Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Children...

I can't understand parents who let them run riot.
We are creating a generation of monsters. And I do mean we, we as a society.
I don't mind quiet children, I don't mind noisy children, I don't mind laughing children, playing chldren, shouting children, I don't mind children crying. I don't mind cheeky kids, or kids being kids.
I don't like rude kids or kids who screech and somehow make that screech the most painful sound on the planet. I don't know about y'all, but high-pitched screaming of children goes straight through me. I get a very real response to it. The hair on the back of my neck rises, my teeth clench and I start to shuffle from one foot to another.
I do not like disrespectful kids at all.
I don't understand parent who can ignore it.

Yesterday, as I stood in line in the supermarket, the woman in front of me and her-frankly useless lump of a husband- had not one but two of these things with her. Screamer was about four and the sulker was about twelve. Neither of the kids did a damn thing they were told, but it wasn't that, it was the look of sheer angry contempt the older one gave his parents as they tried to cajole and plead with him to help that astounded me.
'Darren come and help daddy pack the bags.'
'NO!' The twelve year old actually folded his arms.
The woman sighed and looked at her husband. 'Will you-'
'Darren come here please.' The husband said in such a wheedling pathetic tone even I glared at him. Along with the sulker.
The parents resumed packing. At this stage the smaller kid tried standing up in his trolley, a dangerous thing since the little shit could have cracked his skull open if he'd fallen out.
His mother sat him back down, cue howling as though he'd been shot. Sulky pulled an even angrier face, howler immediately climbed back up.
'James stop that love will you? Get down from there.'
'IIIIIIIEIEIEIIEIEIEIIEIEIEIEIIEIIEI!!!!!!'
I flinched. Sulker glared at me, I glared back, Sulker looked away quickly. That's right kid.
'James stop love, you're all right stop now, good boy, do you want a Chuppa Chup?'
'IIIIEIEIIEIIEIIEIIEIIEIIIEIEI!!!!!!'
'Darren just take him for a minute, will you?'
'NO!'
Husband- 'ahh Darren, just hold his hand for a -
NO!'
And so on, you get the picture, I can barely type this without my teeth hurting.
Now I don't advocate beating children, nor slapping either, because frankly you don't really need to assualt soemone to get them to respect you. But in Ireland the behaviour of children is simply getting worse and worse and something has to change.
People are waiting longer and longer to have kids. Then when they come along they treat therm like little princesses and princes. More couples are working, they feel guilty about not seeing their children, so to assuage this guilt the kids are given everything they want. Then people wonder why these kids throw massive wobblers when they are told no.
Go on any bus and listen to the way kids talk to each other. Speak to any teacher and listen to the frustration in their voices. Walk down town on saturday and watch kids bump and jostle people out of their way. Click onto Bebo.com and read the teenagers who taunt and send messages to each other, vicious, filthy mouthed, illiterate, spoiled, pack-running lunatics.
'Get your feet off the seat.' I said last week to a lump of about fourteen, who had his mucky filthy shoes up on the bus seat opposite him. 'People sit there.'
He glared at me, I held his gaze. After a moment he very slowly dragged his feet off the seat, making sure he left as much mud as possible on it. Then he got on his mobile phone and texted furiously for the rest of the trip to Rathgar, doubtless calling me every name under the sun. When he got off at his stop, he gave me the finger. I had to resist the urge to go after him and kick his sorry arse up the road.
The woman beside me leaned over and said, 'Fair play to you love, but you need to be careful these days, A friend of mine was attacked the other day for telling a young one to pick up her rubbish.'
'A girl attacked your friend?'
'Oh yes, young one about sixteen, she gave her an awful kick, bruised her all up the side of her leg. You need to be careful these days. They're out of control.'
This bothered the shit out of me. I need to be careful? I? Telling a brat to take his feet off the seat is something dangerous these days? People are attacked for asking someone to pick up rubbish?
No, I'm drawing the line.
So help me, I will demand people take their feet off seat/ pick up their rubbish/ not smoke in not-smoking areas/ not crowd the footpath/not spray graffiti on my building until I am blue in the face. I will not be stupid about it, I'm not going to wade into a gang and start telling them what for, but neither will I ignore anti-social behaviour that I can address.
If parents won't say no, someone has to.

