Why Are Some Parents Morons?

by Mike Holman

Katrina Onstad wrote a very interesting article about babies and their parents in a recent issue of Toronto Life. She looked at the phenomenon of parents who are too focussed on trying to project their own tastes and styles through their kids. There were several little “stories” sprinkled throughout the article told by parents on various topics. Two of them inspired this post.

Story #1 – Fine dining with a 3 year old

We went to Tomi-Kro one Friday night, and it was crowded so we sat at the bar. We drank wine, and Max (3 years old) had apple juice. Then Max had a bit of a tantrum – he kept asking for more ice. The bartender and all the staff were cool, but we got a mixed reaction from other people – a lot of really dirty looks in that passive-aggressive Toronto way, like they thought we were bad parents.

Tomi-Kro is our favourite restaurant – it has excellent food and is very expensive which is why we only rarely eat there. When we go there it’s a special occasion so we get a sitter and have a lovely meal. I wouldn’t even consider bringing my kids for dinner because the idea of chasing my son around a restaurant while my expensive meal is getting cold just doesn’t make sense to me. The other reason I wouldn’t bring my kids is consideration for the other patrons. In a nice restaurant, a certain level of behavior is expected and if you can’t meet that level then you shouldn’t be there. It doesn’t matter whether you are a three year old in the middle of a tantrum or an obnoxious 35 year old who has had too much too drink – either way you don’t belong there.

To be honest, it wouldn’t bother me if there was children in a nice restaurant, but if they started acting like kids (imagine that), then it would definitely put a damper on my dinner. I do enough diaper changes at home so that when I go out, I don’t want to have to interrupt my filet mignon to tell another parent changing a messy diaper that they missed a spot.

Story #2 – Riding streetcar with huge stroller

When I was hugely pregnant, few people would give me their seat on the Queen streetcar – like they were practicing selective blindness. These days I have a big, honkin’ all-weather stroller that only just fits onto the streetcar; the driver or another passenger has to help me on and off. So when people have to squeeze by or when Gabriel start screaming, I view it as payback.

I couldn’t believe this story. First of all – just because nobody gave up their seat to you when you were pregnant doesn’t give you the right to block the entire isle in the streetcar. Second of all – I don’t bring our larger stroller on the streetcar mainly because it’s just a lot easier to have a smaller stroller in a crowded public place. I like to call this concept “COMMON SENSE“. I have a big double stroller that I use for jogging, but I am extremely aware that it takes up the entire sidewalk so I go around anyone who is coming the other way. If I’m going anywhere in any kind of vehicle at all (car, bus etc) then I take the umbrella stroller which is very small.

What do you think – are these people the morons I think they are? Does this qualify as a “Mother’s Day post?”

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