I don't know which way to go. Any advice?

When Parents Suck at the Manners Thing

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You probably heard about the lady who made headlines last week when she took it upon herself to spank another woman’s (disobedient) child. Before that there was the guy at Wal Mart who slapped a stranger’s crying two-year-old across the face to shut her up.

This is pretty terrible. Yet (please don’t shun me) . . . I kind of get it. While I would never lay my hands on anyone else’s child (unless I was saving them from getting hit by a car or falling into a manhole), I understand wanting to.

Today I was at a cafe on Fillmore doing homework at one of the small two person tables. Between my coffee, purse, and notebooks, I’d taken over most of the table’s surface. Since I was waiting for a friend, I opted to leave the additional chair free until she arrived.

So I’m sitting there minding my own business, writing away, when this woman comes up to my very small table dragging a chair and her small son behind her. She proceeds to plunk the son in my extra chair and seat herself in the chair she’s brought with her. Now I’m sharing my very small table with a woman, her son, and his constant chattering (and cookie crumbs.) AND SHE DIDN’T EVEN ASK!

I’m tolerant of people with kids, because I know how kids can be. I don’t freak out when kids throw temper tantrums around me, and it doesn’t bother me if a kid comes into my personal space. Though I do think it’s ridiculous when parents bring kids to grown up movies or bars or other inappropriate locations.  I also can’t stand it when parents completely turn a blind eye to their kid’s bad behavior while in public. But kids are just kids. My problem is with parents. Not kids.

As soon as this mom made herself at home at my table without permission I was pissed. Had she asked, I would have said, “I have a friend coming, but you’re welcome to sit until she gets here.” But she didn’t ask. She just sat and talked as loudly as possible with her excessively chatty kid while he proceeded to shove the table around, knocking my stuff over. It was ridiculous.

While I desperately wanted to unleash a tirade, I bit my tongue. I have a rule: don’t fight rude behavior with more rude behavior. Otherwise known as, don’t make a bad situation worse. But the urge was clear.

Does that make me a bad person?


Written by ditheringmiss

September 21, 2009 at 9:00 am

Posted in Life

Tagged with , , ,

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