Tam and I had some errands to run, so we ended up grabbing a salad for lunch at our favorite organic market. When we got there, our favorite table opened up and we snagged it. It’s a nice place to sit, on the balcony overlooking the floor below. It’s where we perch to watch people coming and going while we snarf down some organic greens.
While we were eating, a very busy, out-of-control little girl was running around the dining area, jumping and making my sweetie go a little bit stabby. Since neither of us is particularly fond of children who did not come from either of our wombs (or those of people we love), neither of us wanted to be visited by the scarlet shoed menace. It wouldn’t have been so bad if either the mom or the grandmother had actually attempted to corral the kid and remind her that manners are important and staying at your own table is a good show of manners, but they did nothing to stop the spitfire.
Being someone who works with difficult children, I understand there are times when things DO get out of control, however, that’s when parents help their child by removing them from the over stimulating environment, and allow them to de-escalate in a safe place. I also realize that parents of special needs children need a break every so often, but the best way to do that is leave the kid at home with someone you trust and actually take a break away where you don’t have to worry what they’re up to while you sip your latte. And read a book, or otherwise ignore said offspring who are gadding about disrupting people simply trying to enjoy a quick lunch.
It was much more peaceful when they went downstairs. For a little while, anyway. See, one of the drawbacks to that store is the accessibility of the wind chimes. They are located at kid level, right next to the cashier stands, but out of reach of parents who are in line. The little devil in red shoes was having a wonderful time, banging the hell out of the metal pipes, clanging them together in the most non-relaxing manner. It set our teeth on edge. Grandma did absolutely nothing other than read her magazine (yes, they found another place to sit because patrons in the deli complained of the busy one).
They set up camp at the table near the door to finish their smoothies and magazines, but the mother had gone off to do something out of our line of sight. Finally, she hustled over and removed the brat from the instrument of torture and told her to leave it alone. Said brat began to run around, trying to get past her mother in order to clang the chimes again. Mom put her in time out. Yay mom.
Then, mom had to go do something again and left grandma in charge. Little darling ran over and attacked the chime stand, rattling teeth and nerves to the point where my dulcet darling, that petite love of my life, leaned over the balcony and yelled, “STOP THAT!” in a voice that rattled windows and echoed for a good five minutes.
It worked. Mind you, everyone in the store stopped what they were doing for a moment as well. Then the mother came back, administered some parental prerogative and put the beast in the corner. To make it stick, she sat right there to make sure the dreadful monster stayed put this time. It signaled the end of the concert and the continuance of a decent afternoon respite.