This post is inspired by Dear Reader Quaid’s rant on Facebook this morning about screaming children and parental paraphernalia on his flight…which led into an interesting debate of sorts, wherein I stated in support of my single, frustrated friend: “Parents and their screaming kids should be restricted to their own living spaces until the kids are old enough to be beaten in public for showing their asses. I can say that. I have 4.”
Did you know that there are actual policies in place in certain public locations such as restaurants where if you bring in children who disrupt other patrons they will politely ask you to leave, thank you very much?
I have a love/hate relationship with this school of thought. On one hand, I should probably be very offended by all of this. But on the other, I like to imagine that I am a single person with no children when I am out and about sans the ankle biters. That goes back to my tendency to deal with stress via escapism. In those instances, other people’s screaming children really bug me. You might imagine that given my life experience, I would be empathetic to the feelings of the poor mothers, but ultimately I just think, “Hey dumbass! You knew this was going to happen! What the hell were you thinking, bringing your two screaming kids to the fanciest restaurant in town on a Saturday evening?” It never ceases to amaze me. I thought for a while that my kids didn’t know how to act in public because I didn’t expose them to the public often enough. I told this to Zohrhubby a couple of weeks ago, after church, when we were stopping by the grocery store to pick up a few things to make lunch.
Me: “We should take them all in, instead of leaving them in the car this time.”
ZH: “What?! No! I don’t want to.”
Me: “They will be fine. They are old enough and it’s time we teach them how to act in the grocery store.”
ZH: “Oh my god. This is going to be a MISTAAAAKE.”
Me: “Quit being so dramatic. This is what people do. We got this.”
By the time we left the grocery store, I was exhausted and one of my kids had a slap mark on his or her arm. I’m not naming names, but Little B is fascinated with the feel of raw meat against plastic. Zohrhubby has an exactly proportional fear of E Coli poisoning. Those two personality traits do. not. mix. well.
So, I will continue to venture out in public with my strict “No more than one human being under the age of 10 in tow at any given time” policy. That, I can work with.
As for all you other young parents who feel like you have every right to have your kids in public no matter what the situation is: You are so very wrong. I stand by my previous statement, and assure you that you will be a much happier person in the comfort of your home while your kids are screaming and throwing tantrums. If you must leave your house, for God’s sake, get a sitter. No one but those few individuals who have reasons to love this kid should be exposed to this:
Thanks for listening to my little rant. I feel tons better. Feel free to disagree, but you have to put it in writing for it to count. 🙂