There are times when I wonder if the art of parenting has been lost, if common sense has become extremely uncommon, or maybe a little of both.
This evening we were in town to buy garden supplies, and stopped at Fuddruckers in the mall for supper. It's a casual burger place, with a relaxed atmosphere and good food. Your stand in line to order and pick your food up at the counter when they call out your name. So we're not talking about a high class establishment, but....
Sitting at a table near us was a group of four adults and a couple young children, one being a young toddler in a booster chair. During the course of our dinner we watched as the little one was first allowed to pour the contents of the salt shaker onto the table while no one moved to stop him or take the shaker away. Then he picked up the pepper shaker and licked the top of it! Obviously the spicy taste didn't bother him a bit as he continued to play with it and lick it. Once again not a single at adult at the table moved to take the pepper shaker away. And I can guarantee you that when the left, the young people responsible for clearing tables did little more than refill the salt shaker and return the pair to it's holder on the table, with no awareness that this child had just smeared saliva all over it. YUCK!!
I saw the same thing happen once with a young child and a squeeze bottle of honey. In that case I actually informed the waitress in the small restaurant we were at, so that the bottle could be replaced (hopefully). Once again the mother who was present did nothing. She was busy talking with her friend while the child was left to entertain herself. In the "olden days" mothers packed toys and finger foods in their diaper/tote bag or purse to keep little ones occupied while the adults were conversing. Apparently they are on their own nowdays! And if they're a bit older they can most likely be found running around between the tables at the restaurant causing general commotion and getting in the way.
A short while later we headed to WalMart to pick up a few items. WalMart is famous for it's
I've seen the same situation where a little one will drop a pacifier and the parent will pick it up off a questionably clean floor in a public place and pop it right back into the child's mouth! Considering that the pacifier was covered with saliva when it hit the floor, what are the odds of it returning in sanitary condition? Disgusting... and stupid!
Then there is the mom out dressed to the hilt, or the dad doing his weekend stint with the kids, who brings a child out in public without shoes, a jacket for the cold, or sometimes even in clothing other than their pajamas. Good grief! How hard is it to dress the kid appropriately? The obviously do pretty well with their own attire.
Another issue is children who are left in the toy department of large chain stores to "entertain" themselves while the parents shop. The children wreck havoc strewing items everywhere, and playing with toys in the aisles. Some unfortunate store worker has to put all that stuff back in order again. It's not a playroom or drop off daycare, parents... keep your child with you and under control!!
These are just a few of the examples that come to mind. Some days I have to really work to restrain myself from walking up to parents such as these and saying "What the hell is wrong with you?" Yeah, I know that wouldn't meet with a good response, and would not likely have the desired result of a wake up call, but you just have to wonder if they give any thought to the HUGE responsibility of bringing up a child. Is it anywhere in their list of important things to do?? Lets hope all of these kids have good guardian angels, 'cuz I think they're going to need them. I try not to think about the generation of children they will grow up to raise!
Ok, done ranting... stepping off my soapbox now. :-)