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  • Writer's pictureTX Cigar Pirate

The Infliction of Children

Now right off the bat there may be those of you who have misread the title or, if you went to school where I did, may just not know the word, “infliction”. Infliction means: to cause damage, harm, or unpleasantness to somebody or something or to impose a burden on another. Parents of small children, this is where you need to start paying attention. I'm talking to you.

Exactly when in this country did it become acceptable for parents to inflict their children upon other people? You go into a nice restaurant. Now let us define “Nice” for those that think Chili’s or Red Lobster is a nice restaurant and fine dinning. “Nice” means better than Chili’s. Someplace where the main objective isn’t to scarf something down and drink like a sieve before going out to a club. Ok, so you go to a nice restaurant. You and your wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, date… who ever sit down, talk, order drinks, look over the menu. Start having a nice conversation, a few laughs… and then out of nowhere comes the ear-piercing screech of a small child. Your first thought. Ouch, are my ears bleeding yet? And then you wait for one of two things to happen. The resounding thwack of a kid getting popped by it’s mother or the draft of fast moving air as the child is swooped up and carried into the parking lot. But you wait…

and wait some more...

And the only thing you hear is the repeated cries and screams and attitude of someone else’s child. The leers and stares of the other patrons in the restaurant do nothing to stem the tide of caterwauling that has done nothing but increasingly grow louder. The parents carry on, oblivious to the disruption because somewhere they read in some book that if you ignore a child when this happens they will eventually stop. Now they will stop, but not before they’ve almost ruined the evening of almost everyone around you and half of them now have eyes that are bleeding. Quit inflicting your child on other people. Your little darling is not more precious than anyone else’s. Regardless of what your mother tells you. My mother, who raised me right, told me I was pretty good in restaurants when I was little. There was a reason for this. If I had been too fussy that day, my parents didn’t go out. Or we went someplace where it didn’t matter like a burger joint. If I got fussy in a restaurant we left. If I even got the intake of air into my lungs to scream out, my mother would have me jerked up by the hand, dangling by one arm, standing in the parking lot before I could utter a single sound. Why, because she didn’t want me to bother other people and would have felt embarrassed if it would have happened. Once I was a little older the last thing I would have wanted to do was embarrass my mother and then experience her wrath all the way home and once we got there. Let’s face it. Attitudes have changed over the years and they will continue to do so. But if you don’t grab control over a kid when they are young you are really in for it when they become teenagers. I’ve seen it. I’m observant to human nature. I pay attention. And after telling many of my friends over the years about it and getting sneered at, I can now point and laugh and say I told you so. Over a nice frosty adult beverage mind you and in fun, but I told you so still the same. The busy bodies in my area of the country have made it illegal to smoke in restaurants. Smoking sections were my way out considering most parents wont sit in smoking. So now I ask for the no screaming child section. I also tell them don’t put them around me if they come in. They have been warned in my opinion. So if you happen to be in a nice restaurant with a screaming child and someone leans over to you and says, “You know, they’ll quit screaming like that if you put their head in a dry cleaning bag.” That will be me.

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