Mother and Baby

Mum Writes Letter To Thank Passenger For Entertaining Her Toddler On A Flight

A Canadian blogger has thanked a man on her flight for being so kind to her three-year-old daughter. Get ready for an awww moment…

Flights + young children = major mum anxiety. But for one woman, an aeroplane journey with her toddler was made smoother by the passenger sitting next to them – and she’s written an open letter to thank him.

Shanell Mouland, 36, from Canada, took to her blog Go Team Kate last week after a holiday to Disney World. She had taken a connecting flight from Philadelphia with her three-year-old daughter Kate, who is autistic.

She explains how she was worried about Kate distracting whoever sat next to them and, when a man with a briefcase appeared, she had visions of her daughter spilling water ‘all over your multi-million dollar contracts, or house deeds’. But their neighbour couldn’t have been more ideal.

‘You could have shifted uncomfortably in your seat. You could have ignored her. You could have given me that 'smile' that I despise because it means; “manage your child please”,’ writes Shannell. 

‘You did none of that. You engaged Kate in conversation and you asked her questions about her turtles. She could never really answer your questions but she was so enamored by you that she kept eye contact and joint attention on the items you were asking her about. I watched and smiled. I made a few polite offers to distract her, but you would have none of it.

'You engaged Kate in conversation and you asked her questions about her turtles'

‘Thank you for not making me repeat those awful apologetic sentences that I so often say in public. Thank you for entertaining Kate so much that she had her most successful plane ride, yet.  And, thank you for putting your papers away and playing turtles with our girl.’

The letter has now gone viral and had over 400 comments on Shannell’s blog, with everyone talking about how far a bit of kindness can go in a situation like that.

Shannell has even been reunited with the man in question, New Jersey businessman Eric Kunkel, after a friend forwarded the post to him.

'I read it and then went to Facebook page and the rest is history,' he said. The families are now friends.

What’s the kindest thing a stranger’s done for you as a parent? Let us know below.

  • Author: Alex Davies Alex Davies
  • Job Title: Features Writer
Related content: