We were at our favorite chicken place for dinner last night - us, my friend K and her daughter, and R and HP. When we sat down at a table for 7, there weren't any young kids nearby or we wouldn't have sat there.
Suddenly we were treated to an ear piercing screech and a giggle.
K flinched and said, "Ooh". I almost covered my ears as the screech was at such a pitch as to shatter glass.
As R sat down, the screecher screeched again.
"Ooh", she said.
(I got it!! "Ooh" is sweetly southern for "OMG! What the heck was that?? Make it stop!")
The screecher turned out to be a spritely 4 year old girl who had just returned to her table from the ball pit. Lucky us.
(Trust me, the child will either become an opera star or a horror flick star. What a set of lungs on that one!)
The screecher had a friend who decided to join her. They stood directly behind me and screeched at the top of their lungs while their mothers did nothing. And I mean NOTHING. They screeched and screamed for what seemed many many minutes. There was no parental response whatsoever.
#1 leaned over and asked (loudly) if he were ever that poorly behaved.
"No, because I wouldn't let you. I would have hauled you out of here at the first sign of behavior like that."
LLB giggled. She knew what I said was true. (Fortunately for me, she was never a screecher. She thought screechers were beneath her... She used to give them dirty looks for making her ears hurt.)
R and K watched the mothers ignore their cherubs while they screamed, ran rampant around the restaurant, and basically made everyone else miserable.
We discussed their becoming my blog fodder.
It was decided that the topic needs to be addressed. Behavior matters. Period.
Any mother who allows her child to scream/screech at the top of their lungs in a restaurant while people are trying to have a meal needs to take a good hard look at her parenting skills. I don't blame the kids - I blame the parents for not stopping or even attempting to stop the screaming.
This was a teachable moment... they blew it, plain and simple.
This is how it works: The parent says, "We don't scream in restaurants. If you scream again, we will leave." Then follow through... that's it...
Trust me... all it takes is once.
Instead, the parents look like the morons they are and the kids learn nothing.