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It’s Called Parenting, Heard Of It?

, , , , , , , | Right | March 24, 2022

\My mum is visiting, a very rare occurrence as we live so far away, so we’ve gone out for a special afternoon tea. The place is busy with almost every table full when two women and an approximately three- or four-year-old boy come in. They’re sat down, and a waitress takes their order and brings their drinks. It isn’t long before the little boy starts grumbling.

Boy: “Mum, toilet!”

Mum: “Mmm, in a minute.”

Boy: “Nowwwwwwww!”

Mum: “Wait.”

Boy: “No, nowwwwwwww!”

This back and forth continues as the boy gets louder and louder while both women are staring at their phones. Eventually, an angelic waitress appears.

Waitress: “Hi, guys, shall I take him downstairs to the toilet? Or I can show you where it is?”

Mum: “Yeah, great. [Boy], go with the lady.”

They’re gone for a bit and the boy is then brought back up, holding the waitress’s hand. All is calm for about five minutes before he suddenly starts screaming in a high-pitched whine. The sudden noise makes all of the tables stop their conversations and stare at the boy.

We all wait for the two adults to do something, but both are still staring at their phones. The mum is taking photos of her pretty frappe and doesn’t seem to notice. After a few minutes of intermittent screaming, the waitress reappears.

Waitress: “Hey, buddy, how’s your drink?”

The boy suddenly stops screaming but carries on, sobbing and hiccupping.

Boy: “I-I-it’s okay.”

Waitress: “Can I get you anything else? Is it okay if I get him a cupcake or something?”

Mum: “Mmm, yeah, he can have whatever.”

The waitress gives him a cupcake, and he slowly starts eating it so there’s a few minutes of silence before the screaming starts up again. Another table of guests gets up, looking irritated, and leaves. Once again, the waitress seems to be hoping for the adults with the boy to intervene before she steps forward again. This time, she doesn’t even speak to the Mum.

Waitress: “Hey, buddy, do you want to see something cool?”

He nods silently.

Waitress: “Okay, come see. We’re about to ice a cake!”

She takes his hand and leads him behind the counter. The adults are seemingly taking selfies and photos of their cakes because they don’t acknowledge he’s left. They’re gone a little while. When they come back out, the waitress has given him a cloth and he’s helping her clean empty tables while she sprays them with cleaner. She’s doing a great job of keeping him distracted, but eventually, she gets called away, so she takes him back to his table where he promptly begins screaming again.

This time, a manager approaches.

Manager: “Hey, how is everything?”

Other Woman: “Yeah, good.”

Manager: “Great, I’m glad to hear it. Could I please ask that while you’re enjoying your food, though, your son just keeps his voice down? It’s a small space and the noise carries.”

Mum: “Yeah, yeah…”

Predictably, this does not work, and he’s soon screaming again.

Manager: “Hey, fella, I hope you’re not feeling too sad. We don’t like tears in here!”

The boy smiles and wipes his eyes a bit.

Manager: “Okay, remember to use your inside voice.” *Whispers* “Like thissss.”

It lasts a couple of minutes before the screaming starts again. The manager wearily approaches, and the mum stands up suddenly, snapping her fingers.

Mum: “Fine, fine. Give us a to-go box; we’re leaving.”

They left quickly with no thank-you to the waitress who had babysat her son for most of the meal. We asked later, and the manager had apparently added an extra service charge onto what they did pay.

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