4 and 6 and are seasoned travelers and my son and DDIL make sure they are well behaved.
But with babies, sometimes there is not much anyone can do.
I know my grandkids have had to pay full price for a seat since they were two.
Their other grandparents live in Japan so they have no choice but to fly.
I would rather put up with a fussy baby than a drunk but there are no guarantees.


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This post really has nothing to do with drunks, stinky people, farters, or fluffies. Just trying to find nice alternatives for parents.
I traveled as a child. My sister and I traveled from Hawaii to Nebraska, and other states, on our own as children. Back when the stewardesses would put us in the front seat and pin wings on our blouses. We were great little flyers but no way would I put my kids on a long flight like that all alone.
I'm not complaining about kids traveling but I do wish parents (many of us are) would consider ways to help their kids travel better and if the airlines want to cater to the parents, I'd like to think of ways they could do that. We see first class seats, seats for sleepers, seats for the long legged, So why not areas for families, and reminders of good manners for kids that realistically apply to everyone. Why should I have to tell the kids to stop jumping over my head when the parents can tell them?
Luckily most of my trips have been good , a few no nice at all.

Cynic, you analogy "would you rather hit your hand with a hammer or slam it in the car door?" is how I see it too. Sure kids are going to be kids but are the adults going to be kids too? Take care of the kiddos in every way possible or don't get on board. If a baby has to cry upon descent because of sore ears, we'll get over it. If your letting your toddler run up and down the isles throwing balls maybe the parent needs to rethink the their trip. The steward should step in at that point.


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I saw on the news tonight about a woman who was traveling with her 16 month old child. A drunk man seated next to them slapped the crying child in the face after first using a racial slur. I was happy to hear the drunk got fired from his job because of this and there is a legal matter now but I don't know if the guy got arrested or the parents are suing him.


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well it must have been a nightmare when passengers saw my dh get on an airplane with 4 kids, the twins were 1, ds1 was 3, dd1 was 5, when my dad died, and they joined me...

thankfully one of his co workers, also a parent, packed a goody bag for the short flight...

granted it was a short flight, but what else could we have done? i had the family car...


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Susan, i quit apologizing for other peoples intolerance and assumptions when i realized i wasnt responsible for their bad attitude. :)


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actually with a kid on each hip and the other 2 holding on a leg, i think people took pity on him...not many dads are put into that position...somehow i doubt if any "annoyed" passenger, drunk or sober, would have taken on another man..

and there lies the other rub...women are traditionally the caregivers/travelers, and don't seem to have the respect due them...


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I heard about that drunk man on the plane and the child he called the "n" word. The only thing I will say about that is I will reserve judgment until the whole story comes out. Something sounds really fishy to me. I am really skeptical of the media and how they "embellish" stories to make good press. I'm not saying it didn't happen the way it was printed, but I think there is more to the story.


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I've never really seen kids be willfully disruptive on a flight. I've been on one flight with a crying baby. He was teething and just didn't feel good. Most kids I've seen on the plane come with toys or books or something. My own kids have only flown to three different destinations. They were 6, 8 and 10 for their first flight and old enough to be excited about flying. I packed them each a bag of snacks, a book, and Nintendo or other hand held device. The kids behaved, but can't say the same for the adults.
My kids have gotten to witness a man on the flight ahead of us get arrested and escorted out by police. Not entirely sure of what was going on there, but we speculated that it possibly involved human trafficking. My middle child got to share a seat with a lady who was over weight and spilled over halfway into his seat. Ds did not complain. If an adult had been sitting there, it would not have worked.


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One time my nephew, age 1 at the time, was on a nine hour flight to Brazil when he spiked a fever. The Children's Tylenol was somewhere in the belly of the plane. The kid screamed for nine hours. I was so grateful to be on a different flight. I blame the parents for even bringing him on the trip. Cute as he was, he ruined the trip for everyone as we had to all move at the pace of a one year old. The entire trip revolved around his needs and schedule. His mother refused to miss the chance to go along, so she ruined it for all.

I realize kids need to travel at times, even long distances, but the parents need to be vigilant that they do not ruin the trip for everyone else.

Speaking of people who recline their seats, I just came across this article. I think I need to buy a Knee Defender.

Here is a link that might be useful: people who recline their seats are rude


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Its been my experience that most misbehaving kids I see have nothing to keep them occupied. The parents expect them to sit quietly for hours. Why don't parents bring them coloring books and small toys? Or at least engage them in conversation instead of ignoring them while texting, etc.


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There's a family-based comic that appears in dozens of newspapers, called, I think, "For Better Or For Worse".

In one strip, Mom was doing a washing, and the kid was having a tantrum.

Continued for a second panel.

Mom left to do something somewhere else.

Kid woke up, noticed.

Kid travels down hall, running, normal composure.

Arrives where Mom is.

Reproduces tantrum.

That one producd some laughter in thousands of homes, I expect.

Trust a kid.

o j


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One BRAT can disrupt a whole load of passengers. (We all know that BRATS are not born that way, but the result of poor parenting, so I am not blaming the child.)

We are in a plane about ten hours, Chicago-Hawaii. We are in first class (use miles to upgrade). You can still hear that little tantrumer from coach. It's worst on the redeye home, when people are trying to sleep.

