About a week ago, we all got our taints in a twist over the diner owner who yelled at a crying child in her restaurant. It stirred up lots of controversy and people mostly believed that both the parents and the screaming diner lady behaved poorly. I was just about ready to give that frazzled mom the benefit of the doubt when someone sent me the screenshot of a mom who made my taint fill with hatred all over again.
On a Facebook page called Moms n dads of boys, someone named Tracy wrote:
Am I the only person that doesn’t leave a restaurant because of a screaming child?
We’ll calm him down and give him toys or whatever but I honestly don’t care if he’s disturbing other people. We’re paying customers just like the people without children. I’m not gonna get to go boxes just to make other people happy. Other than loud laughter or happy screams my son is usually awesome in public but children have bad days just like us.
Call me a bitch all you want. 😀
Well, Tracy, since you gave me permission to call you a bitch all I want, I gladly accept that challenge and shall begin now: Bitch, pleaseI No, you are not the only person who feels it’s alright to let an out of control child ruin the ambience for anyone who happens to be sitting within a ten yard radius of you and your devil spawn that fell out of your ham wallet, but it certainly does not make it right. What it does make you is a bitch. (Sorry, you said I could call you that all I want…). How can you say you “honestly don’t care” that you are disturbing other people? That makes no sense to me. Then again, I have never pushed an eight-pound human out of a hot pocket so maybe when that happens, it changes your brain chemistry and makes you forget common sense and decency.
Yes, you are paying customers (well, minus the coupons you got for making a complaint on the Facebook page of Applebee’s), but why does that entitle you to have no manners? If your child is making a scene in public, it’s your duty as a parent to try to calm him down and at least act like you give a shit about the rest of the human race, bitch. (That’s the third time I called you “bitch.” Seriously, thank you for the permission, it’s great.) And just so you know, whether your son is producing “loud laughs” or “happy screams,” most people in the restaurant are going to register that as annoying. I don’t care if he’s screaming because he’s happy or if he’s screaming because he’s upset. All I know is I don’t want to hear fucking screaming, bitch. (Four!)
You say that your son is usually “awesome in public” and that’s terrific, but if he is usually awesome, I would think that on those occasions when he isn’t, you would especially want him to behave because you know that he is capable of it. Nobody expects you to immediately ask for a to-go box and vacate the premises the second your son is having a bad day. What we do expect is that you at least try to show everyone in the restaurant that you will not tolerate screaming. For you to openly admit that you don’t care proves to everyone that you are a bitch (fifth time) of a mother and you deserve the ire and hatred that is surely being thrown your way.
Maybe there are plenty of other mothers out there who share your sentiments, but I find it hard to believe that there are many. I choose to believe that most mothers feel the opposite of you and would never freely state that they don’t care if their screaming child is disturbing other people. In other words, I bet that most mothers out there aren’t bitches like you, bitch. (Six times. Seven times.)
Tracy, thank you for letting me call you bitch so many times. It was nice to finally call someone a bitch on the Internet and know that they won’t mind. You’re awesome, bitch. (Eight times!)
Here is the Facebook page of Moms n dads of boys if you want to go check out other foolery.
Am I the only person that doesn’t leave a restaurant because of a screaming child? We’ll calm him down and give him…
Oh, entitled parents, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways, you self-absorbed time suckers who think that the world revolves around you and your precocious brat who won’t shut the hell up even for one second.
Last week, a five top came in; four adults and one diaper-wearing, needy one year old human who required a high chair. I go to greet them at the front door.
“Hello, how are you tonight? Table for five?”
“My baby is starving. I need bread,” snapped the mother.
Really? That’s how we’re going to start our evening together, by you completely ignoring the (fake ass) pleasantries I am offering you? Is it my fault that you, as a mother, failed to bring a goddamn Ziploc baggie of Goldfish to nourish your child during the long trip from you apartment down the street all the way to the restaurant?
What I said: Alright, let me go get some bread for you and then I can pull some tables together for your party to sit down.
What I thought: I’m sorry, but is your baby from some drought stricken country in Africa and he hasn’t had clean water in days? Is your child one of the 15 million who will die of hunger this year? Is he part of the 50% of all children under five years of age in South Asia and one third of those in sub-Saharan Africa who are are malnourished? Is he one out of the eight children in the United States under the age of twelve who goes to bed hungry every night? Or is it that he’s just a little fussy and now you regret throwing away that banana that he didn’t want twenty minutes ago?
