Judging Judy

Not much in this world bothers me.

I tend to be one of those people that walk away from things that pump my pressure high. And if something does bug me I try to not dwell on it. It’s just not very productive right?

But last week, while on vacation with Little J something happened that bothered me a little when it happened and now it bothers me a lot. I have been trying to let it go and in all honesty I cannot leave it behind me. So I figured I could ask you for your opinion and maybe you can give me a new perspective on it.

Here is the story:

My five year old watches documentaries obsessively. His favorite by far are about how the Earth was made, specifically about the volcanos. He has been hoping to climb one for over a year and when I planned our road trip I made sure we go to Mount St. Helens as a grand finale. There is no way we could climb to the crater but they offer helicopter flights over it. They are expensive. I mean break your piggy bank and cry for a week as you are paying for it expensive. This year I have saved all the tips from my photo sessions and took that cash with me in hope that I can treat Little J to a flyover of the volcano.

I took him up to the mountain on Saturday and he hiked patiently miles long Boundary trail in hope that clouds lift and he sees his mountain. No luck. Driving down to our camp site I stopped at the Hoffstadt bluffs to see if we can get a spot on a helicopter tour. We were greeted by the pilot who quickly offered Little J to sit in the chopper which he was so very happy about he never even realized I was actually planning on buying us a tour! Pilot said it is worth checking at the reception if there are any available flights and he explained to us that due to low clouds they will only be flying the short tour that afternoon, definitely not into the crater. Still, it would be rather amazing.

We walked into the reception to enquire and there was an older couple already negotiating with the cashier. They were going back and forth and another shop assistant asked me if she can help. I told her we were hoping to take a tour either now or the next day. She quickly realized she might make the other customers happy and suggested we join the couple to do the tour together. Turns out they got stood up by whoever they were sharing the tour with that morning and have been hoping to go up ASAP. As you can imagine the price per person is nearly half if there are four vs two passengers. I said we don’t mind going up with them so we all paid for our tickets and went back to the helipad to attend safety briefing before our flight.

Little J was so excited. I think it all happened so fast he could hardly believe his lucky stars. In a matter of minutes he will be flying in a helicopter over his volcano. He was so very happy. We sat down to fill out the paperwork and pilot told us there are 4 seats in the helicopter, 1 next to him and 3 at the back. He asked who would like to sit next to him. After a tiny pause Little J lifted his hand and said “MAY I?”

I was fine with it if it was OK with the pilot. But Judy was quick to say: “Actually I would. I have been waiting here since 10 AM and I want to sit in the front.”

As I relive it writing this I am getting mad with myself all over again. Maybe it was my upbringing, being told to always respect the elder or just my politeness but I told my son we should let the lady have the first choice. I told him he can sit at the window which will be even cooler cause we get to sit together. He was absolutely fine with it and we had a lovely helicopter ride. He never once dwelled on not sitting in the front and he still says it was the best thing ever.

But I am so disappointed with myself. I should have stood up for my son. I know I was younger then Judy but I am also a grown up, a mother and was a full paying customer. In fact if it wasn’t for us agreeing to join them her husband was not going to pay double the price for them to go solo. I keep telling myself my boy is young and there are many helicopter rides in his life. This might have been her only. I keep giving excuses for her behavior. But if I am honest with you I find it appalling that an older woman, possibly a mother and grandmother herself would take it away from a child to sit in the front of the helicopter. Specially since he claimed it fair and square. How selfish is that? It’s like going to a store and snatching the last chocolate that a kid is queuing to pay for cause you have had the munchies all day.

Am I being unreasonable and emotional? What would you have done?

Let Judy sit in the front?

This entry was posted in The Not so good life and tagged , , , .


  1. Chuck August 29, 2013 at 12:00 #

    Well it isn’t letting me vote but from your explanation, I think your son should have had the front seat. I think you are correct in that if it hadn’t been for the 2 of you the other couple wouldn’t have been able to go. And your son raised his hand first. Shame on that woman. But kudos to you for making your son feel like a rockstar for hanging with his mom!!

    • Stasha August 29, 2013 at 12:09 #

      Twitter: NorthWestMommy
      Thanks Chuck. I know it’s silly looking back cause we were all happy about the ride and my boy was not sad about not sitting in the front. Maybe I am just really disappointed with myself for taking her side vs my son’s in a way. You know?

  2. Danica August 29, 2013 at 12:00 #


    I can understand your issue, it sucks that people don’t show courtesy to little kids. I have done the same thing in the past and have spent days explaining to my kids why the adult takes precedent which is never easy.

    I don’t believe it was a lack of support for your son on your part but your good manners that shone through. Good example for the boy :)

    Despite not sitting in the front he had a fabulous time, that is the important part.


