Spoiled Brats

I don’t have kids.  At this rate, I’ll probably never have kids.  But, you know, I’m not opposed to it and if the right fella came along, I’d be willing to squirt out a couple.

I like it when my nephews come to visit, though, I’ll admit that I find it a little intense, all the running and the noise and the general chaos and sense of disappointment that we don’t have better things to play with.

And I’m used to having kids around. I don’t eat at restaurants where people don’t bring children.  I hang out at parks; there are children at parks.  Shoot, there are often kids in and out of our office for one reason or another.

Still, I’m no expert on kids.  Maybe there’s some way that they could behave that would never cause the adults around them stress or discomfort.

But reading Short & Fat’s post today?

All I could think of is that we’re a nation of spoiled brats.


You can expect to be surrounded by a vast child-free space in your own home.  Outside of your home?  No.

In the world, there are children and they’re going to do the things that children do.  Yes, there are children who’s behavior is constantly above and beyond a problem.  But you know?  Really, those kids are not that common.  Mostly there are some people who seem to expect that they can live their lives only surrounded by other adults while kids are kept tucked safely out of sight at home or at day cares or in school.

I don’t know what to make of that expectation–that the whole world owes it to you to conform to your desires and present you with a reality in which other people’s lives never intrude on yours–except to think that it’s the height of brattiness.

20 thoughts on “Spoiled Brats

  1. I read his post, too. I don’t have kids. I love kids and want them one day. However, I find it pretty hard to tolerate when people take children out in public and make no efforts to quiet them down when they are having a tantrum, or take them outside if they are crying. Of course, it all depends on the age of the child, too. . . I just wish more parents would take more responsibility for the actions of their kids when they become unruly in public, rather than simply ignoring the noise.(At a closing the other day, a 2 year old gorgeous little girl was literally screaming, no, shrieking while I was trying to go over the financial documents with my client – it was impossible to hear or think in a small 6×6 room. The parents did not flinch – I had to ask them to please take her out of the room. No apologies, all they did wass scoff at me & say *you don’t have kids, do you?* – WTF does that have anything to do with shit!!! My client was paying $(a lot) for my services and $500 for the room we were doing the closing in..and they had the nerve to say that to me?!)Ok, Grrrrrrrrrrrrr. Clearly I have a fresh wound regarding kids in public places. Generally… I love the little buggers. But folks, quiet them down when they become devils!!!

  2. All I ask is a happy medium. Frankly, anyone who eats at Panera needs to expect that it isn’t a quiet, book-reading place. It’s a busy restaurant. Kids or no kids, people are going to come in and eat near you–most of them will have a conversation while they do so. Realise that and grow up. On the other hand, there ARE people (to whom I am closely related) who will go into any public place and allow their children to behave like uncaged monkeys. I’ve seen children allowed to run slalom between tables in restaurants, pull off their clothes and squat naked on the dining area floor. This is clearly inexcusable. Basically, I think there are public manners and private manners for adults and children alike. Expecting everyone to conform to those is not a bad idea.

  3. <haughty>"You don’t have kids, do you?"</haughty> You know it’s really too bad we don’t burn people at the stake anymore.

  4. I wonder if Knucklehead would let us start burning people in his smoker when he’s not using it… I have a short list of folks who could use a good smiting: Sarcastro… um… Sarcastro… oops, got him already and this girl from high school.Anyway, I wonder if the whole ‘uncontrollable’ kids isn’t the other side of the same coin of the spoiled brat adult phenonenom. Again, it’s these parents who can’t take the time to help their kids learn to navigate life in the world in a way that makes it easier for everyone (kids and other people included) because the world is just supposed to conform to whatever shape will make life easiest for those people.

