La La How The Life Goes On

…And I’d Have Succeeded if it Wasn’t For Those Pesky Kids!

Posted on: July 27, 2011

Got this from my friend K-Tay, a valued member of my personalpentavirate. It’s all about a new wave of attempts to “ban” kids from various venues. NoKidsMovement

I have a few points to make, as a devoted mother who values our nation’s precious youngsters at every magical age:

1. Most of this article is kind of right. Nothing makes me more bitter than spending $15 an hour on a babysitter, only to find myself spending a nice evening in a nice restaurant with a couple who did NOT hire a babysitter. You need to keep your young children at home–where they can go to bed at a decent hour–or you need to buy me a couple of drinks for my troubles.

2. “But how will the children ever learn to eat in a nice restaurant if you never take them?!” Yes, my two year-old is SOOOOO soaking up the finer points of etiquette as espoused by Emily Post at 8pm over a white tablecloth. Please. She just learned to not crap in her pants or bite other humans. I’m thinking we have some time before we need to take her to L’Espalier for her own social edification. The kid is what we call “our drunk uncle” by 6pm every night, especially since giving up her nap. She is in no way developmentally or behaviorally able to do anything but be a goddamn pain in the ass in the hours before her bedtime. Not because she’s ill-behaved by nature but because she is TWO. Which is why when people say, “Should we get together with the kids for dinner?” The BBDD and I always look at each other and say, “Noooooooooooo, we should NOT! We’ll see you at 8:30am for a nice breakfast and then you’ll think we’re awesome parents with above-average children.” Any other time, meal, attempt at refreshments is only going to demonstrate the bedlam that defines our household when children are tired, hungry or tired and hungry…or, like I said, TWO.

3. On the other hand, if you go to a restaurant that has children’s menus on the placemats and a swath of booster seats near the entrance, then you need to either eat later or go to a better restaurant. Don’t get all uppity about the sanctity of your Bennigan’s, asshole. It’s 5:30 on a Thursday. You saw the mac and cheese/chicken nuggets plates coming out with crayons. You knew what you were buying. I remember living in DC where some residents of Georgetown would complain constantly about boorish student behavior in the streets. Um, let me get this straight. You bought your million dollar townhouse TWO BLOCKS from a university that has been there for hundreds of years–and you’re surprised that you have 19 year-olds barfing on your front stoop? Cry me a river, idiot. Much the same way, you cannot tell me the shrimp scampi is so awesome at the Macaroni Grill that you just have to keep returning to enjoy it in spite of the rotten kids present. Go somewhere else. Or come later. Either way, get over yourself. Kids gotta eat too, which means parents have to eat that stupid food as well. Nothing makes me feel less of a woman than ordering a “rooty tooty fresh and fruity” meal. It’s like they name the dishes to taunt you. So believe that I am suffering too.

4. I think kid-free shopping at Whole Foods is the most hilarious thing I have ever read. Do people with kids actually shop at Whole Foods? I guess they do, if their kids don’t need shoes or clothes or a mortgage payment made on their behalf! My neighbors and I shop at three different markets to get the best prices–and please believe me when I say that none of them include Whole Paycheck. I once did a test-shop there, buying everything I buy at the Stop & Shop except for paper products. So, food only. We spent $185 more that week than any other week ever. The BBDD got all pale when I shared my receipts and he said abruptly: “Experiment over!” We may still be paying off that half-pound of peaches… “Oh, but the quality is so much better!” I don’t doubt it, and you go ahead and enjoy it. Until my kids are out of college, we’ll go with the totally acceptable quality of Stop & Shop, thank you. My kids will do what I did as a kid, which is eat fruits and vegetables IN SEASON and enjoy the anticipation for the rest of the time. Yes, very “green” of Whole Foods to use all that fossil fuel to fly in those strawberries year-round and charge you $7 a pound for their efforts…

5. Moving on, I’ve saved the best for last: the “no kids allowed to play outside of the condos” effort. Well, I think this is up there with trying to make people not smoke in their houses or cars. Wouldn’t a more productive solution be to band together and create an outside area for everyone? There’s that. Or, you know, the dinosaurs could just get comfortable with the fact that CHILDREN EXIST and that, unfortunately for their nightly games of canasta and reruns of Matlock, children must play. I mean, they are seriously advocating fines for “violations” of policy, which by their reading, would mean a kid riding a bike. How shitty and grumpy can one community be? Or, how about we don’t let them play outside but rather have them inside playing violent video games that glorify the vandalism of senior citizen homes? Everyone here needs to get a grip. The absent parents AND the idiots trying to legislate kids playing. Good grief.

In short, as always, this article highlights the nonsense that occurs when people don’t do their jobs. Parents: control your children. Teach them that, although they are valuable and wonderful creatures designed by God Himself, that they are not in fucking charge; YOU are. And that means that a tear or two must fall. A parent must find herself publicly embarrassed by a tantrum that will not be acceded to. A child must internalize that s/he does not control the movement of the planets, none of which equates to how much they are loved. By the same token, non-child people (including those whose kids have grown up) need to remember that acting like an asshole is never the best way to teach a kid to stop acting like an asshole.

Which means that you must never barf on THEIR doorstep, no matter how badly you want to.

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