Bratty Kid

Dear Mother Who Can’t Seem to Control Her Kids,

Perhaps I’ll be the first one to mention this to you publicly, but you simply can’t seem to control your kids. Or, perhaps, you’ve heard this before from your friends and family who keep inviting you to gatherings without them. Or maybe you’ve received those wedding invitations that said, “No children, please” and didn’t understand why. I’ll tell you why. Because we’ve met your kids. But before I continue, maybe I should let you in on the clues leading me to believe that you can’t control those kids of yours.

We were at Bed Bath and Beyond this morning at the stroke of “doors’ opening” to grab a few items we needed before the crowds set in like they normally do. We intended to be in and out faster than a gay man at a Phelps Family reunion. We were the gents standing in the line across from you. As we were standing there waiting to hand over our hard-earned cash, we couldn’t help but be a little distracted by your two adorable children running back and forth and yelling like they just arrived at a Chuck-E-Cheese. Your lovely daughter (who looks just like you, I might add), was busy grabbing things from a display and tossing them to the floor, while your handsome little man (who looks just like the mailman) was busy pulling down the entire display of boogey boards and jumping on them.

I noticed you were doing your best to keep them under control. You quietly told them: stop… don’t do that… put that down… But for some reason, they just weren’t listening. I was flabbergasted they couldn’t hear you – I mean, you were speaking so nicely from – what? – 10 feet away (?) while you were still standing in line and not moving toward them. Perhaps it was because you read a book by some psychologist that never had a childhood and never had children of his own. Or maybe you normally give them a threatening “time out” in the corner, but all the corners were full of merchandise in the store today.

But I feel this need to remind you, dear lady, that you need to throw those books away that tell you how to not punish your children for bad behavior. This is exactly why we have kids today roaming the streets in flash-mobs attacking innocent bystanders, because they were never taught what bad behavior was. Were you like that with your mother when you were growing up?

Wait … maybe you were, and that’s where you learned it from. After all, you do look pretty young with those two children.

When I was little, I never acted like your kids. I wasn’t a spoiled brat. I listened when my mother told me to stay next to her and not to touch anything. When she took my brothers and me out in public, we showed her respect. We knew what respect was, and that lesson stayed with us into our adult lives. If we stepped out of line or did something wrong, we got smacked for it. If we were taken shopping with Mom, and started grabbing anything on any of the shelves, we got our hands slapped. And we knew the mantra every time we walked into a store with nice things: “Hands in your pockets.”

My mom and dad also didn’t need to take the belt or a paddle to us. They used good old-fashioned American ingenuity and used their hands, figuring if their palms were stinging, they were getting their point across. And I’ll be the first one to admit we deserved every single spanking and little hair-yank we got. And we didn’t even think about reporting them to the police for abuse, because it wasn’t abuse. We knew the difference; and in the long run, we always loved them and respected them. When they took us out in public, they didn’t have to be ashamed of us or how we would act.

So, lady, I leave you with this one message: curb your children because the rest of us are really getting tired of cleaning up after them, and listening to them not listening to you. Children like that need a good pat on the back – only a little bit harder, and a little bit lower.

Hugs and kisses,
The Curious Bloke