Regarding children and travel.
A child is not a non-stop source of noise, chaos and discontent for others. There is a spectrum of behavior a child will exhibit, that spectrum varies among children and age. Some items on that spectrum will disturb some people. Occasionally, the result is unexpected noise which could potentially bother or awaken someone outside of your room while traveling. No one is arguing that from my end. The assertion by some, however, seems to be that this set of facts means a person who travels with a baby/child is selfish and entitled. I'm going to get onboard with the argument here for the sake of discussion, but I have a few questions.
Why is it the person is selfish who risks the outside chance a crying fit from their child will occur during the chosen sleep schedule of another guest who happens to occupy the next room, will be a light sleeper, not traveling with children of their own, has no earplugs, really has a problem with noises in the night at a hotel and perhaps even issues falling back to sleep after a disturbance? Obviously that is a possibility, a child might cry and a child might wake up another person (and that sucks) but does it make them selfish? How likely is it and at what point does that probability translate to being an inconsiderate person who should not have even gone on the trip? If there is a 1 in 10 chance a kid might cry in the middle of the night are you selfish for bringing them? What if there is a 1 in 10 chance you'll let the toilet lid slam during a 2am trip to the toilet? Is the line the same for every person or do we allow leeway for those with mental/physical disorders? What is the decibel level and the frequency of an issue which triggers the "selfish" label? There must be such a line, so where does it lie?
The possibility of waking another person seems to be the issue we want to focus on, at least in relation to my recent letter. So what about the traveler who is traveling with a service animal and the neighbor who is allergic? What about an early riser who wants to get a run in and lets the door close too hard? What about a night owl? The horny couple? The guy with sleep apnea? The person with irritable bowel syndrome? The elderly man who needs the TV louder to hear it? The loud phone talker with insomnia? The heavy walker above? The reverse warning beep of the man with an electric wheelchair? The false fire-alarm because someone burned some toast in the lobby? The pregnant woman who keeps flushing the toilet that shakes the pipes in the wall near your head? The guy who designed the passing elevator? The landscape crew that arrives too early? There are many people who make noises in the night. I agree some of them are inconsiderate. Some of those noises will awaken some people, others will sleep right through them. This is why I think setting personal expectations for silence in a hotel environment is the point of view which is entitled and unrealistic.
The anger displayed by some over children's part in occasionally waking up someone should at the least be equally distributed among all the potential and common bumps in the night, shouldn't it? Why all the ire toward parents and/or children? Those who don't care for children are not aware of them until they present a disturbance, if that were the only time I took notice of kids I would have a poor opinion of them as well, but I also happen to take notice of the way they talk with others, hold no preconceptions about others, trust others, and look at the world. It is refreshing if you ever pause to appreciate them when they are not having "one of those nights/days."
To be honest I don't appreciate disturbances either. When I am disturbed I take steps to let others know, or I just deal with it rather than churning over all the ways the one disturbing me is an evil person. Calling out one who bothers you as selfish is often off-base. The woman in the next room with food poisoning is selfish? What about the guy who took a shower and forgot to turn off his alarm ahead of time? Maybe we're all just people, trying to enjoy our time and wishing we wouldn't cause anyone else a problem but recognizing that sometimes we do. How do we handle those situations? That's my question. Do we make our dissatisfaction known so something can be done, or do we write a letter in an attempt to "ruin someone's vacation" because that's what we perceive happened to us? Do all the rain clouds just follow us around, too?
It's bad luck when our sleep is disturbed, it's unfortunate, and I feel sympathy and empathy for anyone disturbed, but it is not a fundamental character flaw, an indication of entitlement or selfishness for someone to travel with a child. It is just part of life, sometimes other people or things make noise. That is why some establishments offer us all the chance to get away from many of those disturbances and, personally, those are the places I would choose to stay when I am looking for the perfect getaway sans kids and away from snoring neighbors et al. Short of doing so, I'm going to assume the quality of my sleep is a crapshoot in a crowded hotel, I might not like my bed, my phone might ring for no reason, someone in the hall might wake me up. My first reaction is, "That's life. Deal with it." I understand you may feel differently, so what are your thoughts? Where is the line between "living" and "selfish living"? Who decides what that line is? Is the decision solely given to the perceived victim? I'm very interested in your input here.