This is one I think just about everyone will relate to. I sat down in a restaurant recently to enjoy my lunch. As I was about to lift the first forkful of my meal to my mouth, a blood curdling scream from a child erupted causing me to drop my fork and snap my head around to see a three year old throwing a temper tantrum two tables away from me. The kid was upset about something, I'm not sure what, and kept bellowing. Interestingly, the parents kept eating their meal like nothing was wrong, even though the whole restaurant had come to a complete standstill.
I also happened to be visiting the Department of Motor Vehicles not long ago to renew my license. As I was getting ready to pay my bill, the room exploded with the screaming of another toddler. Again, the parents simply went about their business like nothing was wrong.
Frankly, I don't know which is worse, kids screaming or the indifference of their parents. When my kids were little I would be embarrassed if they acted up in public. More than once I would pick my child up and take him outside to the car so the other patrons wouldn't be disturbed. But I guess that's not how it's done anymore. I suppose I am really showing my age now.
Since the parents today won't discipline the kids, I think I've come up with something that might turn the trick. How about a pocket aerosol sprayer with knockout drops in it, kind of like the pocket mace sprayers you see. The kid starts acting up, you give him or her a sprits of the knockout drops, and out they go. Somehow seeing a little mop top drop to the floor during a temper tantrum appeals to me. Maybe we can also create an adult version to sprits the indifferent parents. Then, when they wake up, they find themselves outside of the store or restaurant. I can just image the orders I would receive from restaurant owners alone.
Years ago I never understood why there would be special communities that were restricted to older adults, children were simply not allowed. It took me a while, but I think I now grasp the concept. It's not that I have anything against kids, I just have a problem with adults who don't know how to parent.
Tim Bryce is a writer and management consultant located in Palm Harbor, Florida.
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Copyright © 2007 Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.
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