A recent story that has gained national attention happened when the owner of a diner in Portland, Maine screamed at a two-year-old child to stop screaming — whose parents couldn’t get her to stop.
There has been a non-stop backlash both bashing the owner and praising her as well.
The owner stands behind her actions, which indeed did make the child stop, while keeping her other 75 patrons happy, as well.
While it wouldn’t feel very pleasant to have this happen to me, had it been my own child, I would have left far before the altercation occurred.
Letting the child scream for that long without taking him/her OUT is just bad parenting at its finest.
Last week, the same type of thing happened to me. I was having lunch with my sister at a local diner and sitting across from me was a new mother along with some friends and her screaming toddler.
It wasn’t just one little scream, one time. It was a non-stop, ear piercing, headache inducing yelling that never ended until the woman finished her meal.
Can you even imagine?
Forty-five full tortured minutes later I had barely touched my own lunch due to the noise.
It was deafening. And all the while, that mother just ate and laughed with her girlfriends and occasionally say shhhh to the screaming kid.
But she never left.
This was not her home, or a friend’s home.
This was a public restaurant where you do have the responsibility as a parent to respect other people.
Patrons were fleeing the restaurant, wait staff were fumbling their orders, and no one, and I mean no one said a word to this woman about the possibility of taking her child OUT of the restaurant.
We all just sat there and had our meals ruined. All quietly whispering under our breaths how horrible the noise was.
I spoke to the owner, who was there at the time, about possibly saying something to the lady about taking her young child out of the restaurant.
She didn’t want to. She felt it would be rude and she was more focused on not offending the lady with the child as opposed to all the other customers dining.
Instead, every single person had to endure the incessant noise of this screaming child for the entire length of his or her meals until the woman left.
And she left after HER meal was finished.
So here’s my question to you:
Do you think a parent should leave a restaurant when their child is crying or screaming incessantly?
My answer is unequivocally– YES.
I can understand the frustration a parent has when they are in a “no outlet” situation such as an airplane and they are trying their best to quiet their crying child and cannot.
I have been that mom. I have been that mom where my child cried for 2 hours and 22 minutes on a fight that lasted 2 hours and 30 minutes to Florida.
I have been that mom that apologized left and right when my screaming child would not stop. I have felt the anxiety, witnessed the mom persecution from other passengers, saw the looks of disapproval in their eyes, heard the whispers and judgment on my parenting.
I have been that mom and it was one of the most stressful moments of my life. However, when you are locked in somewhere and you truly can’t get your kid to stop—and there is no escape—-You’re helpless.
That particular time was an isolated event due to an ear infection in my son.
But at a restaurant—where you can grab the child and leave—
That is when you should.
To sit there and allow fellow patrons to have their inner eardrums pierced while you tune out the reality of the situation is not acceptable.
Pick up your child ask for a to go box and leave.
This leads me to my next question.
When did we become such a politically correct society that we won’t acknowledge when something is really wrong?
Why didn’t anyone say something, including me?
Everyone in that restaurant was talking about it, yet no one addressed it.
Yes, we are all mothers. Yes, we have all had screaming children. Yes, it is frustrating.
However—what separates good mothers from great mothers is…
Knowing when to walk away from your half eaten omelet.
Until next week,