Last Sunday I decided to treat the family to cracker barrel for breakfast. My 18 month old either acts up there or is a saint who can't stop stuffing his face with biscuits. I was hoping for the latter problem when I heard a girl behind us screeched and yelled "no" at her parents. Ahhhh, the public temper tantrum. How utterly embarrassing. I know them well, though. I also know how to diffuse them. A walk around the store full of crap that I don't need and then a quick rock on the rocking chairs outside and he’s ready for breakfast. Is it always easy? No. Is my walk around the building necessary to restore balance and order? Yes.
Well, that’s not what happened at 1 table over. I saw the mother (a) try to negotiate with the 2 year old. Really? You’re going to use your “inside voice” and negotiate when you child is screaming their head off. Then when that didn’t work both parents (b) IGNORED the child and buried their head in the menus.
Now I can see ignoring the tempter tantrum at home. That’s what “they” say you’re supposed to do, right? But in a restaurant? I don’t want to hear my old child scream, much less someone else’s. As this child continued on for most of our meal I was slightly afraid that Baby C would join in and let the mutiny begin. My son was too busy eating a bowl of fried apples, a blueberry muffin, part of my eggs, half of my parfait, and some of my husband’s grits. The boy just could not eat enough and didn’t seem too interested in what was going on with the table next door.
In thinking about the situation, I have just one thought. I know what’s wrong with America. I know why there are “occupy” protesters in the streets and entitled people with their hands out, rather than a resume in hand. Here’s the problem.
How are our children expected to understand how to behave, act, make the right decision, be stand up people, if we as parents never tell them, show them, and (quite frankly) make them act that way from a young age?
When I was pregnant with Baby C I was determined that my child would be well behaved enough that we could go to a restaurant and he would (a) not throw food, (b) not scream, (c) and be an all around well mannered child. Well, it’s harder than it looks to train you child to do this. You have to be prepared to take their food away when they decide to throw it or walk their little asses out of the restaurant when they act up. This means that my meal is cold most of the time due to the fact that I'm either feeding the kids or disciplining them. And... my husband ends up taking the boys for a walk while I finish my meal alone after everyone else has eaten.
Is it ideal? No. But I hope that my child is learning that in the long run you can't behave like a little shit in public, and if you do, expect to be taken outside with Mama.
There's another aspect to this whole scenario. If you allow your children to walk all over you, how do you expect them to understand the concept of consequences and responsibility!? All of these crazed occupy wall street people strike me as entitled spoiled brats who grew up, spent their parent's inheritance and now realize that they need to actually get a JOB and WORK and it's hard and you don't get paid as much as you like, but you make it work. They're like spoiled children who pull the "that's not fair" routine while they pout and cross their arms.
Is it FAIR that Donald Trump has gazillions of dollars and I make a modest living? Well, he did inherit a bunch of money (lucky him) but he did work hard too and make smart decision (hence, working for his money). So, yes, I guess it's fair that I make a pittance compared to Donald Trump. Because, after all, life isn't fair... but we have roll with it.
Whew... I wasn't expecting to go there, but now that I have... I'm glad I decided to discipline my child in a restaurant rather than just ignore him.