Three of my young niblings crashed my one-bedroom apartment over the weekend, confirming all suspicions: Small children are wild cards. I would never suggest parenthood is easy. From my post as a mere aunt only, it looks like one of the toughest endeavors a human could undertake on mortal Planet Earth. Among various hardships, parents must navigate how to handle meltdowns in public. Screaming children paired with oblivious or ignorant parents must be one of the most frustrating sights ever. So in a way, I feel for the diner owner who yelled at a crying child in her restaurant.
I often work from a cafe in my neighborhood which is great because there are huge tables, no ego, delicious coffee, and great tunes. However, it's also swarming with children at times. That's not a huge slight — I seriously love kids. But often these children are loud as hell, chaperoned by parents who turn a blind eye and deaf ear. It's infuriating to experience such a total disregard of other people's peace. It seems like irresponsible parenting, especially when simply scooping your offspring and giving them a break outside the establishment could reasonably solve the issue. Unfortunately, I am but an undergrown childless adult person patronizing a cafe and never actually say anything.
A Portland, Maine diner owner, on the other hand, did say something recently. A few somethings that launched an outright Facebook war. Darla Neugebauer, Marcy's Diner owner, shouted at a screaming child to leave her place. The mother, Tara Carson, took to Marcy's Facebook wall to settle the matter. Here is Carson's since-deleted post alongside Neugebauer's borderline deranged response:
I'm Team Marcy's because I seriously consider letting your child freak out in public, enclosed places to be totally rude. I do wish, however, Neugebauer proofread her responses for clarity and, um...a lot of weird spelling errors and malapropisms. Her point gets a bit lost in all the muddy typos and flared aggression.
The issue stemmed from "three full-sized pancakes," an apparently crucial detail that keeps coming up in discussion. I feel like the prevalence of these specifics is downright bizarre. Some toddlers like..."full-sized" pancakes, I guess? I had breakfast with my three-year-old niece Sunday and had to cut up her gluten-free pancake for her before she'd eat it. I don't think the intact size matters much since it's gonna be broken up anyway. This is just wild, y'all.
Neugebauser might have had an overly acerbic reaction, but I don't think her point is completely invalid. If you choose to have children and choose to bring them into a public setting like a diner, you're simultaneously agreeing to not be a total freaking nuisance. Allowing a child to wail (or wale) on effectively disturbs the peace and displays negligent parenting. It shouldn't be tolerated, although again, Neugebauser's response went a little hard.
Marcy's Diner's Facebook page continues to play hotbed for further debate. Even though both Carson and Neugebauser's posts have been removed, the discussion thrives on. And much to my delight, it seems I'm not the in the minority over on Team Marcy's.