2007.01.15 A New All-Time Low in Parenting
I've witnessed a new all-time low in parenting. I know that people use the TV to help babysit their kids at times. I'm aware of the mind-numbing powers of the boob-tube. I can understand how some children are a little… testy if they don't get to finish a particular show, but the line has to be drawn somewhere. And that “somewhere” needs to be before you're willing to take a portable DVD player into a restaurant, ask for a seat near a plug/outlet, and you turn on a movie so that your toddler can stand on their seat and watch a movie throughout dinner.
Cecilia really likes Sesame Street. She doesn't like it when/if you turn it off early. It doesn't help that her favorite part of the show (Elmo's World) is right near the end. If you do turn it off early, you better have a good excuse as to why you're doing that. She'll strangely succumb to logic during a situation like this, despite her unwillingness to do so during other occasions.
Temper tantrums are so weird to me. When all of my logic and reasoning says “Dude, you should be fine. You're not hungry. Your diaper is clean. You have something to play with. You have my attention. You have your blanket. You have a drink at the ready. Nobody is teasing you. You should be fine.” she can still choose to be crying and upset for no apparent reason. <sigh>
We went to IHOP on Saturday night. Maria was wanting some breakfast type of food, and I'm always a sucker for a place that is willing to serve me sausage, bacon, and eggs for dinner. I wish that my story weren't true, really I do. I kid you not though, when I tell you about this family. The waitresses were looking around, talking with each other about where a plug/outlet was. I thought to myself, “Oh, must be something medical, like for somebody's… I don't know… medical something or other. That's too bad for them.” I carried on with my meal.
Another young family (2 parents and a toddler) came in to the place and I didn't pay much attention to them at first. I was much more interested in my current egg and hashbrown combo bite. Not much later I later looked over and saw an extension cord running up to an outlet in the ceiling which led down to a little portable DVD player that was set up on the back side of this family's booth. Their toddler, who couldn't have been much older, if any older than Cecilia (2.1 years old), stood for almost the entire time they were at IHOP facing the little DVD player, and only turning around so his parents could convince him to take another bite of food.
Honestly, I tried to tell myself that he might have some sort of condition where he would freak out or go into seizures if he couldn't watch his show. I thought he might have some sort of sickness where Ice Age might help him to maintain consciousness or keep his little heart beating. Honestly, I thought these things, because I couldn't tell myself the apparent truth. I couldn't tell myself that these people were willing to bring in a portable DVD player and inconvenienced everyone else's meal with the sound of their movie, just so their toddler could continue to reign over them by demanding to see a show.
I'm embarrassed. I'm embarrassed for me not saying something to them. I'm embarrassed for them not having the intestinal fortitude to stand up to their toddler. I'm ashamed that our society has gotten to the point were people think this type of behavior is acceptable. I witnessed a new all-time low in parenting.