I return with the basket of emergency rations and begin to drag two tables together so they can sit down and eat their dinner now that I have practically saved the life of a child who, had it not been for me, would have surely expired. The group sits down and I notice that the child has taken one bite of bread and is now interested in the battery operated candle that is sitting on the table. Starvation averted! Score one for the war against hunger.
“We have a few specials tonight I can tell you about very quickly. Our soup tonight is a chilled corn soup with a cream base. The corn is grilled and it has a red pepper garnish. Our appetizer of the night is-”
“I’m sorry,” mother interrupts. “Can I go ahead and place his order for mac and cheese? He’s really hungry. But no bacon in it.””
I look down at the “really hungry” baby who is mouthing the plastic candle. Right, we don’t want that baby to eat bacon but by all means let him lick that candle that has remnants of Windex, dust and every germ known to mankind.
“I will do it right this second.” I stop pouring water for everyone and firmly set the metal pitcher on the table and leave them to again do my part to solve world hunger, one baby at a time.
“Please rush. This baby is starving,” I type on the order so that that the cooks knows how utterly important it is to get the food right away. I head to the kitchen deciding to wait there until I can return with the sustenance before doing anything else for the table. Six minutes later, the mac and cheese is ready and I go to the table.
“Sorry I didn’t get a chance to finish pouring water but I know how important it is to get food to a starving baby so I stayed in the kitchen until it was ready.” I pick up the pitcher and continue pouring. “So anyway, our appetizer of the night is a roasted beet salad with goat cheese and balsamic dressing…”
Five minutes and two bites of mac and cheese later, the kid is wandering around the restaurant with its mother. Turns out he wasn’t starving after all. It was just another case of an entitled parent thinking that their child deserved special treatment because no other child in the world can be as important as their own. Snap out of it lady. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to afford to eat out at a restaurant, you’re child is not starving. He’s lucky. Most of us who are reading this are lucky.
I hate entitled parents.
Unless you live under a rock and your names is Springs1, you have certainly heard by now the story about the Portland, Maine diner owner who yelled at a baby after the parents failed to do anything about the crying for 40 minutes. I blogged about it a couple of days ago myself which you should read here because my version of the story is better than any other version on the Internet. Well, the mother has written her side of the story for the Washington Post and it’s all kinds of annoying. As if the Washington Post hadn’t lowered their standards enough when they did a story on me, now they have really scraped the bottom of the barrel.
The mother’s name is Tara Carson and I would like to take this opportunity now to say hello to Tara because you know she has a Google alert on herself and is gobbling up every last second of her fifteen minutes of fame. Allow me, if you will, to study several lines of her rendition of that fateful day and respond to each of them:
Making national news was the last thing we expected on our quiet summer getaway to Maine this week. However, since you’re a marketing manager in New York City you are thrilled at the chance to get some press about you and your family, right?
We had stayed overnight in Portland, a place close to our hearts where my husband spent a lot of time in the Coast Guard. Nice attempt at playing the Coast Guard/military angle in order to get some sympathy for your side.
When we arrived, we were told there would be a 30-minute wait for a table. I hope you had some fucking crackers in your bag to appease your baby daughter because waiting thirty minutes makes everyone grumpy. Hell, I’m 48-years old and I get pretty bitchy when I have to wait that long for a table.
I ordered pancakes for my daughter, which took about 40 minutes to arrive. At this point, my 21-month-old was getting antsy. I read that the diner warned you that the pancakes would take a while, but you still thought that after waiting half an hour for a table, your daughter would be able to wait even longer for food? And we all know that “antsy” is a code for “screaming like a goat who has a beer can stuck in its throat.”
She wasn’t having a meltdown, so we decided to stay in our corner booth rather than go outside in the rain. In the noisy diner I didn’t see anyone looking at us or think we were causing a disturbance. Again, we all know that “wasn’t having a meltdown” is code for “she was totally having a meltdown.” And I also see what you did there by telling us you were in a corner booth. You think that a corner booth somehow creates a sound barrier that doesn’t allow the bone-rattling shrieks of a starving child to waft beyond your table.
When the food came, my daughter was still fussing. “Fussing” is code for “screeching like a bat out of hell that is being fisted by Bigfoot without any lube.”
Out of nowhere, Marcy’s Diner owner Darla Neugebauer threw to-go containers at my husband and yelled, “Either she goes or you go!” So, what you’re saying is that Darla gave you the option of staying. All you had to do was put your daughter in her stroller (I’m sure it was on of those really big ones and you had it parked in a very inconvenient place) and send her out in the rain. Then you and your Coast Guard hero of a husband could have stayed. You see? Darla was being nice.
