Note to Baby: Sometimes you’re not liked!

Z used to be “polite.” Upon seeing my brother and sister-in-law, she would smile, wait a second, and then ask about “Bee.” In Urdu, a cat is “Billy” and Z likes her uncle and aunt’s cat. Actually, she loves the cat and now is obsessed with Bee. Now, when Z sees my brother and sister-in-law, she will instantly grab onto them for dear life and shout, “Beeeeeeeeeee!” She will not let go and will repeatedly ask about Bee until she gets her way and is lugged over to the cat, who Z’s aunt informed her is afraid of her. The cat will hide under the bed and does not like Z. Z is known to be loud, and will even go so far as to reach underneath the bed, and grab whatever she can get of the poor cat.

Which got me to thinking, sometimes Z is not liked, and she luckily does not know it. For example, whenever I am in an airport with Z boarding a flight, I bet a whole bunch of people are like the cat and would like to run far away from Z. I once asked a friend who traveled internationally if there were any babies on board, to which she replied, “No thank goodness!” People generally do not like babies on board planes. Usually, Z does receive the baby stare/glare (i.e. Why is that baby on board?), sometimes even from flight attendants. However, there are times when we are pleasantly surprised and I’ve seen a tall, serious, burly looking passenger, stop in his tracks upon seeing Z, bend over, wave, all while simultaneously smiling a huge smile.

Z likes to smile and will innocently dole out smiles to those around her, regardless of who they are, even if they’re not returned…something I need to try.


  1. I hope that Z proves every disapproving passenger on board wrong- traveling with kids is completely entertaining- even if it does present a few challenges!

  2. and she usually does quite well on planes… as do other babies I’ve recently flown with… I notice the death-stares too, and it’s sad to see… even worse than the “is he a terrorist?” stares I get when traveling alone. People automatically assume a baby WILL absolutely 100% of the time be disruptive, while I guess they also understand that a Muslim-looking man is really only 0.00000001% likely to actually blow something up. I can never understand the mentality that it is okay to openly display stereotyped views on your facial expression with no attempt to conceal it whatsoever… my theory after years of experience is that the class of people who fly often is more stuck-up than the general population, can’t say anything negative about a cat though 🙂

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