Friday, April 06, 2012
the victorians were on to something when they said children should be seen and not heard. it’s not that i dislike kids – it is just that they can be pests of the highest order and my annoyance at them is heightened when their parents are around and do nothing, as if the disruption that their little angel is causing is somehow entertaining for the rest of us. it is bad enough when they are scampering and shouting in places like supermarkets where they seem to have no control over their excitement and see the aisles as a mix of adventure playground and treasure trove: running, squawking and demanding – and when things don’t go their way crying. imagine then how i feel when the little tykes are let less in places that are there for contemplation and not as playgrounds. there i was enjoying a period of quiet contemplation when my peace was broken by the squeals of a couple of kids who can’t stay quiet or stay still. their slapping footsteps echoing all about the place. try as i might there was no blocking them out; the more i tried the more i became aware of their little squeals of playground fun. all the while their parents just managing the occasional ‘shush’. yeah thanks that ‘shush’ worked a treat, if by worked you mean the kids just ignored their parents. all i am asking is that parents control their kids – it isn’t too much to ask. is it? of course i can’t condemn all parents and all children because there is always the moment when you have cursed, under my breath, and it has turned out that there is a reason why the child is acting that way. many years ago one of my old bosses, spin, found himself on a tube platform after an evening out. there were times when spin operated on a very short fuse. he is there with a colleague from work. there is a kid on the platform who is giving spin the eye. giving him the eye and giggling. spin is not pleased with this. he has made some stern faces and mouthed some words at the kid. the kid goes on eyeing him and giggling. spin mentions it to the colleague, who is a laid back chap and who just shrugs it off. spin decides to go and give the kid and his parents a piece of his mind. he goes to them and asks loudly ‘if there isn’t anything wrong with their son.’ ‘yes’, they inform him, ‘he is severely autistic.’ spin slinks off. i remember this every time i am prepared to explode over the exploits of a bratty child whose parents seem incapable or just not bothered to control the behaviour of their children. i don’t blame the children – it is the parents. to parent everywhere – please remember: most of the rest of us do not find the antics of your precious precocious princes and princess entertaining, try teaching them some restraint.