Disclaimer: I know I’m not a parent and at the rate of watching the way so many parents act around their kids, I may never be one. So, take this with a grain of salt, y’all. I’ve just finally had enough.
Dear Mom at Chili’s,
Please don’t ignore your 5 year old while he runs around jumping on everything and hitting everyone. And seriously, if you can ignore him, don’t ask his teenage siblings to take care of him. I hate hearing a parent tell a teenager that they are responsible for their brother or sister. Especially when the parent is right there. Your conversation with your friend is not more important than your tantrum-throwing kindergartener. And your 15 year old son is not the one who had sex and got pregnant with the brat in the first place. He’s not the parent. You are. Try and remember that and act like it. The rest of us patrons would appreciate it enormously.
Dear Toddler Mom at the Mall,
Isn’t it cute how your child is starting to walk and run away from you? Isn’t it just adorable when she pulls away and runs straight into a crowd of adults making them all struggle to not run over her or drop their food? Oh wait, nope, that isn’t cute or adorable at all. The place for your child to run around is not a crowded mall. For heaven’s sake, your husband was pushing an empty stroller. If you can’t hold on to the darling child, than strap her in. No one wants to play dodge the baby with your child.
Dear Dad Driving the Honda Odessy,
Now, I know you’re much more important than us mere mortals, I do. At least, you must be since you decided to cut a line of 6 cars and 2 motorcycles to get gas first. I know that waiting in line is annoying. Especially when you think there may be an open pump that someone can’t see. But that doesn’t mean you get to skip all those other people. It was really awesome to see that you had your kids with you. Way to teach them that rules aren’t for your family. This way, as they turn into teenagers, they know that they can just discard the rules that they don’t like. And you can’t get mad at them, because I mean, you did sort of teach them this behavior. Okay, you’re right, not sort of. You definitely just showed them that cheating and cutting gets them ahead.
Dear Mom at the Rugby Field,
Another case of a Mom asking her oldest kid to watch her youngest. Only here, your oldest was 6 and your youngest 2. Do you really think a six year old should be told to do something that you don’t want to do. I mean, I know how important it is for you to aspire to your amateur photographer status while your husband aspires to his club rugby status. But setting yourself 50 yards away from your kids is not cool. Also? Letting them walk dogs that are bigger than they are and then yelling at them because the dog got away or peed on someone, is so not cool. Not sure about going back to the games because I don’t want to feel responsible when that dog pulls your two year old out onto the field in the middle of a scrum.
Dear Parents at the Movie Theatre,
What is with not getting a babysitter? I mean, I have no problem with a kid going to see a kids movie. I expect you to ignore your kid kicking the back of my chair or pulling on my hair with their sticky fingers if I dare to go see Tangled or Kung Fu Panda 2. But bringing your kid to the midnight showing of Paranormal Activity or the any showing of Your, Highness? Some of these movies are R rated for a reason. There were lots and lots of naked schlong scenes in the latter. Is that really what you want your 8, 10, or even 13 year old seeing? I mean, again, it’s bad enough when you go to a late showing of a movie and parents bring in the stroller, toys, and accoutrements for their infant or toddler; but, bringing a child old enough to pay attention to some of these movies? That’s just wrong. There are some things they don’t need to see at that age. Not to mention, I don’t want to hear them whining about being bored or scared. But I will laugh when you have to get up and leave with them. I’ll even cackle when you get visibly offended at the film’s content. Or, you could take the easy route and leave them with a babysitter.
Dear Parents at the Restaurant,
I get it, you want to come in and have a nice meal with your family. That’s something we all want. Something we don’t want? Your brat coming over to our table, or running around in the middle of the tables, or otherwise disrupting our meal. I mean, I get that you asking dear little Timmy to sit in his chair is beyond your capabilities, but I really don’t want to watch the wait-staff dodge him as he gets in the way. It’s not that hard to sit him back in his chair. And, you know, if you actually enforced rules with him, he’d probably know better than to go up to someone else’s table to try and get their food. No, it isn’t cute. It wasn’t cute when they were three and it certainly isn’t cute when they’re six.
To all parents in general: Please remember that no one thinks your kid is as special as you do. I’ll happily coo over pictures, laugh at cute stories, and even teach your kids to play piano. Just, have them behave in public, be the parent yourself, and don’t expect me to think it’s cute when your kid interrupts my dinner out with my husband.