“Man Up!” More Bad Parenting Overheard
We went to dinner the other night a little after 10pm at one of the local casino’s eatery options. Not a fancy place mind you and from the looks of it as we were seated, mostly empty. But soon after we sat down, we began to hear a conversation that was taking place two booths over. It wasn’t that we were going out of our way to hear this conversation it was thrust upon us, as the people who were speaking were loud, very loud. The first voice we heard was a woman’s, she was saying, “That’s grandmother. You are to call me grandmother.” Then we heard a small child who couldn’t have been more than two years old saying, “Maaaaamaaa” to which the “grandmother” corrected (loudly again). This went on for some time while in between there was some screaming from the child and a lot of yelling from the “grandmother” telling the child he was an idiot, and to shut up. When she left the table to go to the restroom I suppose I saw ”grandmother” she was a trim, well coiffed woman who if you saw her on the street you’d think she was perfectly normally and understood how to behave in public. That was all about to change. With “grandmother” gone and the child still screaming, something happened that caused the child to start crying upon which time I heard a man’s voice bellow, “Man up! Stupid idiot.” Soon after the child echoed the words, saying them as if he had no idea what they meant. “Man up!” More bad parenting overheard – Don’t Get Me Started!
What went on after this initial screaming was pretty much more of the same until the “grandmother” came back and got into it with her server as well. The server was an older woman who seemed as though she had spent most of her life waiting tables. Although she was a little abrupt in her approach, there was nothing that would suggest she was rude. But apparently “grandmother” didn’t feel that way. Nothing the server did was right and “grandmother” was not quiet about telling her everything that she did wrong. At one point, “grandmother” said to the server (after the server had gotten almost half way across the room), “Do we have a problem?” She was trying to sound sophisticated but her tone and manner through the entire meal belied her façade of the classy woman she thought was firmly in place. In between yelling at her grandson, the server and everyone else at her table she finally called the manager over to explain (just as loudly) how rude she thought the server was to her family. As she shaded the story to make her seem like an innocent, the manager did what he should have, listened to her and apologized. As the manager left the table he came over to our table to ask how everything was (no doubt because everyone in the section had heard this woman and her tale that he told him). We couldn’t help ourselves and explained that we couldn’t have helped but overheard everything that went on and the server was not at fault. Well, this caused quite a stir in “grandmother’s” world so she began to even yell louder….about us! I suddenly was aware just how sorry I felt for the people at the booth between us. Presumably due to embarrassment, the woman at the table took her aim at us and then loudly declared that they couldn’t stay in the restaurant any longer due to all the rudeness. She made her huffy exit, staring us down as she, her daughter (the I guess mother of the child, she not looking older than 15 herself) and a 6’6” man in red sweats who came to our table as if to look mincing but once he was there had no idea what he was supposed to do and just looked like the most worn out loser in the world. (Remember, he was the one who’s only parenting skills consisted of telling a two year old to “man up”).
We could hear her at the register continuing her tirade which now included us when suddenly, the child starting running through the restaurant screaming at the top of his lungs. First the teenage girl began running after him, almost dropping the phone she was texting on, she came back out of breath and throwing her hands up, “I couldn’t catch him.” The “father” stood there exasperated when finally “grandmother” showed up. “I’ll take care of this, now this is grandmother, do you hear me?” (she shouted through the entire restaurant) “Grandmother is going to begin to count, 1, 2…” and with this she took off presumably to catch him. There was silence for a moment and then here came “grandmother” with child hanging by one arm crying as she screamed, “Shut up, just shut the hell up.” As she got past her I guess husband she mustered up her classy façade and said, “Come along dear.” And while I hoped that would be the end of it, soon after this scene she re-entered staring us down as she crossed to what had been her table. “And don’t take this tip off my table please, as you seem to be so in my business.” This was directed to us as she stormed about. After leaving the money on the table she began to leave with her daughter who had been behind her texting the entire time, I guess the lumbering “man up” man was holding onto the child. As she walked past our table again she stared at me as if we were in some sort of contest. She said, “What? What? You have no idea who I am. What?” And as I stared in disbelief with a French fry half in and out of my mouth all I could say was, “Have a lovely evening?” More muttering ensued as her daughter texted and told her mother that I was still looking at them or something until they were finally out of sight. After we all counted to twenty there was suddenly silence again. Heaven.
So never mind that there should not be a child out for dinner at that hour or that you should be teaching a child how to behave properly in a restaurant without screaming at them, which by the way is not how to behave in a restaurant but I just couldn’t help but feel badly for that small boy who was being raised in a world where people put on “airs” constantly yell at him and he’s told to “man up.” It would seem to me that the thing that needed to happen here was for these people to “parent up.” I know, I’m not a parent, I’m not allowed to judge but when something like this happens, which involves me when I really don’t want to be involved, I think I have a right to comment. “Man up!” More bad parenting overheard – Don’t Get Me Started!
Read More Scott @ www.somelikeitscott.com
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