26 Comments:

Blogger SheBah said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:55 a.m.  
Blogger SheBah said...

My reactions to these kind of situations depend completely on my mood on the day. On a good day recently, I addressed the kid directly "what's the matter with you, kid, you bored with supermarket queues? I know exactly how you feel, but we're all paying for our stuff now, so you'll be out of here in a minute and back to the telly" He was so gobsmacked he shut up, and looked to his mum for saving. His mother obviously thought I was a barking mad eccentric and moved on pretty smartly! On bad days, I give them the death stare or make ugly faces at them, real gurning, guaranteed to wither the cries of the most whiny child.(and the parent again thinks you're barking, so moves swiftly on!) - but I really like most kids and I adore teenagers, for the grumpiness, the awkwardness, the sheer anarchy! Us adults spend the rest of our lives conforming (unless you're French). I love the French too, for the same reason!

11:58 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Idon't mind teenagers being grumpy moody, hormone driven so and sos, that's why I have so much time for the little Goth kid, But I'm really fed up with out and out rudeness and 'don't give a fuck' attitude that comes with loads of kids, there is a fine line between being surly and bring a total little shit.

12:22 p.m.  
Blogger finn said...

my friend E and i had this same conversation on a ride last week -- only the subject was dogs, not children.

perhaps dogs (or any trainable pet -- i.e., Not Cats) could serve as training wheels for would-be parents. this way, you can only have a child once you've proven you can produce a well-behaved dog.

an extra benefit to this plan: maybe you'll just stick with the dog.

1:13 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Hee, people who refer to their dogs as 'my baby' make me laugh. I used to belong to a forum and I had to give it up becasue everyone said things like 'I washed Ellie on saturday but she jumped out of the bath and leaped all over her daddy Lol" or, "I'm just posting this picture of my baby look, lol, she's saying 'put the camera down mommy and play with me'" And they also called their dogs furbabies. It all got too much for me. I'd look at the doberman he'd look at me, and only I would shrug, because I'm the person. He did manage to look very disdainful when I referred to him as a furbaby though.

1:23 p.m.  
Blogger Dr Maroon said...

Mater was on a blue train in Glasgow when she told a yoot to take his feet of the seats.
The yoot didn't of course, just grunted and ignored her, whereupon a fellow traveller (wee Glasgow man) piped up,
Ye heard what the wummin said, get yer feet aff the seats!!

Hooray! Grey Power ya bastards!

2:07 p.m.  
Blogger Gorilla Bananas said...

Human children are as varied as a box of liquorice allsorts. Some are brats and others are more sensible than most adults. Would you believe that new blogger Kel is only 18 years old (or so he claims)? He ought to comment on this.

2:41 p.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

"It is no wonder that people are so horrible when they start their life as children." --
Kingsley Amis

3:18 p.m.  
Blogger Angie said...

Parents really need to step up and do their job. Raise their children. But too often they are just choosing to sit back and do nothing. It's so much easier to ignore what needs to be done.

You don't have to spank a child to discipline them, but from the start you do need to set ground rules of what is and isn't acceptable behavior. Shame some aren't willing to make the effort --- and yet they keep on having kids.

3:30 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Good for your mam Maroon, she sounds good and proper.
My father -a mild mannered man by all accounts- never raised a hand to us junior cats, and we respected him t the nth degree. He had a way of saying a name that would make us feel terrible, and if he said 'I'm very disappointed in you' our hearts would break open in despair.
My wench of a mother on the other hand-with her moods and hair trigger temper, screamed and walloped with great regularity, and, well...you know the rest.

4:35 p.m.  
Blogger Daisy said...

Why is it that Dad can give their kids The Look and they immediately behave whereas Mom just gets a smirk and more crappy behavior?

9:30 p.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

It's true. All my dad had to do was look disappointed and shake his head. Oh, the SHAME.

An old boyfriend of mine once said, "you know, you and your siblings don't really look alike, but you all have your father's eyes. Reproachful fuckers."

10:14 p.m.  
Blogger Foot Eater said...

