I get it. Kids can be annoying, particularly if they are not yours. The shouting, the crying, the tantrums, the running underfoot and tripping up the waitor with a tray full of drinks… painful. It really is. I know. It has happened to me. I once collided with a toddler on the super circuit at gym. I was not happy about it.
But just because some parents don’t control their kids, does not mean those of us with offspring need to be sent off to a leper colony until our children are teenagers. I mean, we are entitled to venture into a coffee shop for a bite to eat without hiring a babysitter.
Yes, I know that some places are more kid-friendly than others. I would not take Gabe to the movies yet, for example, because I know he will make it terrible for everybody else (much like those idiots who insist on answering their cell phones during the film), but I do not want to go to the Spur every time I feel like a burger just because they are more open to children.
Having a kid should not mean the end of your existence. Why the hell should parents be shuttled off to specific environments simply because their kids throw the odd hissy fit? There are plenty of adults who cause more of a disturbance, but then again being an a-hole has a lot to do with choice I guess.
The reason for my rant?
I decided to take my wife for a coffee the other day, and being an afternoon trip, Gabe came along. He did not make much of a noise, beyond the usual rambling chit-chat that passes for conversation with him at the moment, and the only running he did was outside with me alongside him.
The minute he made the slightest hint of noise, however, and the rolling of eyes commenced, looks of despair – even anger – were thrown our way as Gabe dared to break the silence. You would swear we were in a monastery. Seriously, the one time he did threaten to tantrum, I took him outside to play.
I suppose it is a bit like cyclists, football players or lawyers… some parents just give the rest of us a bad name.
So how about we meet halfway here?
I promise to keep my kid from running amok, disrupting your meal or coffee and will ensure he does not make a nuisance of himself, if you cut me some slack and allow us the odd screech or spontaneous burst of laughter.
Because being a parent should not be seen as a reason to be removed from adult society.