I've gotten a number of compliments on how 'well-behaved' our daughter was after a flight was completed. What these people don't see is the total exhaustion on her parent's faces on trying to keep her happy!
I actually support having a seperate area on a plane for families. When we fly with our daughter, we always choose seats towards the back of the plane (even row 29 on an MD-80 on a recent EWR-DEN leg - boy was that loud!).
I'm a frequent business traveler myself, and I know how annoying it can be if there is a child in the row behind me screaming his/her head off when you're trying to get some work done. However, before I start thinking all sorts of bad thoughts, I take a good look at the parents - are they doing all they can to make this child happy? If they are, then I know that they're trying their best, and I simply do my best to shut out the noise. I simply accept it as a fact of life, and go on with my business.
Recently I was on DEN - EWR and there was an infant a few rows behind me who cried the entire trip. The whole time the mother was holding him, rocking him, singing to him, trying to feed him, walking him up and down the plane. I felt very sorry for her, but know there was nothing much she could do (I've been in her position).
After we landed I had a brief conversation with her - you could tell she was totally exhausted from trying to keep her boy quiet. I told her I completely understood, gave her the benadryl suggestion, and wished her well on their next flight. She was completely relieved after the conversation, simply because someone else understood what she was going through.
Now to all you kids out there in airliners.net land, before you judge a parent/infant/child remember the old Indian saying: "Don't judge someone until you've walked a mile in their mocassins."
SOMEDAY YOU MIGHT BE IN THEIR SHOES!