Sunday, May 27, 2007

Stupid Parents Again

Tal was right. And I swear, Fredericksburg is at the epicenter of a plague of stupid parents.

Last night, Michael and I went out to dinner at a kid friendly place (Pizza Hut). There were two women seated at the table behind us, of whom I had a clear view, and with them, they had 3 children. One of the women was the mother, the other a friend or ?? The two older children were in the 7-10 range and the little guy was maybe 2.

They were seated and no sooner were they, then the two women dug out their cell phones and called people. The two oldest kids were bearing it pretty well, but the little one was not happy. He was squirming between the two of them, and making some noise, till Mom huffed into the phone and said she had to go. Finally the other one hung up as well.

Next thing, the little guy grabs the menu so Mom's friend couldn't read it. Mom was finished with her menu, and Friend was trying to convince him that she needed to see the menu for just one minute, but he refused to give it to her. So she said, "OK, I'll just have to take Mommy's." This sent the little guy into a fury and he starts screaming.

She takes Mom's menu, and this little guy hauls off and smacks her one with the menu, screaming his head off.

Now, internally I was cheering, but I was waiting to see what the discipline would be for such a thing. And all Mom does is turn to him and say, "That's not very nice."

They didn't take the menu away, they didn't yell at him, nothing.

If I had ever hit an adult, be it with a laminated piece of paper or a 2x4, my ass would have been grass. At the very least, my rear would have been put into a high chair and my movements restrained, but most likely in a restaurant, my parents would have picked me up and we would have left without dinner. And once would have been all it would take for me to learn the lesson we didn't hit people, much less Aunt Frannie who's been so nice to us.

I just shook my head as their phones rang all night and Little Jeffrey (or whatever his name was) started eating off the floor and hollering his head off whenever he felt like it. People like that really piss me off.

5 pearl(s) of wisdom:

Talmadge G. said...

If I had ever hit an adult, be it with a laminated piece of paper or a 2x4, my ass would have been grass.

Same here. And my Dad's belt would've been one mean riding mower.

For whatever issues I have about my own parents, the area of discipline was not one of them. I KNEW what would happen were I to have Newlywed Game'd a grown-up like that.

This begs several questions:
1) "...'till Mom huffed into the phone and said she had to go" This speaks more words than Blogger's servers could handle. I've been to a restaurant with a two-year-old (Tiger). Of course, handheld cellphones were still an expensive luxury in 1994. And one conserved those precious 50 minutes allotted you each month. Never mind -- you don't put an eyeball OFF one that age for longer than five seconds. No, make that THREE. Two. One?

2) Two friends together at a restaurant, and both of them are on cellphones talking to other people. Am I the only one who sees the absurdity in this?

3) When my parents wanted quality time to themselves, or wanted to do stuff with their friends (and parents deserve it from time to time), they did something completely radical and out-of-the-box: THEY GOT A BABYSITTER.

One thing I have noticed about parents who DO strongly correct (read: spank) their chirren in public -- today it's all too often less about the kid's behavior as it is the kid embarrassing the parent.

I smell a tome.


Kate/Susan said...

Considering the amount of padding the average diaper affords, nothing gets hurt at that age except the pride of the kid involved.

My sister and I knew walking out the door of the house what would happen if we misbehaved. And my parents weren't above a little bribery (peanut butter cups, books, etc.) AFTER we had behaved ourselves as a reward for good behavior.

These two were really incredible. Cell phones in restaurants is one of my top pet peeves anyway.

Talmadge G. said...

I have my cellphone with me most of the time .... although "with me" is loosely defined. It's in the car most of the time, and when (I/we) go into a restaurant, my phone stays behind and hidden in a storage bin.

When I get back into the car I check to see if anyone called.

The ONLY (!) time I carry a cellphone into a business is if I'm truly expecting someone to call me.
And even then I'll duck away somewhere and talk discreetly.

You're right about padding on the average pair of training pants. Geez ... the hand probably hurts worse than the bottom.

And rewards aren't out of line. The problem starts when it's done all the time and the kids begin expecting them.

Kate/Susan said...

I'm not quite ashamed to say that the last time I remember having my cell phone on was Tuesday. The last time I actually used it? Heck if I know!

nettiemac said...

Like I said in my comment on the previous post, I got popped a few times on the rump, and deserved it.

I am proud that my godchildren (ages 7 & almost-10) know how to behave in public and have from their earliest times. They have fun but know what the limits are. They are occasionally rowdy but when they are told (once) to knock it off, they do -- and they know that if they don't, they WILL be taken outside, where they can pout and whine to their hearts' content and we will laugh at them. And there have been times when we have cut things short (usually restaurant stuff) because of misbehavior -- rare, but it has happened.

And you had best believe that NO adult I ever knew would have allowed me to hit them without some SERIOUS consequences -- not just a "Mommy says don't do that." (more like "Don't you EVER hit me!" as I got a swat or two myself).