A few days ago, TechCrunch posted an article about Apple’s infamous “pee balls.” Referencing the black balls that are used as seats at the kids table in Apple stores, the article quotes a former Apple employee who wrote, “Apparently when kids are really into a game they will often choose to just pee in their seat without stopping what they’re doing. The result? Squishy black ball seats. I had never really believed that kids would do this until I walked by while they were retiring one of the balls one night.” Then there’s a picture of a ball without its cover, saturated in stains.
When I posted the article on the STFU, Parents Facebook page, one commenter wrote, “Seriously, is anybody shocked that kids pee their pants (i mean besides the guy who is the “inside source” for the article?) Newsflash: I would guess about 85% of the places you sit down in public have been peed on. Sorry to upset you.” After reading her comment, I thought, “Well, that’s a typical point of view for 2013.”
For years now I’ve been posting submissions about how parents (and their children) misbehave in public places like restaurants, retail stores, bars, airplanes, and other fine establishments where people of all ages congregate to spend their hard-earned dollars. There’s already a slightly palpable tension between parents and non-parents at most of the venues listed, but what drives me insane are parents who are flagrantly rude.
I’m one of those people who really doesn’t care if a crying baby gets on my plane or sits behind me at a restaurant (unless the restaurant is so upscale that I wore a nice dress). I can drown out noises that happen because of human nature. What I can’t drown out, however, and what I refuse to tolerate are parents who allow their children to throw food, tantrums, or run all over the place without supervision. You know who I’m talking about. The parents who think the world is their changing table, and throw dirty diapers at drivers they don’t like. The parents who act like the rest of civilization is the problem, certainly not them. Man, do some of those people need a pee ball upside their head.
Maybe it’s because I used to wait tables, or maybe it’s just because I don’t like self-centered assfaces, but something about the submissions that I receive on this subject really get me enraged. I can feel my blood pressure rise as I scroll through the submitter’s email, which almost always includes a rant about how typical the behavior is for his or her friend. It takes a specific type of person to change a baby’s dirty diaper on a table where food gets consumed, let me just say that.
So with these thoughts in mind, I present to you five examples of how not to act with your child in public (especially if you’re going to post pictures and/or discuss it later on Facebook):
1. Restaurant Table Turned Changing Table
We’ve all heard stories about babies getting changed on restaurant tables*, and some of us have even been unlucky eye witnesses. Parents today will change their babies wherever and whenever the hell they want. This means that “dining in” at your local fast food eatery or perhaps your favorite family-friendly chain restaurant is probably a massively stupid idea.
*Not that table tops are the only surface at risk. They’re just the most unsettling option.
2. Restaurant Booth Turned Changing Table
Okay, so on the plus side, I think it’s better to change a diaper on the booth than on the table where food is consumed. But on the downside, evidently this person couldn’t resist snapping a photo to share with the internet, which is equally as infuriating as spreading fecal germs on a tabletop. I don’t know if Olivia is vying for Super Mom or if she’s putting up her middle finger to The Man (who owns that establishment), but this picture is as unnecessary as a picture of a dog taking a crap on the sidewalk.
3. Potty Accidents
At first, I wanted to like Lindsay. But then I got to the final line in her status update, and I realized she doesn’t really care that her cute daughter had an accident at the post office after all. And that’s why it probably happened in the first place. Then I called my mother and asked if I ever peed on the floor while we were out when I was newly potty trained, and she said no, and then I asked her if I had hypothetically done such a thing, would she have told all her friends?, and she replied with, “Oh GOD, no!”
4. Hilarious Antics
I must be getting old, because I somehow had no idea that BTDT stood for “been there done that” until I looked it up. I’m familiar with LOL, OMG, and PMGO, but BTDT threw me. And now that I know what it means, I’ve decided that both Nicole and Meredith deserve to have birds crap in their hair in retaliation for the blond woman at Cracker Barrel. No one wants a kid’s sticky fingers in their hair (even if the kid is theirs!), but if a child’s hands must make their way into my hair, I’d appreciate it if they were carrot-free. I’m guessing everyone would.
5. Mom’s Gold Star: Doctor’s Office Edition
Kate can’t take it anymore. She’s coming out as anti-volume in waiting rooms and doctors offices, and I’d like to add “all other public places” to that list. Note to parents who allow their kids to aurally pollute their environment: The world doesn’t revolve around a single person’s video game and MP3 pleasures. The good lord invented headphones for a reason. Teach your child how — and more importantly, why — to use them.