Kate Penland should have a little consideration for others... and so should other moms of babies and toddlers who take them on an airplane.
I've taken babies and toddlers on planes several times and wasn't in the least considerate of the other passengers. One time I took Martha on a plane from Des Moines to Dallas and for the final ten minutes of the flight, Martha screamed at the top of her lungs because her ears hurt. AND she puked. Everywhere. She wasn't even two yet, so there wasn't any reasoning with her.
Shame on me. That flight was totally full and there were people on both sides of us who had to endure it. If I had had the least amount of kindness and foresight, I'd've given her some Benadryl or Dramamine before we even got onto the flight, to save her and our seatmates all that trauma.
Now that my kids are a little older and able to contain themselves, I look back in horror at what I put people through. On my flight to DC recently, the toddler right next to me shrieked so loudly it felt like an icepick being slammed into my ear canal. And I had no choice but to sit there and take it.
There are harmless substances which can elicit sleep in little kids, and if you have ANY consideration for the poor people next to you who can't get away from you, you'll give them to your kid.
I'm sure I'll get hate-mail for this stance, but I think that too many moms of little kids don't consider the effect their kid has on everyone else. Sure, you may be used to his skull-drilling shrieks, but no-one else around you is, and you really ought to think about how they feel having to listen to it. Nevermind how much they appreciate being covered in projectile puke.
I'd get arrested if I lit up a cigarette on a plane -- not because I'm harming myself, but because I'm a nuisance to those around me who can't get away from the smoke. A screaming toddler is just as much of a nuisance. Think about the rest of the passengers and slip him a Mickey, won't you please?