and p.s.: the Hamburg weekend was a PSA for birth control/family planning

Posted on 12.03.2011

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That’s what you get when you play the tourism game on a weekend. There was seriously one point in the weekend where I thought to myself ‘can I just have my tube tied RIGHT HERE?’.

I’m not hating. My friends with kids know that I like them and their kids just fine. I like kids when they are behaving in public and I don’t have to be responsible for them. I hate, hate hate, however, when kids are misbehaving in public and their parents don’t see a reason to discipline them. It drives me up a damn wall.

Most of the places we visited on Saturday and Sunday had lots of kids. Lots of loud kids. And for some reason, all of their parents seemed totally ok with that. I guess at some point you become desensitized to the loud noises. I fall asleep in the MRI machine, so I guess the same goes for screaming and crying when you know the voice.

We were in a restaurant on our way home from Hamburg in a little town. It was the Sunday before Faschings, so even more things were closed than normal. There was a family of 6 adults and 3 kids at the table to our right. One child was a baby, incapable of really misbehaving and actually totally ok. But the other two kids had to be at least 4 and 6. Two little girls, running rampant in a crowded restaurant the size of a normal one-floor apartment in Baltimore. Not a lot of space.

They were crawling under other people’s tables, walking up to the tables and staring at the patrons, getting in the way of the waiters.

The restaurant had a salad bar, where one went to get their salad while waiting for the entrée to arrive. It was the kind that a normal adult has to bend over and stick our hands under the glass. Not the tall ones like at Sizzler.

I had my back to the salad bar and René was facing it. We were talking over our salads when he started to look really odd. I turned around to see what the problem was, and the 6yo girl was up on her toes, playing with the spoons at the salad bar. Totally unattended, family not even paying attention to what she was doing.

I was like ‘OMG, what the hell’ and then we went back to talking. Then he looked funny again, and I turned around, this time to see the little girl WITH HER FUCKING HANDS IN THE SALAD. Are you kidding me? I turned to look at the parents. Totally oblivious and only 15 feet away.

I completely understand that it’s wrong to beat your kids, and most parents prefer to never slap or spank them when they do something wrong, but is it completely lost on them to teach their kids how to behave in public?

I decided then that if I were to ever open a restaurant, I’d make half of it child friendly and the other half for people who didn’t want to eat around kids. No offense to parents, you’ve got to eat out too, and you shouldn’t always have to get a babysitter. Got it. But I don’t go out to eat to see people’s kids sticking their hands in the public food supply.

But then I realized that I shouldn’t single out kids, since some kids are well-behaved and there are adults that act out of line, too. So maybe I’d just make a rule that if ANYONE, child or adult, were to get out of hand at my restaurant, they’d be asked to leave. I don’t see the harm in that. That’s just common decency. Etiquette.

I understand that my preference is not a popular one. I’m sorry if anyone is offended. I love my friends, and their kids are fine, but I don’t want to eat in a restaurant with them while they are misbehaving. That’s all. And it’s absolutely the same for people who are adults and can’t control themselves.

Posted in: life