Oct 24, 2010

Common courtesy rant

So yesterday we were out shopping and wondering (and avoiding things we don't want to do here at home like yard work and laundry)...the kids had fun, I wore some heels (and yes, I regretted it) and in general it was a nice time.

Then...we decided to stop for something to eat.  We went into this place (I believe it was called Fat Burger, but can't recall) -- order our stuff and sit and wait for it to come.  The restaurant was set up very much like a 50's diner.  We were sitting in a booth.  The family in the booth directly behind mine had this sweet little boy about the same age as my Adam.

As we're waiting for our food -- sweet little boy starts hanging over the booth onto our side -- just kind of tottering there like a see-saw in mid balance.  Was it annoying?  Yes, but it wasn't a big deal.  I've most certainly seen and dealt with worse.

However - when mom gave the kid a cookie and he proceeded to eat his cookie next to my ear, smear his soggy cookie on the back of my head and drop bits of it onto my seat - I lost all "understandability" with this family.

Who lets their kid do that?  If no one was there, go for it (although it would still be nasty and rude, it wouldn't be nearly so much) -- why wouldn't you discipline your child?  I'm not asking her to pull him down and spank him, I was at the very least, expecting to hear then say "Johnny, my sweet little angel direct from heaven, would you please stop bothering the nasty woman over there?" to which I would have said "Oh, he's not bothering me that much" and we would chortle and smile, like nice Canadians and get on with our supper.

But no - neither mom nor dad said a word.  I waited for it -- I gave them many chances, in fact, I gave them more than enough chances to deal with the cherub, but they did nothing.

So I did.

I turned around - and said in a fairly stern voice simply said, "Sit down" -- and he did.  And parents said not a word -- as if neither I nor the child even existed, they just continued chatting amongst themselves.

Seriously?  What is with people lately?  I won't allow my child to do something like that!  I teach them to respect their elders, and everyone else...whether it's preventing them from hanging off the sides of the shopping cart so no one can pass, or simply holding open a door for someone, it's something that I feel is my duty to instill in my child.

Am I wrong?  Am I the only person in the world who has any common sense any more??

It's not as if my children are deprived -- I'll happily let them hang of the shopping cart, or run down the mall -- if it's not busy and no one else is around!!  Really -- they can have fun and be children, but I do expect them to also be decent human beings and that includes having respect for other people.

So no, I don't allow my kids to hang over booths in the restaurant.  I don't allow them to touch other people with their nasty, soggy, half-eaten food.  I don't allow them to disturb total strangers who are in the middle of (attempting to) eat a family meal...I must be the most evil woman on the planet!  But hear this -- if you choose to let your kids do these types of things without speaking up to put a stop to it -- I WILL.


Erin said...

I admire your restraint.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more!

Crystal said...

Absolutely, you are right.

Could be worse though. Just think, had it been americans in the next booth, they may have just turned around and asked who the hell you thought you were speaking to their child like that?

I still remember being stationed in Germany & politely telling a little boy who was running through the store and who almost pushed me over to stop running before he got hurt or hurt someone... would you believe his (american) mother came over yelling at me to apologize to her brat?!! --I'm sure he's probably grown & in jail now.

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