Saturday, February 6, 2010

Public Behavior

I think it’s funny that, when out in public without our kids, if I see another kid doing something that I would wring my own boy’s neck for, I just smile.

We were at Wendy’s getting burgers and ice cream cake for Hubby’s birthday tonight (Happy Birthday, Honey!!!) while mom and dad watched the kids back at the house. We had gone to see Sherlock Holmes (which Robert says has gay overtones to which I say he’s full o’ crap) and to the book store and were finishing up with some food before going back to the din of the kids.

In line behind us was a couple with two kids, maybe three and four years old (or maybe twins, aged three or four?).  The boy went straight to the Happy Meal display case to look at the toys, with the girl following closely behind. (And yes, I know that Happy Meal is a McDonald’s trademarked term, but I don’t know what they call it at Wendy’s and I’m too lazy to look it up because I don’t care what it’s called—if I say Happy Meal, EVERYONE knows what I’m talking about!)After tapping on the glass case and saying “I want that one!” over and over and over (and over and…), the little boy decided to it was time to climb on the railings. A lot.

Now, were this my child in line, I would have been threatening him with all kinds of punishments—no toy in his happy meal, no happy meal, no tomatoes on his sandwich. But in someone else’s kid, I just smiled and thought about how cute the kids were. And how I was glad it wasn’t my kid doing all that.

I wonder if other parents do that when I’m out with my kids? I wonder if other parents smile indulgently and secretly gloat that someone else’s kid is acting up for a change?

In the interest of full disclosure, while this family was waiting for their food order to be finished, the kids sat down at a table near the cash registers and waited very quietly and patiently for their parents to finish gathering condiments and napkins. I was impressed. And jealous.

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