    • Stasha August 29, 2013 at 12:14 #

      Twitter: NorthWestMommy
      Thanks Danica. You are right. We all came out of that chopper happy and that’s what counts. I think I just feel a little sad that maybe I still act as a kid in a way, not really putting my son first. Maybe? I don’t know. World has so many rules, it is really hard to explain some of them to our children. Specially since if there was another child who was lets say passionate about sitting by the window on a plane I would completely give it up and compromise sitting next to my child and let them sit together or something.

  3. Michelle August 29, 2013 at 12:10 #

    Twitter: ltlindian
    I also would have been mad like you are, but I would have done the same thing you did and let her have the seat. She was there first and I would have felt that it was the right thing to let her steal that spot from a little kid as evil and mean and miserable as that is. If my husband was there, he would have called her right out on it in a very loud and embarrassing manner and the kid would have been in the front. I would have then died of humiliation in the back.

    So although I agree with you that she is a miserable old woman for not letting the kid have it, I think you did the right thing but not making a big deal of it. Your son was still thrilled and never even knew he should be disappointed.
    Michelle recently posted..Demotivational Monday (again on a Tuesday)

    • Stasha August 29, 2013 at 12:20 #

      Twitter: NorthWestMommy
      Ha. Funny you said that. When I told my husband he said the same. And looking back I probably would have been embarrassed if he secured that sit for our son. I am glad that she got her wish, I am just feeling petty and judging her I suppose. Then again who knows what her reasons are. And yes, we did have a great time, what counts the most!

  4. Greg August 29, 2013 at 12:13 #

    Well at this point, it’s over. You can be happy in the fact that Little J was more mature than ‘Judy’. They were there first and as they say first come first served. Now if I had been there, I would have thoroughly enjoyed watching a little guy taking in the view from the front seat and sat in the back at a window seat. That would have made my day more than my own opportunity to ride ‘shotgun’, but most people wouldn’t. Little J will have his day in front and what you said about doing it together was perfect to defuse the situation. Judy may be on her last leg, last dollar, with her last chance to do this in her lifetime. You and little J could have decided to take another ride to make sure he got the front seat, but he still has a great memory of the ride and how well Mommy handled the situation. Let it go and take Little J to the local airport for a Cessna ride in the front, that he’ll never forget and it won’t cost you anywhere near as much. Maybe the whole family can go along and look at the San Juan Islands for an hour or so for $100-200. I’ve done this with the military and thoroughly enjoyed the ride and the scenery. standing your ground is a good thing, but don’t let it ruin your day, the opportunity or the fun you had. When you go to Disney, try to sit in the ‘driver’s cab’ on the monorail, if they still let you do that. When my kid’s were J’s age, they got to and still remember it almost 20 years later. I don’t blame you for being upset, but it’s over for now. next time tell them you’ll only go if he gets the best view, but be prepared to lose the opportunity. you made the best choice at the time and Little J loves you for it. That’s what’s best.

    • Stasha August 29, 2013 at 12:17 #

      Twitter: NorthWestMommy
      Thanks Greg. You are a star and absolutely right. I think it’s me claiming down that I am a little sad about. But it is in the past now. Also, thanks for the idea. We really must fly over the islands!! That will be amazing.

  5. Kathryn Zabrocki Strode via Facebook August 29, 2013 at 12:24 #

    I read your story and my opinion is that you did the right thing even thought it still gnaws at you. This reminds me of the young woman who let an elderly lady get in front of her on line at a convenience store. Both women were there to purchase a quick pick lottery ticket. The elderly woman was put in the right place at the right time and she won the lottery. I trust the young woman will always regret her actions even though she did do the right thing.

  6. Megan August 29, 2013 at 12:37 #

    It is so unfortunate that this happened and I am so on your side. Your son was the first to say anything about sitting in the front, and despite age, she should have allowed him to do so.

    However, to look on the bright side, this didn’t stop your son from enjoying the ride. He didn’t let the rudeness of that woman faze him and change his experience of the helicopter ride. You should be proud that he handled the situation with such grace. And to make it better, you got to have that amazing experience sitting right next to each other where I’m sure you got to see the pure excitement on his face. That’s what the whole trip was about in the first place

    • Stasha August 29, 2013 at 12:41 #

      Twitter: NorthWestMommy
      Oh Megan, I love your point of view. How rit you are, I would have missed seeing his happiness if he sat in front. YES! Now that is glass full way to look at it.

  7. Megan August 29, 2013 at 12:39 #

    It is so unfortunate that this happened and I am so on your side. Your son was the first to say anything about sitting in the front, and despite age, she should have allowed him to do so.

