If your children are a gift, then I hope you kept the receipt.
A restaurant owner recently came under fire for yelling at a toddler that was terrorizing the patrons in her diner.
Some think she's a monster; I believe she's a one of the last true American heroes.
If you're keeping a list, it goes:
- Edward Snowden
- Bill Gates
- This woman
Why? Because parents have universally decided they would rather be numb to the damage their children are causing than grow a spine and deal with them.
I understand. You're too dead inside after spawning a human that prematurely killed all your goals and dreams to actually empathize with the other humans subjected to your wailing demon-child.
So you sit there with a thousand-yard stare hoping it'll tire itself out. Or maybe you don't even notice anymore. I have no idea.
The reason doesn't matter, only the effect it has on the rest of us: your kid is ruining everyone else's time and you don't care.
A generation ago, a child throwing a sh*t fit in a quiet restaurant would quickly be ushered outside by an embarrassed parent, regretting they didn't just get a babysitter.
Which brings me to another point: babysitters still exist. Maybe we're gentler now as a society and slower to discipline our children for fear of causing psychological trauma. That's fine, but you can still prevent THE ENTIRE ISSUE with twenty bucks and a willing high-school student.
In fact, I propose a solution: Restaurants should impose a $1 peace-and-quiet surcharge on all diners and when parents call up to make a reservation, that money is used to get them a babysitter.
I would happily pay this fee every time, forever. Since parents seem unwilling to take care of the problem, it's up to us.
And before you call me heartless, please understand that I'm not blind to the fact that children can be unruly and that parents sometimes have no other option than to bring them along.
The problem is that it seems to be increasingly socially acceptable for parents to do little more than shush and frown at their child, and hope they improve their behavior.
And how well does that work?
Raise your hand if you've ever witnessed a child throwing a tantrum while their parent essentially ignored them. And it went on and on and on?
If your kid can't stop screaming in a theater, take that kid outside. Sorry that you have to miss a little bit of the film, but you should be the one who has to pay the price of choosing to raise a child, not the rest of us.
We're trying to have a society here.