Thursday, August 21, 2008

Diner Brats

My husband and I are on vacation this week on the North Fork of Long Island, our favorite place to go to relax. We like it for the wineries and for the general sense of peace and quiet. Unfortunately, that peace and quiet was shattered over what should have been a relaxing lunch today.

We were at a small luncheonette and ice cream parlor in the area, sitting in a booth and looking over menus, when a family walked in with four screeching children. I immediately rolled my eyes at my husband. I could tell right away that these tykes were going to be trouble. As they gathered around the ice cream counter, screaming "The pink one, Mommy, I want the pink one!" and "I want sprinkles!" and "I want chocolate sauce!", I hoped fervently that they would take their ice cream to go and walk back out into the pretty summer day. Unfortunately, they decided to stay, and to seat themselves at the booth right behind us.

We could not believe the behavior of these children. Their screams reverberated off the walls of the tiny diner, assaulting our ears for the entirety of our meal. There were other families with kids in the diner, but none were making any noise at all except for these children. We actually heard one of the little boys -- maybe six or seven -- shout at his mother, "Mom, DON'T TAKE ANY OF MY ICE CREAM!" My husband and I looked at each other with raised eyebrows.

"If that were my kid, I'd take him outside and smack him," my husband said in a low tone.

"I'd tell him he's buying his own ice cream from now on," I replied.

"Even though he wouldn't have any money, because he wouldn't be getting an allowance for the next decade," my husband agreed.

Finally, the family left. It was astounding how much quieter the diner was. I don't think I'd realized until then just HOW much noise these ill-behaved, entitled brats had been making.

Oh well. At least we're back at our cottage now, blogging in peace and quiet. Those parents get to reap the fruits of their own lack of discipline all day long.

Earplugs, anyone?


Childfreeeee said...

And the best thing of all is that parents don't even notice the noise anymore - they are so jaded. It's like smokers who don't smell their own cigarette smoke and only realize how horrible it smells after they quit.

danakscully64 said...

I second what childfreeee said, the parents don't even notice the noise. They've learned to block it out and let innocent bystanders deal with it. Ditto about the smoking thing. I have no problem with well behaved children, they can actually be cute at times, but I've had so many experiences with bad parents that it has pushed me over the edge.

mothermedoula said...

I know what you mean. My kids- 3 boys can be quite loud. I would have taken them outside- we don't sit down to eat ice cream, that just doesn't make sense. We enjoy going to the park where they can make noise and not make a scene.
I notice the noise. It can be stressful for parents, too.

car57 said...

I know I'm about to sound like a middle-aged fuddy-duddy, but I don't recall as a child EVER being allowed to screech non-stop in public--or even hearing other kids. These days, it seems like screeching is the norm for kids, even after they start talking. It's like they compete to see who can screech the loudest. A kid down the hall from my apt cannot EVER walk down the hall without screeching.