    However, to look on the bright side, this didn’t stop your son from enjoying the ride. He didn’t let the rudeness of that woman faze him and change his experience of the helicopter ride. You should be proud that he handled the situation with such grace. And to make it better, you got to have that amazing experience sitting right next to each other where I’m sure you got to see the pure excitement on his face. That’s what the whole trip was about in the first place

  8. Cindy Pickering August 29, 2013 at 13:09 #

    Oh Stasha–I am so sorry this had to mar the lovely vacation memory you will have. But you can rejoice in the fact that you have raised a little boy who didn’t whine or pout or cry, and who was overjoyed just to sit in the helicopter!! He did the polite thing and didn’t think twice about it! But you, who planned and saved for this trip, are sad that it wasn’t closer to your idea of perfect! Julian is a fine young boy, you are a wonderful mother, and that nasty lady will probably be complaining about something all day long!! I think Greg had a great idea about flying over your beautiful islands and seeing how lucky he is to live in Paradise, and the whole family can have a precious memory together! What won’t be forgotten in a few days is a lesson you learned about your son as well as yourself! It wouldn’t let me vote, but that lady should have been half as mature as Julian was! Since she wasn’t, you all did the right thing–except her! She doesn’t deserve the right thing, but it is important to forgive other humans for their stupidity!! Love your fierce protectiveness Stasha!!

    • Stasha August 29, 2013 at 20:57 #

      Twitter: NorthWestMommy
      Thank you my sweet friend! He is a rather fab young man, I am so very proud of him. And I think more then anything I keep trying to understand her selfishness, but like you said, really not my place to do so. Everybody is different I guess… Will keep you posted on the Cesna idea. Greg really did give me something to look forward to. Must research it!!

  9. Kelsey Popp via Facebook August 29, 2013 at 13:09 #

    I would have done as you did, but silently fumed over that woman’s actions for probably too long. Not only do I respect the older generation, but I’m also a pushover sometimes. Ugh. I honestly think maybe the pilot should have stood up for your son here. Sorry she stole your little guy’s moment, but I’m glad he still had a great time!

  10. Cindy Urban Pickering via Facebook August 29, 2013 at 13:12 #

    Stasha–you did the right thing–more to the point, so did Julian! He didn’t whine or cry or pout, he just sat down in back and got ready for a great ride!! Proves that you are the smart one because you taught your son to defer to the elderly, and to behave with respect. Maybe she didn’t deserve it, but he knew what was right! I believe Greg had a great idea about flying over the beautiful island you call home, and seeing how lucky he is to be living in Paradise! I know what you are feeling, but everyone did the right thing in this instance, except for Mrs. Nasty! You should just be proud of your son!!

  11. Terrie August 29, 2013 at 13:18 #

    I would have done the same as you and also be upset for the same reason. My husband definitely would have called her on it. You did the right thing and set a great example for little J. It doesn’t ,however, dismiss the greed of that woman. Most “grown ups” would have reveled in little J’s enjoyment of riding up front with the pilot. She did not do the “right thing”….no matter what her excuse was. Be proud…you are a good person …and your son is becoming the same!

    • Stasha August 29, 2013 at 20:59 #

      Twitter: NorthWestMommy
      Right? I really think that most people would not dream of taking happiness away from children. Specially at that age. I mean 5 year olds really are sweet and innocent! I guess there are all sorts in this world. I am so glad that overwhelming feed back has been all you would have done the same. I was so worried I am a pushover and teaching my son to become one too…

  12. darcelle August 29, 2013 at 13:34 #

    What a terrible position to be put in. Kudos to Little J for saying May I instead of can I. I would have more than likely let the adult sit in the front seat, it’s good manners. Then, like you I would question myself for allowing it.

  13. MomChalant August 29, 2013 at 13:42 #

    Twitter: MomChalant
    I can’t say for certain what I would have done, but I definitely agree that Julian should have had the front seat. I can’t even believe she spoke up after him to be honest. I would like to think I would have said something, but like you said, with my upbringing I may have not spoken up.
    MomChalant recently posted..21 Life Lessons I’ve Learned In 21 Years

    • Stasha August 29, 2013 at 21:06 #

      Twitter: NorthWestMommy
      Some people are so very different from us we cannot help but wonder why, right?

  14. Kathy August 29, 2013 at 14:07 #

    I know it was disappointing, but I was taught to let the older woman have the seat. Would t have been happy about it… but I would have a center it because she is the elder. I think u showed your son an excellent example of good manners.

