January 24, 2007

Handle Your Business

Handle Your Business
(Warning, this post is going to tick some people off but I don't give a fuck.)

AirTran removed a family from a plane after a 15-minute delay, during which parents of a 3-year-old throwing a tantrum couldn't calm her into her seat. The parents were outraged, despite the fact that the airline reimbursed their tickets and offered them three round-trip tickets to anywhere they fly. Um, guess what people. YOU made the decision to bring a child into this world, not the 115 other people on that plane. Fifteen minutes is more than enough time that your child should inconvenience them, not to mention air traffic control and every other person flight delays affect.

I have TWO three-year-olds, yet I understand that it is my responsibility to my fellow man to see that they don't inconvenience other people too much. I'm not talking about those prissy, child-hating assholes that get angry when any kid is even remotely noisy or boisterous. I'm talking about delaying 115 people who have somewhere to go, because you expect an airline to bend air safety rules and let you hold your child in your lap on take-off. When turbulence sends her into the next cabin, guess who's going to get sued. "We weren't given an opportunity to hold her or console her" the mom says. Well, if your child had time to climb under the seat, hit you and refuse to sit down then you had time to pick her up and hold her.

I rarely get involved in random parenting debates (like breastfeeding or the working moms versus stay-at-home moms thing) but here are simple rules to being a parent of small children, in public.

1. If your child is throwing a huge tantrum and you can't handle it, and the tantrum is dragging on and on and preventing anyone from getting anything done, pick her up and leave.

2. Do not let your child go wandering off to get into trouble, so you can run your errands without distraction. The pedophiles alone should be enough of a deterrent, but just in case you're an idiot and they're not, how about the fact that strangers having to watch out for your child inconveniences them. It is not nifty to make people stand around and wonder where the parents of this child are, because they're worried a pedophile might get him.

3. Hold your small child's hand in the parking lot, if you're not carrying him. If he breaks away, at least TRY to grab him. On the off chance that you, for some reason, don't care whether or not he gets hit by a car, how about caring that maybe someone else doesn't want to be responsible for the injury of a small child?

4. If your kid's pacifier falls on the ground, rinse it off for God's sake before you shove it back into her mouth. Okay this has nothing to do with safety or convenience, it just bothers me.

5. Don't let your kid bother other people. Examples of bothering include allowing them to:

-Kick the back of someone's seat on a bus, train or airplane
-Run around in a restaurant
-Scream at the top of their lungs for an extended amount of time
-Throw food at people
-Curse at people
-Hit or push other kids out of the way to get something
-Knock things down on purpose
-Wipe their snot on people
-Feed other peoples' dogs crazy glue
-Scream and talk throughout an entire movie

Do I feel sympathy for parents who have small kids? Of course I do. It's not easy being a parent, there are reasons why Geo and I plan escape routes in advance. And why we avoid certain activities. But the other people in the store/restaurant/plane/whatever did not sign up for your parenting duties, so HANDLE YOUR BUSINESS.

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