She seemed so unprofessional that we didn’t take it seriously. Our waitress seemed embarrassed by the owner’s behavior too. My guess is that the waitress was only pretending to be embarrassed in order to make you feel better. In reality, she was was probably grateful that she works for someone who doesn’t stand for parents who don’t know how to parent their own children.
A few minutes later, Neugebauer, now behind the grill, slammed her hands on the counter. She pointed at my baby’s face and screamed, “You need to shut the hell up!” My husband replied, “Are you serious? Are you really yelling at a toddler right now?” “As serious as a heart attack,” she said, with fury in her eyes. Okay, she yelled it from behind the grill, so it’s not like it was right in your baby’s face or anything. And if she was “fussing” and “not having a meltdown” and being “antsy” for forty minutes, why did it take a complete stranger to make you figure out that it was too much? And I love the “with fury in her yes” bit, but why not really go for it and take some poetic license? Might I suggest the following: “She bellowed as if she had been saving up a thousand years worth of frustration and the words spewed forth from her mouth like a volcano erupting with lava that was filled with vile resentment, sulfur and the hatred of an angry God.” That’s much better, don’t you think Tara?
I’ll never forget the look of fear on my baby’s face. Because you probably took a picture with your cell phone and now it’s your profile picture on Facebook, right?
It was then that I turned to my daughter and said calmly, “This is exactly how I’m raising you not to be.” Umm, she’s 21 months old. I doubt she has the cognitive ability to understand that teaching moment, Tara, but whatever.
We then paid the bill, tipped the waitress 25 percent and left. Uh huh. Right. Sure you did.
I thought that was that. But after I left a Facebook post about my experience on the Marcy’s Diner page… If you really thought “that was that,” you would not have gone to the trouble to find the Facebook page and write more about it.
All of a sudden, thousands of strangers were commenting on my parenting skills. Add me to that list of strangers commenting on your parenting skills, because if your baby was crying consistently for forty minutes, you made the wrong decision when you thought it was okay to stay there and make everyone else deal with your child.
What got lost is that it’s never okay to yell at a baby, especially if you own a restaurant. What also got lost was that a business owner has a right to refuse service to anyone they choose, even a 21-month old baby.
She should not have thrown things or yelled or cursed. But she did, Blanche! She did throw things, yell and curse!
Babies cry and sometimes moms make the call between a tantrum in the loud diner or going out into the rain. And sometimes it’s the wrong call. By the way, there is this new-fangled invention that helps people deal with rain. It’s called an umbrella. Look into it.
It’s compassion I try to model for my daughter. I wish others would do the same. It’s a civilized restaurant that most diners want to sit in and I wish parents who let their children cry for 40 minutes would do something about it before a diner owner has to finally snap and throw a to-go container at the family to make them take notice that their child’s behavior is unacceptable.
Thanks Tara, for the great read. You are absolutely hysterical. If (let’s be honest: WHEN) you get the Google alert about yourself make sure you reach out and say hello to me. And this concludes my rant on the infamous Diner-Gate Scandal of 2015. That is, unless something else comes out about it that I can’t resist putting my two cents in about.
All hail the new queen of the bitches. On bended knee, I bow down to the woman I now worship. Her name is Darla Neugebauer and she owns a restaurant in Portland, Maine called Marcy’s Diner. Sometime over the weekend, a couple of entitled parents dragged their two-year old daughter into the restaurant and thought it was alright for her to scream and cry her ass off for 40 minutes. No, she literally cried until her ass fell off and the child now has a Go Fund Me campaign set up for ass restoration. After Darla could no longer take it and became clear that the parents were not going to do anything about the crying, Darla opened up a can of Sysco Whoop Ass and yelled at the little girl to get her to shut the fuck up. Of course the parents got all upset and did what any parent would do in this situation which is go to Marcy’s Diner’s Facebook page to complain about it. Darla saw the post and had left her last fuck on the grill next to the three pancakes the little girl had ordered. She did not feel the need to apologize.
‘Life’s full of choices and you’ve got to live with all of them,’’ she told WCSH-TV. ‘‘I chose to yell at a kid, it made her shut-up, which made me happy, it made my staff happy, it made the 75 other people dining here happy, and they left, they may never come back, other people may not come in. Their loss really.’’