  5. Yay, B! Great post! My children have pretty decent going out manners. They never run around in a restaurant, unless it’s my husband’s restaurant and we’re alone in the side room (even that bugs me), but there are a couple of notable problems with my kids- Megs is LOUD. Generally she isn’t too shrieky (in public anyway), she just talks at a 10 when we need her at a 4. Nate, on the other hand, is both loud AND nosey. When it gets too bad, we take him out, but even when my kids are being happy-loud (and I’m TELLING them to quiet down) we sometimes get really nasty looks. Ya can’t win, I tell ya! :D

  6. You can tell the parents who don’t believe in saying "No" or jerking a knot in their kids from time to time. I’m not talking about to spank or not to spank here…I’m talking that the kid knows it’s the parents who are the bosses and not them. Watch an episode of "Super Nanny" and you see what happens when parents let their kids run things. It’s disgusting. Scarier is that this is our country’s future. Same time, I was once one of those childless people (so long ago I barely remember) who said things like "I can’t believe those people don’t make their kids behave." It’s not as easy as it may appear. It’s also exhausting. Sometimes you find it easier (and quieter in public) to not fight them because it can make it worse. You can’t win nowadays because I’ve had looks from people for reprimanding my kids in public and then I’ve had looks from people when they make a sound. You can’t win.That said…shrieks and screams make me crazy.

  7. I don’t like children, except my own. Although I am intrigued by this girl you went to high school with.Isn’t the disturbing part of S&F’s post the announcing that his balls are freshly shorn?

  8. Didn’t I tell y’all about how crazy my high school reunion was and how that girl called me out in front of the whole class for not bothering to go around and introduce myself to people’s spouses and how I thought I was such hot shit and that everyone would just know who I was but I was wrong?Surely I did. My friend Moe and I were pretending to be lesbian lovers. I must have told you that story.Anyway, yes, I think we were all hoping to hear from Short & Fat how he keeps his balls shorn and nick-free and whether he also shaves his legs or if his testicles merely sit there like albino plums in a vast dark forest.

  9. I have a strict policy of not allowing and sharp or edged objects near the security zone. Liquids are still allowed.No way you told me about the HS reunion. Introduce yourself to the spouses? That’s rich. You and your elitist stuck up cheerleader clique snubbing the unpopular girl.

  10. I have no problem with children, no matter where they are. I tend to get a problem when the parents of a child (or children) allow their child to "own" whatever room or restaurant or theater he or she happens to be in (i.e. running around like it’s their living room, screaming, climbing on things, bothering other people). I don’t mind it when a kid throws a temper tantrum and freaks out like a maniac, because, hey, they’re kids, and when a parent tries to stop the child from acting like a maniac, even if unsuccessful, it doesn’t bother me. It bothers me when the parent ignores the child and doesn’t give a shit that the kid is acting like a maniac and allows the behavior to continue on it’s own. I can’t handle that. If you had the child, it’s now your responsibility to at least TRY to parent that child, and ignoring and pretending it’s okay is NOT parenting, and it makes everyone else at the restaurant or theater or wherever suffer.

  11. Shoot. I’ll have to write that up over lunch. That was one of the most unpleasantly weird things to ever happen to me and I once had a Korean War Vet grab my nipple, so that’s saying something.

  12. Shaving is really the only solution. I tried the infomercial product, Nads, as the name implied it could do the job.Unfortunately, it involved a great deal of searing pain and three skin grafts.

  13. Recently there was a coffee shop in Chicago that finally banned uncontrolled children from its premises. The offended mommies tried to organize a boycott of the place, but the guy’s business tripled, so he was pretty unconcerned about their threat. Kids were still welcome, mind you, but well-behaved ones. And here’s a novel idea: how’s about you just don’t go to restaurants when kids are at that stage? When we did go out when the boys were little, we tended to go early, 5:00 or so when places were pretty empty so they could walk around a bit, brought toys for them to occupy themselves, and took them outside if need be. We never had any problems. It’s like people who still don’t have nice stuff out in their homes when their kids are 5 or older, because they haven’t been taught not to crawl on tables or throw balls in the living room. Sheesh. Bugs the shit outta me. Crap, I should have a blog so I can complain some more.

  14. Keep your damn yuppie larva off my lawn!Keep ’em quiet, or keep ’em at home!I will say something to the kid or the parents if they are really bad, but I have a pretty high tolerance, as anyone who knows me can tell you. Mrs Schwartz will generally ask to sit away from the drooling, screaming crowd, which does the trick.