I was passing a group of ten-year-olds the other day when one of them whacked me casually and quite deliberately with his shoulder bag. I turned and made a move to go after him, and he looked scared shitless. Then again, I do have a face like an angry old boot.

11:16 p.m.  
Blogger Binty McShae said...

When walking through a park with my then girlfriend I saw some 7 or 8 year old kids breaking branches off trees, no doubt so they could throw them at other trees in order to dislodge conkers. I went over and calmly and reasonably pointed out that they probably wouldn't like it if someone came along and broke their arms. Halfway down the road I got calls of "wanker", but it seemed to have had an effect as they did at least stop.

A week later - same park, same companion. Some more kids are running through the flower beds kicking the heads off the flowers. Taking her cue from my previous example the girlfriend runs after them screaming "stop that before I break yer fuckin' arms!"

I wasn't much support to her, I'm afraid, busy pissing myself laughing as I was....

4:40 a.m.  
Anonymous ainelivia said...

I blame the parents, they appear not to be able to exert their authority with their children.

You may enjoy this anecdote; I'm i supermarket, and as I'm packing woman with pram walks pram as far up the aisle by till so that I cannot get back to till. i'm now packing second bag and child in pram is pulling on first bag full of groceries, and it will just take another pull and the groceries will be in the pram with the child; i reach out my hand and say no, and the mother is heard saying, if you touch my child I'll have you for abuse. so of course I withdraw my hand and finish paying and keying in my card code. As I do that the child continues to pull on the bag and so whole bag of groceries falls into pram onto child. Well the child is screaming and the mother is asking how could I let that happen and calling for management.

Then she begins to take my grocery items out of pram and throw, yes throw them across the tills, and people are getting hit by these things. So I just stood back. As she is throwing things and guess what the child in the pram joins in!!! two large security guards appear and basically lift her and the child in the pram to the outside of the building and the police are called.

There I stand, gobsmacked. Did I really witness this or did I dream it? Supermarket were wonderful, took my till receipt and sent assistant around to get all the items on my list fresh, and I left with £50 in vouchers and a large bunch of flowers of my choice.

As I left the supermarket the woman, buggy and child are outside with several police. I walked up to this woman, and looked her in the eye, and said, "In your case having children may have been a mistake".

The shop manager who was with the police explained who I was, and one police man asked me if I wanted to press charges for assualt. I looked back at the woman and said, "Not this time, maybe next".

And yes I do believe there will be a next, though I may not see it.

10:07 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Ha, Binty, I like her style!
Aineliva- can you imagine what that child has learned, and what hope there is for her in the future.
It's like that 14 year old girl who was brought up before the courts recently and charged with drink driving, and her mother, instead of being mortified, was all 'Here take a photo of this' and pulling her pants down for the assembled journalists, and defending her daughter's actions. Terrible. No remorse, no shame, just aggression and buck passing.

11:06 a.m.  
Blogger EmmaK said...

I sympathize with you having to put up with brats of all ages wherever you go, I really do. But it's not that easy to control kids. I think it is largely to do with what temperament they are born with. Some respond to you saying 'no' two thousand times a day, and some don't. Since my kids can be obnoxious in public, I just do damage limitation. For example, I never take them shopping as a duo, because I know there will invariably be some tantrum that I'd rather not deal with.

3:50 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Toddlers I can forgive, they're toddlers and it's not called terrible two or three (or four and five and bits of six) for nothing, but after that there is no real excuse for screaming and throwing hissy fits. Most kids of seven can be reasoned with and should know how to behave in public. And there is never any excuse for being rude to someone becasue they ask you to take your filthy shoes off a seat.

6:02 p.m.  
Anonymous emma kaufmann said...

FMC, you've given me hope. My oldest is five and I'm hoping that in time I'll be able to reason with her :)

12:53 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Oh you will, but then she will also begine to use a six year old unfailing logis on you too. you can't trick six years olds, I've watched my sister try and it's no use. Not when the word 'why' can be used for every occasion.

10:20 a.m.  
Blogger Red Mum said...

Jaysus Anna Livia's story is crazy, crazy. There are mad parents out there.

1:09 p.m.  
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