First I have to say that both Dork and I strive very hard to teach Quirky how to behave respectful toward other people in a public space. Some people may call us strict...I think most people are too lenient.
We went out to eat today for lunch. Did Quirky do something embarrassing you might ask? Well no. Did Dork do something embarrassing? No. Did I do something embarrassing? No...well at least that I know of. What I'm here to complain...huh I mean to talk about is other people's kids.
We are seated in a booth and we are trying to catch up and talk (Dork has been really busy with work). A simple desire for a small family and one that should have been easy to do...would have been easy to do if it had not been for the kid behind us. The little girl looked to be between the ages of four and five...in my opinion old enough to know better or at the very least to be taught better. What was she doing that set my temper to boil and rating really really really high on the annoyance scale?...
Entering to what I feel was our private family dining space...in other words leaning over the booth. AAAAHHH! My pet peeve. There is separation between the seats for a reason. I do not know you and I do not want to sit with you. I do not want to hear your child sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star loud enough for the entire restaurant to hear. I do not want to watch her chew food open mouthed while leaning over the top of Dork's head. I do not want to watch her twirl her fork around and around over her head and have to wonder if its going to come flying out of her hand and harm Dork, Quirky, or myself. She is not being cute. She is not the most wonderful thing on the planet earth. She is not entertaining. She is being rude. She is being too loud for a public space...most adults talking or singing this loud would be asked to leave. She is your child and being a parent I understand that to you she is the most beautiful, intelligent wonderful thing on the whole planet. Please understand though....for the rest of the people in the restaurant who are trying to enjoy a meal with the most wonderful people in their lives she is simply....how do I put this....A BRAT! An annoying brat with parents who either have no backbone and have lost all ability to actually parent or are clueless that this is inappropriate behavior.
What did I do? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I wanted to...I soooooo wanted to. I wanted to take the fork from her grimy little hand tell her to sit down be quiet and eat without disturbing the entire restaurant. I probably would have gotten a round of applause from the other diners. Did I say a little thank you prayer when you and your annoying child left. YES.
Some people might say..."Like your child has never done this." Tried...yes. Succeed...NO. Dork or I would have been on that like white on rice. Don't get me wrong...its not like Quirky has never had a meltdown or gotten loud in public. She is autistic and those things do happen.
For our family...however...her autism has never and never will be an acceptable reason for bad behavior. All kids can be taught to behave in an acceptable manner. Sometimes its as simple as using one word. Inappropriate. It's a word that Quirky knows well. One that has been used often in guiding Quirky into hopefully becoming a respectful, honest, and productive citizen in her adult life. One that we will continue to use...and one to be quite frank...I wish others would learn.