15 February 2008

Coffee and...Kiddos?

Excuse me while I get my bitch on.  I'll get back to being cute and cheeky tomorrow. 

This morning, I had a mission:  to teach myself Secured Transactions.  If you don't what that means, don't worry...I don't either.  Something about attachment and perfection and description of the collateral.  In short, some kind of law that banks use and therefore I only need to know enough of it to pass the bar.  

Back to my point:  I was on a mission to learn this stuff.  As part of my quest, I went to my new favorite coffee shop which is just far enough off the beaten path to be clean, quiet, and the probability of running into another law student is slim.  After 20 blissful minutes of studying (i realize this is an oxymoron), I was approached by a father-looking figure wearing a Nowka-esque outfit of pleated cords and a shirt that definitely came from Orvis.   Said father-figure warned me that there would be a children's poetry reading in 10 minutes, asked if I would kindly move my 30 lbs. of books so he could watch his sweet little darling.  Since I try to be a good person, I smiled and moved my computer, three books, large chai, and derrière.  I plugged in my headphones and cranked up the tunes.  No harm, no foul.

WRONG.  The kids I could handle.  Of course, they were adorable and perfect and lovely.  And I expected the noise.  They weren't the problem.  But...their parents were straight from HELL.  I wish I was joking.  Apparently, if you are the parent of a seven year-old, this means you are the most important person on the planet and you no longer have to use common courtesy.  This includes:

1. Giving dirty looks to the student (who is still earnestly trying to study) because she is clearly a bad person for imposing on your child's special poetry-reading day.  She needs to leave NOW.  Never-mind the fact that this a public place.

2. Talking VERY LOUDLY when you are literally 4 inches from the student's face (Nope, I'm not over-exaggerating here).

3. Bumping into a law student's computer, nearly knocking it off the table, and then glaring at the law student because it is CLEARLY her fault for being in your way.  And don't even think of apologizing.  This is apparently unnecessary. 

4. Glaring at the law student when her phone makes a tiny text-message-received beep.  This noise is loud, irritating, and makes it impossible for you to hear your child scream, "Mommy!  Look!  I'm pouring the half-and-half all over the floor!"

5. Leaving the bathroom door propped open for the convenience of the kiddies.  When the big people (i.e. the law student) need to use the restroom and shut the door, this is evil.  Upon their exit from the restroom, you should tell your child, "It's okay, honey, some people need privacy."  

Suffice to say, I got very little Secured studying done.  As I was leaving, Orvis-man apologized.  Which was very sweet and genuine, so he is forgiven.  But the obese lady in the horrendous hot pink blazer (yes, with shoulder pads) is NOT forgiven and she's lucky that my computer survived her ass bump.  I would really like a new MacBook Air and she looked like she could definitely finance it.

Aside from just being bitchy, I really think the children-in-coffee-shop phenomenon has gone too far.  It's fine if you need to get your latte fix (I empathize) and happen to have the babies along.  Heck, buy 'em a hot chocolate and make their day.  But I feel that many parents have forgotten Mommy Nila's golden rule of parenting:  Your little bundle of joy should not impose on the joy of the big folks in the room. I know, I know.  Let kids be kids, kids make noise, etc.  And I get that, really.  But there's a time and place for that.  Mama Nila always let us know that we could be wild at home, but she expected us to be well behaved in public.

More importantly, what happened to the real Golden Rule?  Why is it suddenly okay to do whatever you want, even if it disturbs other people?  When did we become a ME-ME-ME society and stop caring about how our actions affected those around us?  I see it when I drive, when I'm shopping, and yes, in the coffee shop.  Don't get me wrong, I thought the poetry reading was a great idea.  I didn't even mind that it imposed on my studying.  But I do mind that several parents had a you're-in-MY-way attitude.  Ok, so you're a parent and I'm not.  But I do take my education just as seriously as you take your child's poetry.  So let's play nice and share the public space.  

That's all I'm saying:  Let's get back to the Do-Unto-Others.


LucieLu said...

So does this mean I should cancel the boys drum lessons I had scheduled at Starbucks next week?

heather said...

And why, why, why, is it perfectly acceptable to allow children to sit in restaurants/coffee shops/ cafes and scream to the top of their lungs for twenty straight minutes when I have to leave my completely housetrained and exceptionally sweet Max in the car or at home??? He has a more gourmet palate than most humans I know, and knows I would give him a good spanking if he were to knock over the half and half or my MacBook. Those were fights we had early on....

Katie said...

i know! i just hate this current parenting theory of "let them work it out." so that means i get to hear your child scream/cry/burp for 30 minutes???? i don't think so.

if we so much as made a noise in a public place, my mom yanked us outside, gave us her "i'll kill you right now" look and warned us that a large ass-whoopin' was waiting at home if we kept it up. made me shut up and behave EVERY TIME.

heather said...

Yeah, something tells me Bob and I aren't going to be New Age Parents. There's nothing that drives him nuts more than parents who want to be buddies with their kids.

Katie said...

another nila-ism: " your job as a parent isn't to be friends with your kids, it's to raise a responsible adult." what can i say, i'm old-school. my kids will NOT have dvd players in the car and they will NOT get brand new cars at 16. i will be known as mean mommy!

heather said...

That's because Mama Nila is good people.