‘Old Nag’ or, ‘Out to Dinner and Other People not minding their Gosh Darn Business’

We were out to dinner with the boys, which sometimes is great but most of the time is fun some of the time and the rest of the time is just a bad idea, and the guy at the table next to us kept eyeballing (my hat and collar)
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our table at my incessant nagging of 7yo. I don’t enjoy constantly asking him to stop or change his behaviour, but the thing is, my boys know how to behave but sometimes they forget, so I will remind them, then take a gulp of my wine. I was getting a bit pissy that this fellow couldn’t keep his eyes and ears at his own bloody table. Even my boys can do that most of the time.
Of course, I started getting self-conscious about my parenting, then I just got self-righteous as we got in the car. Isn’t it my job to raise children who can follow the rules of semi-polite society? Wouldn’t he be the first to complain if they didn’t respect and listen to their elders? Isn’t it my responsibility to make sure they learn to keep their body parts to themselves and not use them for hurting others, unless we’re at home and they’re running rampant in the backyard? Wouldn’t he be insulted if they threw things and yelled and ran around while he is sipping his beer? I would, and I do when other kids are shits in restaurants. I don’t want my kids be “other people’s kids”, so
Elbows off the table
Use your napkin
Chew with your mouth closed
Sit up, on your bottom, close to the table
Don’t shout at the table
Walk to the play area
Share with the other kids
Be gentle with the little kids
Use your manners
Wait while we get ready to leave
Let’s walk together
Etc etc

Then as luck would have it, I decided to go out to lunch and I lost my temper at 3yo for being a shit and the old duck two tables down had disagreement all over her face. Or was it too much make up? She didn’t know he had been a shit all morning, even though he had played for two hours prior, or that I had just bought him a pined for toy and it was none of her business, anyway. She had never had kids or she had forgotten that sometimes everyone else can go fuck themselves while I voice my disapproval to my child about his behaviour.
I am of the very ardent hope that by guiding my children through the twists and turns of becoming positively contributing members of society, especially while out and about within that society, they won’t need to be poked and prodded and told to hush in the library when they are adults. They may also be able to look people in the eye and ask just what the hail they are staring at.

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