Since so many people are up in arms about the behavior of certain children in restaurants, why not continue the conversation? Dr. Phil polled the audience on his show yesterday and asked the following question:
If your child was throwing a tantrum in a restaurant, what would you do?
- Calmly ask them to settle down, 4%
- Ignore the tantrum, 1%
- Take the child out of the restaurant, 72%
- Firmly tell your child to stop, 23%
According to the results of the delusional people in his audience that day, 72% of them said they would take their child out of the restaurant. I call complete and total bullshit. Anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant, eaten in a restaurant, driven by a restaurant or heard of a restaurant knows that not that many people actually do that. These people answered that poll in the way they think they should answer it. They know what they should do, but what they actually do is a different story. It’s like when I am on the subway and have a nice cushy seat. When I see an old one-legged blind lady carrying ten bags of groceries I have two options:
What I should do- get up and gingerly escort the poor dear to my seat and then get off with her at her stop and make sure she hobbles home safely and then give her my cell phone number to call me if she ever needs a loaf of bread or someone to change a light bulb.
What I actually do- turn up the music on my iPod, close my eyes and pretend to be asleep.
The people in that audience only said that to make themselves look better because the three-piece pantsuit they bought for the show for 20% off at Chico’s wasn’t enough to disguise their ugly child-rearing habits. There is no way that many people do that when their kids make a scene in a restaurant. What usually happens is a lot of empty threats that the kid knows will never happen. “Billy, if you don’t stop throwing bread at the waiter right this second, I am going to take away your (insert name of popular toy here) and you will not get any dessert and when we get home I will hit your behind with a whoopin‘ stick and then, um…I will..uh, lemme see, I will…what was I saying? Oh never mind, you go right ahead, sweetie and do what ever it was you were doing. I’m a lazy parent and don’t give a shit about anyone but myself. I want another bite of fried chicken.” It’s true and we all know it.
And let’s discuss the 1% who thought it was okay to ignore the situation. What in the fuckity fuck kind of solution is that? It was edited out of the show, but I told Dr. Phil what I felt about that 1%. “Excuse me, Dr. Phil. There are about 200 people in this audience so that means there are at least two people in this room who think it’s okay to let their kid act like that in a restaurant. I want to know who they are and hear an explanation.” He ignored me just like those parents ignore their devil spawns, but it was a valid comment I made. I really would have liked to hear someone justify their reasoning behind that decision making process. I can hear it now. “Well, you see, Dr Phil, my child is very special and I like him to make his own decisions about his behavior. You see, I think it will only help him mature faster and not be so dependent on his parents later in life. And also, I do not ever give him processed chicken because he is only worthy of steak that comes from cows that grazed in fields of four-leaf clovers in the light of the silvery moon. That’s right, yes, uh huh.” Bullshit.
And let me just add, that it is not the waiters job to go to another table and ask the kid to be quiet. As soon as I do that, I get the whole “Don’t tell me how to raise my child” speech. I don’t want that speech. I already know how to raise children: you put a big pile of food in the bowl next to some water and leave some wee wee pads in the corner and call it a day, right? Or is that how to raise a dog? I always get those two confused.