I don’t even have anything interesting to post about.
Wait, because of events that took place last night in a public restaurant (I don’t want to get specific because Tanya called “dibs” on the subject), I just want to say that there are fundamental differences between rights and privileges.
You have the right to want children. You don’t necessarily have the right to have children. Because, sometimes, it’s out of your hands for medical reasons or whatnot. But if you’re 65, still have a uterus and still feel that biological clock ticking away, go for it, you have the right to try at least. Hell, even if you don’t have a uterus…science is remarkable.
As a parent, you also have the right to take your children out to a “family” restaurant. But if those kids become a nuisance, you don’t have the right to inflict them on the rest of diners.
You have the right to an evening out without the kiddies too. But you don’t have the right to take the kiddies with you and just pretend that they’re not there.
As a smoker, I’ve learned to live with that fine line of rights and privileges. I have the right to destroy my own health. But I don’t have the right to subject others to it.
But parents these days don’t see it as the same thing – even though an ill-behaved child gives me the brain fever. Most modern parents (I say most because that’s my perception; perhaps it’s just the fact that I’m forced to pay attention to the selfish parents that causes my cynicism?) don’t see children as a privilege. There are stories all over the place about “parent’s groups” fighting restaurants because they feel persecuted somehow. Evidently, asking a parent to control their child is just too much.
And I understand. I really do. I was a kid too. I was one of those kids in fact that people would change booths to avoid. And it wasn’t because my mother was neglectful. I remember many an instance when I was being unruly and my mother would grab my arm and squeeze as she seethed through clenched teeth “if you don’t behave yourself right now, the manager is going to throw you out of here!” Which translated, means “if I get thrown out of here and embarrassed, your ass is going to be grass, pally”
And a lot of the time it was. I had a grassy ass. Whatever that means.
But I don’t see much of that anymore (from other people, my mom hasn’t squeezed my arm in frustration for at least two years). Parents with poorly behaved kids seem hesitant to discipline them in public (or at all). Kids aren’t viewed in the same light these days. Kids, no matter what they act like, are considered “precious little gems mined from the magical wombs of the women in God’s army.” And heaven forbid you should ever say otherwise.
But it’s not the kids’ fault. Kids will get away with whatever they can. And if their parents don’t teach them appropriate behavior, what are they supposed to do? Society can’t raise your children for you with just some disgusted looks and the occasional frustrated outburst. Kids don’t pick up on that.
But I’m not here to preach about how to raise a child. I have no idea. I’m ignorant on that subject (among many others). I just wanted to say that having children is a privilege, not a right.
And, no matter how much hard work it is, raising kids is not a public service!
When your snot-nosed little brat throws a temper tantrum at my feet, no matter how much you may want me to, I’m not going to thank you for bearing the burden of proliferating the human race.
Humanity will do just fine without your contribution.
I guess if I had children, my life would be a lot less dull. But if that’s the case then I guess I should be glad my life is so uneventful. I haven’t ever been so bored that I would have kids for recreational purposes. Every Mariah Carey album ever made couldn’t bore me enough for that.
Fun Fact: If you’ve ever said to yourself, “hey, you know what, I’d really like to have a picture of Kevin Sage to wear around on my chest,” then you’re in luck.
Kevin has opened his own Café Press store. Go here and live the dream.
And don’t forget, there is still plenty of great TAM merchandise at the holiday store. And it’s not too late to get it before Christmas either! Order now!