    • Stasha August 29, 2013 at 21:03 #

      Twitter: NorthWestMommy
      Thank you so much Kathy. I hope that when he is all grown up manners still matter. I am so worried that everyone is starting to fend for themselves and look for what is in it for them. I have noticed my son always steps back with his peers and this seemed like a prime example of me doing it too, thus teaching him to always take the back seat. Then again I am so very proud of him for being that way as I am us my grandpa would have been for not fighting Judy for the seat…

  15. Kyle August 29, 2013 at 16:40 #

    Your son spoke up first – he should have gotten the front seat based on that alone. Aside from that, the crabby old woman should have let him sit there anyway.
    Kyle recently posted..Sunday Rituals

    • Stasha August 29, 2013 at 21:05 #

      Twitter: NorthWestMommy
      One would think so right? I mean what if that was her child? Then again, who knows what her story is? In any case we did have a great time and I guess I am just trying to understand why Judy acted that way. Not that it matters really…

  16. Anne LeBlanc August 29, 2013 at 19:42 #

    Twitter: littleredhens
    I think I also would have felt disappointed in the older lady, but I am sure I would have also given her the seat. You both have an argument, but it isn’t worth arguing over, really. In the long run, he had a lovely time and had very fine manners.
    Anne LeBlanc recently posted..Late Summer Update.

    • Stasha August 29, 2013 at 21:09 #

      Twitter: NorthWestMommy
      I hear you. Truly this should be totally water under the bridge but I guess it’s just one of those things that keep make me thing: how could she?! I hope that no matter what age I am and what life throws at me I never ever compete with a child for something they want. I’m so relieved to read you all would have done the same cause I kept beating myself up that I was not a mother enough.

  17. Stasha Becker via Facebook August 29, 2013 at 21:14 #

    Kelsey Popp thank you so much for saying this Kelsey. I am definitely a pushover, shying away from any kind of confrontation and I was really worried that this was a prime example. Which I guess just makes me worried that I am teaching my son to become one too. Then again, my grandpa always said the one thing we crate for ourselves is a good night sleep without guilt. So hopefully my actions will always prevent me from feeling like I did anyone injustice. I just could not shake the feeling that maybe this time I was unjust to my own boy…

  18. Stasha Becker via Facebook August 29, 2013 at 21:17 #

    Kathryn Zabrocki Strode thanks Kathryn. That is a great example. I hope that Judy enjoyed her lottery ticket 😉 I will put this behind me, there are all sorts of people in this world and I need not understand why they do what they do right?

  19. Stasha Becker via Facebook August 29, 2013 at 21:17 #

    Cindy Urban Pickering thanks a million. He really did do well right?

  20. Alison August 30, 2013 at 00:55 #

    Twitter: AlisonSWLee
    I am upset for Julian and you! Fortunately, kids are more resilient than we give them credit for, and definitely more forgiving. The main thing is, he had a good time and probably didn’t think anything of it.

    What happened is a reflection of that lady, not you. She had bad manners and was inconsiderate, period.
    Alison recently posted..Family Traditions

  21. Madeleine August 30, 2013 at 01:22 #

    Twitter: amazonmad
    Ouch! I don’t think you were being unreasonable at all to feel upset and angry. I felt rage-y just reading what the older lady did. It’s unbelievable that somebody would snatch such an opportunity away from a child, and I know I’d be shaking too if I were in the same situation. Tricky, but probably wouldn’t have spoken up either, and then I’d be kicking myself later. I tend to do that.

    Sounds like your little J is a credit to you for not getting upset about it, and it says something about your character and manners that you didn’t yell or shake the woman 😉
    Madeleine recently posted..Hope

  22. Kathryn Zabrocki Strode via Facebook August 30, 2013 at 06:07 #

    I believe that what goes around, comes around. In time you will receive your reward as will Julian.

  23. Kim pugliano August 30, 2013 at 10:54 #

    Twitter: GisSilent
    Your heart is absolutely in the right place and Judy SHOULD have stepped aside for Little J. Give me a break, you DID cut her price in half and she was clearly trying to finagle a smaller fee when you got there. Unfortunately, it was her flight originally and she is OLD and etiquette says we kow-tow to them. You did the right thing, as much as it hurt.

    HOWEVER, if you have her address…
    Kim pugliano recently posted..Clean

  24. Amanda August 31, 2013 at 19:46 #

    Twitter: lilahbility
    I wasn’t able to vote, but I would have done, the same thing you did. I think she was being quite petty taking the front spot from a child, but it also teaches little J respect for his elders, and the most important (and impressive!) piece is that he didn’t make a fuss when she usurped his seat and that he didn’t let it rain on his parade. You`ve got a lovely young man there!
    Amanda recently posted..The Boy Turns One

  25. Rorybore September 1, 2013 at 17:41 #

    Twitter: rorybore
    Hell to the Nay,Nay….and don’t you know the frickin rules of “calls it?” Everyone knows the rules of who calls it first. What’s the matter with her? clearly she probably didn’t play well with others as a child either. hmph.
    Can you tell I am hopping mad on your behalf? Seriously, I have enough for both of us and your son. Never heard something so selfish in all my days….
    Good for your son talking it so well and being a better grown up – then the grown up. bravo. and don’t be too hard on yourself – sometimes things happen quick and it doesn’t really hit us until we have time to ponder later.
    Rorybore recently posted..4 Fill In Fun: Last Holiday

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