The original Facebook post that the mom wrote has since been deleted so I am forced to use my imagination to see what it said. I’m pretty sure it was something like this:
Well, I NEVER! My perfect husband and I took our perfect daughter to Marcy’s Diner this morning and were horribly mistreated. First off all, they should be grateful that we were there in the first place because we normally only like to eat all-organic tofu and quinoa that was harvested by grass-fed chickens, but today we decided to eat among the commoners and have pancakes and bacon. My daughter started crying when she got a whiff of the bacon since it smelled different from what I normally serve her. (I always use a bacon that is flown in from Switzerland and is made from pigs that lived in the Swiss Alps and are humanely killed by a Julie Andrews look-alike who she sings “Edelweiss” as she shoots them in the head with a crossbow.) My precious angel of a daughter had barely uttered out a whimper and the next thing I know the owner was shouting obscenities at her. I immediately apologized for my daughter’s behavior, even though her crying was completely understandable seeing that the bacon wasn’t from Switzerland. I will never go here again and I urge other parents to boycott this restaurant as well. They hate children!! And anyone who hates my daughter must be mentally challenged because my daughter is a perfect snowflake.
The Facebook page for Marcy’s Diner is full of people who are applauding Darla’s behavior and plenty who think she is the beast of Satan. You can go to the page and see for yourself. If you write anything here, tell her Bitchy Waiter sent you. Also tell her I love her.
I leave you with this video of Darla explaining her actions and continuing on her quest to give no fucks:
In the latest ridiculousness in the world of parents at restaurants, the Internet has been graced with the photo of a couple in Williamsburg, Brooklyn who rolled their crib down the street so that their baby could chill out in it while they had brunch. Or at least that’s what the headlines says. But in actuality, it’s not a crib. It’s a playpen. And we thought strollers were bad? Now parents are dragging furniture to restaurants? Why not just bring the rocking chair too so you can rock it to sleep after it spills its bowl of Cheerios? Or roll down the whole goddamn bedroom and then build some walls around it so you can pretend that you’re still at home. Oh, wait, you’re not at home. You’re at a restaurant. I really don’t get it. It seems to me that the parents would have had a full conversation about this decision before following through on it. It’s not like Mom was in the bathroom brushing her teeth while Dad was getting Junior ready to go to the restaurant and he just decided to bring the playpen and she was all, “Cool, hon. Let’s go.” I would think they they really discussed it first.
“Wouldn’t it be awesome if restaurants had playpens for babies?” says Dad. “I mean, really, it would be like so cool because Junior would have a place to hang out and we’d know he’d be comfortable but not stuck in his stroller, you know? Pass me the Doritos, man.”
“Oh. My. God. That is such a good idea, honey,” says Mom. “Why don’t restaurants have playpens? They totally should. These Girl Scout cookies are delicious but they’re stale. How old are they? Where did they come from?”
“Some bitch at work was selling them for her daughter. We need to change this screen, it’s all clogged,” says Dad as he flicks the orange Bic lighter and inhales deeply on the glass pipe he bought on 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue in front of the Best Buy. He coughs, as smoke billows across the living room.
“Cough, you get off,” says his wife. “So, maybe we should buy a restaurant and put playpens next to every booth so cool parents like us will have a place to eat brunch with their babies,” she says as she reaches across the coffee table for the pipe. “We should mix the Doritos with the Girl Scout cookies, that’d be good right?”
“It is good,” says Dad. “I did it already. So when are we gonna buy the restaurant with playpens?”
“I dunno,”answers Mom, “But in the meantime we can just roll ours wherever we want. It’s got fucking wheels, right? Fuck it.”
“That’s awesome! That’s a freakin’ awesome idea. Let’s do it now.”
Okay, but lemme take another hit first. Hey where is Junior?”
Twenty minutes later these parents are at Rosarita Fish Shack asking if it’s cool to set up a piece of fucking furniture on the sidewalk. Looking at the photo, the kid looks plenty old enough to be sitting in a booster seat. My favorite part of the picture is the lady sitting at the table behind them who is giving them one of two looks: “What the fuck are they doing?” or “I wonder how I can get my couch over here.” I also like the little girl in the back of the photo who is holding her mom’s hand. You just know that about ten seconds after this picture was taken, that little girl pulled a Veruca Salt and screamed out, “Mommy, I want my playpen at the restaurant!”
