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JoDee and I were at a pizza place last night, readying ourselves to enjoy the pizza we just ordered, and talking about the days events. As we were talking, a couple and their 3 or 4 children sat down near us, on the other side of a wall with bars at about eye level if you sat straight up. Almost as immediately as they sat down, their son took on the role of a "booth kid". (Our endearing terminology for some little brat that's running amok in a restaurant looking at the other patrons, or climbing the walls). This little booth kid spent a good amount of time grabbing the bars, twisting the bars (which emitted an awful sound), and peering through the other side. And what were the "adults" doing? They were completely oblivious to his actions, like this sort of thing happens all the time, and everybody was cool with it. Then the kid grabbed a butterknife and decided it was just like those swords that superheros use (whichever favorite superhero this kids was imitating escapes me. My age made me think he was brandishing it like He-Man.) After about 5 minutes of the booth-kid swishing the butter knife around, booth-kid matronly figure scolds the kid, telling him it's not a good idea to swish the knife so. (Perhaps she meant he should have fencing lessons before he swished it around so, since a few minutes later he was brandishing it again.) After a while, booth-kid was seated next to the matronly figure, and sat quietly for about 4 minutes. When I looked up again, I saw booth-kid was continuing his adventures by grabbing the bars, putting his feet on the walls and climbing like he was trying to make a jailbreak. I couldn't not believe my eyes, so I told JoDee to look around. And the parent's did NOTHING, like this is acceptable behaviour in a restaurant. This occurred several times. I mentioned to JoDee that if we ever have kids, I hope to God we're not that oblivious to what our kids are doing. To the parents, I hope your wake up call isn't when your son decides it's a good idea to poke kitchen utensils into wall sockets, or something equally deadly. What you may think is cute for your booth-kid now will surely be exponentially less cute when he's doing the same kinds of disobedience on a grander scale as he grows older. And if anyone thinks for one moment that their kids antics in a restaurant are cute or funny when they do stuff like this need to understand that other people are trying to eat and have their own converstions too. Your lttle brat staring through the partition is one thing. Your little brat interacting with the partition and climbing on it is quite another.


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