Duh, I should never read the comment on cnn's website. It's always bugged me when people think that the sound of a child is de facto a horrible thing, even if the child is oh, I don't know, laughing? Singing? Talking? I want to say, "Did you ever stop to think that your ugly self is interfering with that kid's fun as much as her voice is interfering with yours?" My annoyance with these curmudgeons is multipled n-fold now that I have little talking, singing, laughing people in tow with me most of the time.
People Suck Who:
* Think that any public temper tantrum is either a) the parents' fault for not beating the child enough or b) the child's fault for being the spawn of satan, because all children are inherently evil and need to be beten. Or locked up.
* Think that children should be kept out of public places. The "kids are spawn of satan" attitudes are usually accompanied by an attitude that children should not be taken out in public until they're old enough to behave. OK, so if I keep my kids at home until they're 10, they'll learn how to behave in public around adults. Riiiiight.
* Think that children should never be seen in public and also wonder why they never see their friend anymore since she had kids-- and don't even give me that "just call a babysitter" crap. Unless you're payin'. How's about offering to help out instead of bitching? Better yet, don't call. No one needs friends like that.
* Assume that if a kid is misbehaving that the parents are just LETTING IT HAPPEN, how dare they, and not even trying to stop junior from kicking the back of your airplane seat/talking too loudly in a restaurant/unrolling the toilet paper in the public bathroom/whatever, Stop. Think. Who wants their kid to do those things? No One. Who stands idly by and thinks it's funny? No One (well, OK, I do know some dads like that, but they're almost never trusted alone with the kids anyway).
I'd love to see people (cnn's readers, I'm looking at you!) give parents a break, and the benefit of the doubt. When this behavior is at its apex, Mom is probably planning her strategy to take away a week's worth of TV and steeling up the nerve to lay down this punishment. Because when that punishment is announced, hoo-mama, it's gonna get UGLY.
You used to be a kid. So did I, so did your own parents. Maybe your parents beat the crap out of you when you misbehaved, maybe they didn't, but they did what they could, the best they could, to civilize you, a wild creature, to become who you are today. But you were a pill sometimes, I was a pill sometimes, we all embarassed our parents in public at some point, and they didn't just lock us up in the basement until we were 10 (if yours did do that, then I apologize for my insensitivity to your plight).
Someday my kids will complain to their friends that a spanking would have been SO much easier than the lecture and suspension of privileges their mom doles out. Sorry, kiddos, that's how I roll-- I could no sooner hit you than cut off my own finger. But a long lecture and no tv for a week? You bet I can be that mean. I'm doing my best to civilize some wild creatures. They don't understand their own emotions, or long-term consequences, or even that showing your mommy's boss' boss' boss the chigger bite in your butt in the breakroom isn't appropriate. But these little wild animals are still human. They're as much members of society as you or me or that grumpy guy in row 23D who thinks that airlines should book "adult-only" flights as a service to passengers like himself who can't take the heat. I agree- the airlines should book assholes-only flights as a service to the rest of us.
My friend Jen told me that her parish priest wanted to create a "crying room" at the church-- for people who can't stand to hear children crying in church. That's my kind of guy.
If you're still reading, thanks for listening to my temper tantrum. I feel much better! :-D