I suppose there are some good points to the kid being in its own private wooden jail cell. Its mess would be contained within the confines of the playpen and a playpen is a much bigger target than a stroller for me to drop random pieces of garbage into. But I wonder about the socialization of this kid. Isn’t that the age when a parent should begin teaching the child how to behave in public? It looks like they are missing a teaching moment there. I also wonder about the playpen itself. When was the last time those wheels were rotated? Does it need a permit? Is the warranty void if the playpen breaks when you’re pushing it across Bedford Avenue? I guess the most important question that this situation brings up is “How am I supposed to push a baby out of my way if it’s stuck in a playpen and not wandering around my station?
I can tell that it’s the first night out for this family with their newborn baby. It is wrapped in swaddling clothes with layers upon layers of blankets to keep it warm despite it being about 70° outside. The baby is roughly the size and shape of one of those industrial size cans of ketchup that are such a pain in the ass to open and its face still has that “I just squeezed out of a vagina look.” There is a blue beanie on its head telling me that it must be a boy because new parents are very specific about gender roles. Boys must have blue and girls must have pink. End of story. The baby is in a stroller that is larger than any of the two-tops in the restaurant and it is piled high with every conceivable accoutrement. They look as if they are planning a trip across the country when I know for a fact that they live two blocks from the restaurant. If there happens to be some Baby Wipes emergency in the course of the next forty-five minutes, these people are prepared. I watch as the parents coo and cuddle to the precious marvel that their seed and egg created when I notice movement under the table. There is another child of about five sitting there with his arms crossed. I surmise that this is the big brother and he is feeling neglected. His feelings are accurate. He’s sitting underneath a table alone while his parents ignore him and fawn over the new baby not nine inches away.
“Hello, folks, can I get you anything to drink tonight?” I ask.
“We’re fine for now,” says Mom. “This is our first night out with the new baby and we’re taking it slow. He’s only two weeks old but I was just dying to get out of the house. I’ve been cooped up in there for weeks. He’s sleeping right now so hopefully he’ll keep at it, but you never know, right? He’s a baby! But he’s our baby.”
“I’ll give you some more time.”
Too much information, lady. I just want to know if you want a drink. I don’t give a shit about your baby, your last nine months or how stretched out your baby-maker is. You just let me know when you want a Coke or something. I move to the sidestand to watch them for a signal that they may be ready for something other than the undying love of their newborn child. Meanwhile, the other kid has come out from under the table to sit in a chair. He looks dirty with a snotty nose and messy hair. He could be auditioning for a community theater production of Oliver. He reaches over to touch his little brother’s face and his hand is swatted away by his mother.
“Stop that, your hands are filthy. You were just crawling around on the floor!”
The neglected little boy sulks at his table and the mother fails to realize that the only reason her son was crawling around on the floor was because she had allowed it.
The family eventually decides that they are ready to order. Although I expect them to order a bowl of gruel for Sad Sack Son #1 they instead get him some mac and cheese with French fries.
“The baby doesn’t need anything,” she informs me.
I’m glad she tells me this because I am seconds away from ordering it a well done New York shell steak and a pint of Guinness, on the house of course, in celebration of it escaping from her uterus.
When I set the meal down before the unwanted child, I wait for the opening chords of “Food, Glorious, Food” and look around to see if a gang of street urchins are going to pop out of nowhere for a production number. I am disappointed that instead of a serving of musical theatre, all I get is a side of boob when it’s time for the baby to eat. I politely avert my eyes to offer a tiny bit of privacy, which is more for my comfort than the mother’s since she seems quite at home in Booth 16. Honestly, I wish she would breastfeed everyone in the restaurant because then I wouldn’t have any glasses to bus from the tables.
“Is there anything else I can get for you right now?” I ask. “More napkins? More water? Fresh ground pepper? An invisibility cloak?”
“We’re fine for now. Everybody’s happy. Especially this one. Wow, he’s hungry!”
The parents eat their meal while staring at the baby, the baby eats his meal while staring at a breast and the five year old eats his meal while staring at his future of no longer being the only child. It’s the end of an era, kid. You’re no longer the special one. You’re one of two. Enjoy that mac and cheese while you can and get ready to learn the lyrics to “Where is Love” because your life as you knew it is over.
After everyone has finished eating and they pay the check, they begin preparation for the long journey home around the corner. The breast is packed away with the diapers, blankets, pacifiers and chew toys and they roll the special little angel out the door.
“C’mon,” they yell out to the five year old. “Time to go.”
He dutifully follows behind them and as he walks past me, I am almost certain I hear him humming “It’s a Hard Knock Life.”