Saturday, 27 January 2007

A failing mother? A story of selfishness

(Originally posted in Organic-Ally blog)

OK, I am not a perfect mother.

But what would you do if you were at a nice restaurant/cafe and your 18-month-old is screaming for attention because she's been left in the pushchair too long while you have been reading your Sunday papers?

Would you:
(a) stop reading and give your daughter a cuddle?
(b) give her a new toy to entertain herself?
(c) say, "Wait! You have to wait another five minutes."

While waiting for my son to finish his golf lessons, I sit in the cafe area of this restaurant and I cannot remember the number of times my quiet, supposedly relaxing afternoons have been ruined by this toddler who screams at the top of her shrill, sharp voice as toddlers are able to do.
Mum does not care. Dad, if he's there, does not care. Every one else in the restaurant/cafe -- and we pay for food and drinks -- have to endure her screaming.

Today Mum was heard to say several times, "No, you're not getting out (of the pushchair) yet," and "No, you have to wait a few more minutes ...."

Poor mite! She does not know what "few more minutes" mean.

What sort of mother is it who thinks that reading her newspaper is more important than picking up a distressed/bored/hungry baby?

Even after she was released from her pushchair prison and playing with her brother, she was running around screaming at the top of her voice.

Why is it that some parents can bring up children without them screaming in public places and others cannot?

If this mother cannot manage a screaming baby when she's (about) 18 months old, how is she going to cope when the baby is three years, or five, 13 and 17?

Is it too much to expect parents to vacate an otherwise nice quiet restaurant (or cinema, theatre, etc) if their babies fuss too much and/or emit piercing screams so that other patrons can have a peaceful time?

Well, as far as this particular mother is concerned, a screaming toddler is not her problem. Her newspaper reading time is too precious and little one can wait. Should I complain to the management, the mother, or both?

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