I have absolutely no tolerance for children who misbehave in public. I think my already nonexistent tolerance for the rantings of rugrats was pushed beyond its limits yesterday. I had been suffering from a most nasty sinus infection topped off with stomach distress and Montezuma’s Revenge most of last week. I had been consigned to bed all day Saturday and most of the day yesterday, so as I dragged my sorry carcass through Kroger’s the last thing I wanted to encounter were miscreant crumb-chompers.
There were a little boy and little girl- I would say aged between 5 and 7 years (old enough to know how to behave in public, at least IMHO) prancing about and screaming for all they were worth all through the frozen foods in Kroger. Combine this with still being halfways sick, and it’s crowded in the store to begin with being that it’s Welfare Day, (or more precisely the day after Welfare Day, but close enough) and I am getting mildly agoraphobic (I don’t do crowds well) on top of just plain feeling crappy. With each passing moment I was getting more and more pissed off that said children’s mother was nowhere to be seen, let alone actively retrieving and restraining them from their misbehavior.
Not that the 70’s were an idyllic time- but I would at that moment given anything to grab the little banchees and give them a fanny whacking worth screaming about. I know my mother had done that with several of the neighborhood kids if she caught them misbehaving, then she would tell their mothers so they could continue the whacking at home. Had I dared to act so improperly at that age my mother would have beat me to Kingdom Come long before my wailings would have reached the ears of bystanders. Mom was a good Catholic mother- she wanted to make sure we got a good taste of the pangs of purgatory and the fires of hell right here on earth. Back then there would have been no bleeding heart with Children’s Services number on speed dial. There were no cell phones back then- and if there had been- the phone would have been used to call the child’s mother so she could give the child the beating he/she deserved for acting up in public, and another beating for having to be reprimanded by someone other than a parent or blood relative.
Of course today you dare not even give a verbal reprimand to a child not your own, and you have to be careful even with your own spawn lest they decide that you are “verbally abusing” them and damaging their gossamer-thin shell of self-esteem. Then they tell the school counselors that they’re “abused” because you set boundaries on their behavior, and you end up in the principal’s office at the school trying to explain your methods of discipline to some bleeding heart psychologist who then gives you a lecture on positive parenting or some other line of crud. Bullshit, I say. Sometimes the only correction for the incorrigible is a fired-up fanny.
I still say keep the kids out of the store and let the dogs in. My dogs know how to behave in public. I wish that people with kids like that would be required to keep them on a leash so they didn’t disturb other people with their ranting and raving in the store. They make leashes and harnesses for kids. I know at times I had wanted to put Steve-o on one even though he knew his boundaries much better than the kids I encountered in Kroger’s.