I see a lot of kids who look 'dragged along', rather than excited to be traveling. Good parents do not push kids to do stuff because THEY want to fly around the world, but there are others who evidently never realized that there is a difference between being childfree and being parents. We see this on the Hawaii run -- and in 'fine dining' restaurants.

Flight attendants can at least 'overserve' the drunk until he sleeps. They can't do anything about the unhappy kid with self-centered parents.

I agree that small children should be in their own seats, in their car seats, and kept entertained. Parents are wise to CARRY them to the toilet and back, not start the strolls up and down the aisles. Kids are used to 'the law' of being in car seats in cars. Same goes for airplanes.

I believe airlines ARE starting to offer 'child free' seating sections. I think it's a sad commentary on parenting.

I love kids. I hate to see them miserable. I'm complaining about non-essential travel with some poorly parented children. They are not ALL kids on ALL flights.


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I've never flown with my children but I am so sick of people complaining about how other people parent their children, especially when you are only seeing a snippet of their lives. I have suffered many dirty looks while out with my second child. If I'm such a bad mother, why didn't I get any of those looks with my first child? Because only part of the equation is my parenting skills, that's why! If you gave birth to a perfect little angel, God bless you. Not all of us are that fortunate. Even if you had a difficult child and had all the right moves to deal with him or her doesn't mean you know what it means to walk in my shoes. Just because my child is having a tantrum in a store, doesn't mean that I'm not trying. It probably means that I'm not indulging him just so you can have a more pleasant shopping trip but trust me, we all win in the end if we do it my way. I would get just as many dirty looks if I let my child have what he wanted just to keep him quiet but he wouldn't be any better behaved on the next trip.

I've been given a great challenge. I don't have the time or energy to worry about the people who are standing around us practically willing me to fail as a parent so they can complain about my parenting and feel superior about their own.


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Paula -- I am one of those moms with 3 easy to parent kids and one not so easy to parent. You'll never get a dirty look from me, bless your heart.

My son had a meltdown this morning before school over something trivial. Unfortunately, it's part of who he is and is not caused by my parenting skills...thank heaven it didn't happen on a plane.


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Being the mother of a DD that was a difficult child, I am going to agree with Paula. Don't assume that because you spend a few hours of your life with a child whose behavior is less than stellar, that it stems from poor parenting.

I'm sure that everyone here has crossed paths with a BRAT sometime in their lives. But every child that has a bad day is not a brat.

Who can expect a child to sit still for hours on end, with or without activities to do? 2 of my 3 MIGHT have appeared to me to be pleasant to travel with. DD, not so much. Would you really not expect me to take her shopping, to not travel, to not go to the park or attend a ball game just because she might be whiny and difficult? Because I can guarantee you that during one of those 4 activities we would not have had an easy time.

Those of you that have flown with your children... are you absolutely certain that your children stood up to the test of not being an annoyance to your traveling companions? Oh come on! A child -can not- help but to be bumping the seat in front of them. Or to talk non stop. To have to go to the potty every 30 minutes. Or wanting something to eat or drink every little while. And whine when mom is quietly trying to get them to sit still and be quiet.

Children are part of society.

On the other hand.... I was putting groceries in my car the other day and heard a screaming woman from clear across the other side of the parking lot yelling at her child to get his a** in the car. She screamed at the kid the entire time I was putting the groceries in the car. It made me so sad but I"m not willing to give her the benefit of the doubt that she was just having a bad day. Bad day or not, what kind of adult acts like that? What kind of adult will that child grow up to be? So sad. That woman is a part of society.


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If a child is having a meltdown and a parent is trying to settle the child, then I will smile sympathetically at that parent, because I know children have bad days and at least the parent is making an effort.
But if the parent is totally ignoring the child, then I will think s/he is a bad parent.


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Thanks to PaulaPA from another person with a difficult child who's tired of hearing everything blamed on poor parenting.

As for the question about planes, I just try to roll with it. It's not my business to decide whether people have "good-enough" reasons to travel with their kids. If a baby screams, even though I find it incredibly annoying, I make it a point to smile at the poor beleaguered parent who is trying to calm the baby. If a child is kicking my seat, I make it a point to turn around every single time and politely ask him or her to stop. And it's usually several times - they're not necessarily trying to be annoying, but they're antsy and need to be reminded.

I agree with those who say we're not promised a calm trip. Airplanes are common carriers, no different than trains or buses.


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The only time I get upset at parents is if they are abusive. If a parent does not react to bad behavior, that might be a "new" technique they are using so as not to explode, so I am slow to judge.

Last month my husband sat on a plane next to a man who had serious boundary issues. He stared at my husband for long periods of time and never made a sound...and reacted strangely. My husband judged him as "weird" until it became absolutely clear that this man was developmentally challenged. Then, my husband was ashamed.

It's rare that we are accurate when we are irritated and critical.


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It's not hard to tell the difference between a fulltime brat and a kid who is having a bad day.

If you have children who are NOT able to travel reasonably well, consider both them and the REST of 'society', and leave them at home unless the trip is essential. (You will be gone for weeks or months and have no one you trust to care for them; you're moving; you're taking them for medical treatment, etc.)

You wouldn't bring a non-house-trained dog into a public lounge, right? Some kids are just too young to be dragged along without giving it some thought. Consider the child AND 'society'.


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