  15. I know entirely too much about Short and Fat’s scrotum and testes. Thank you for sharing. Now stop.I think the "wild child" thing is the flip side of "this is adult swim" attitude. The problem is in the parents who expect to be unchanged in habits, behavior, schedule, etc by the act of parenting. There is a certain subset of self-involved people who don’t get the concept that having a kid requires some transformations. You aren’t simply Adult Plus (Now With Added Sprouts). You have different responsibilities — you might have to go different places (that your kid is more interested in being), you might have to think about yourself in relationship to others more than you used to. That’s a skill that some parents are slow to acquire. On the other hand, there are a set of people (equally self-involved) who now believe it’s ok to be inappropriately assertive. I have gotten everything from the stinkeye for daring to breastfeed in a mall (I wish someone had taken a picture of me flipping that woman the bird while nursing…) to being asked to leave a bookstore by another patron because my child was sitting and reading a book she hadn’t bought yet. The concept of minding one’s own business — never an American strength — really goes out the window when you’ve got a kid in tow and it simply doesn’t matter much whether the kid is "good" by adult standards, "wild," "loud," or whatever. He or she is a child in a public setting and there’s a group of BossyBoots people who want to "raise your awareness" that your kid is not acting exactly to their notion. It’s a form of bullying. I tell officious bullies to kiss my ass — and I thank them for offering me the opportunity to teach my kid the correct way to handle busybodies. That being said, I also have worked hard to be in tune with my kid. I try to make sure that she gets enough sleep, that she has adequate times to just kick back, that she’s got a snack and a drink handy, and that we don’t spend too much time in an uptight "adult swim" place before we find a park or something where she doesn’t have to put on the public manners to such an extent. If she melted down as a toddler, we packed it in because the world wasn’t entirely just about what I wanted and needed. So you don’t allow your kid to be a pain in the ass and you teach by small steps how to be in the world.

  16. Nothing or nobody gets burned in my smoker. Things are put in there to be slow smoked to a falling-off-the-bone goodness.BTW: Slow-smoked misbehaving children taste like chicken.

  17. A couple of months ago I went to the post office. As I got near the door, I saw a woman pull into a handicapped parking space. She didn’t have a handicapped license, and she didn’t have a handicapped tag hanging from her rearview mirror, and she didn’t move like someone handicapped, but all the other places were full. We both went in and were waiting in the line, which was rather long and slow. A couple of places behind me was a woman carrying an infant. After a couple of minutes, said infant started to whimper. It never turned into whining or wailing, but did get up to soft crying. The mother did the cooing thing, and the bouncing thing, and the infant stayed unhappy but didn’t go off the deep end. Nevertheless, Ms I-park-in-handicapped-spaces-because-I-feel-like-it-and-screw-the-people-who-actually-need-them started making loud comments into the air about "people who can’t control their children" and "I can’t stand that noise." Funny what we choose to be bothered by, isn’t it?

  18. I have a mental list of places that I don’t go to with children. It’s easier on me, it’s easier on them but it has little to do with whether or not it’s easier on other people. I know my kids, what works for them and what doesn’t. I know myself and what works for me and what doesn’t.My worst encounter with a stranger questioning my parenting abilities was at an airport. This was in the first year after 9/11 and the security lines were still horrendous. I was traveling alone with Sweetpea, I think she was about 2 years old at this point. The line was long and slow and Sweetpea started to get very antsy and whiney. I was doing all I could to console her. I held her as much as I could, I talked to her, gave her a drink, pointed out interesting things to look at, etc, etc but after awhile nothing worked. Her whining got louder and more frequent. A woman in front of us looked on with scorn and said, "That’s just so fake!", meaning that my TWO YEAR OLD was faking her boredom, discomfort and overall displeasure with the situation just for the hell of it. I was so angry. I just glared at her with a, "how dare you speak about my child that way!" evil eye. I was so furious I was shaking and almost started crying because not only was I having to deal with this all alone, I was being reprimanded because my child acting like, God forbid, a child!

  19. I have no tolerance for kids who run wild, and no tolerance for adults who hate kids. A kid who happens to be enjoying time with her father at Panera has as much right to that space as the asshat who was trying to read, which, by the way, is not what I would choose for a pastime at frickin’ PANERA. If you need it quiet…go to the library!

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