Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Note Entitled: The Annoying Disregard for Others [Alternately Titled: People, Curb Your Children!]

Last Friday night Dave and I went to a nearby Mexican restaurant we’ve been to a few times. Normally it’s a nice quiet place with decent food at a reasonable price. Not so that night. That night as soon as we walked in I knew we had a problem. It was loud. There was jiggidy-jiggidy Spanish rap music playing.

Really? How is this conducive to a nice dinner atmosphere? It’s not a night-club or a bar. It’s a restaurant.

We were seated and it got worse. Directly behind us there was a grandmother, mother, and 2 little kids ages 3-5 I’d guess. They were being SO LOUD! The girls were up standing between our table and theirs dancing wildly and singing loudly (making up their own words). The mother and daughter were having a nice conversation not caring at all that the two little girls were running around yelling. Add this to the jiggidy-jiggidy music and there was no way I was going to be experiencing an enjoyable evening.

I get that kids are loud. I get that they get silly. Seriously, I had 4! But there was this total disregard for others that I find so annoying in people today! The mom and daughter we able to talk and the kids weren’t bothering them so why would they stop the kids? They weren’t bothering them but the other 5 or 6 tables in the restaurant were definitely being bothered!

(Disclamer: This was a restaruant. It was not Chucky Cheese or a fast food joint with a playland. If you go there, kids will be running amuck. That's why they are there. You're in their world now. You can't go to a place like that and complain about the noise.)

I don’t mean to sound judgmental. Really I don’t. I have had my kids behave in a not so nice way in public before. It’s embarrassing! But the thing is, when you see an overwhelmed parent or parents eating at a restaurant and their kids are being less than stellar in their behavior, but those harried parents are trying, I don’t know about you, but I want to go over there and give them a pat on the back, tell them one day it’ll get easier and offer to entertain the bored toddler or hold the fussy baby while they finish their dinner.

But when I see parents totally okay with their kids running amuck and bothering everyone but ignoring it because it’s easier to ignore that engage…? Yeah, that makes me see red.

I remember once when Bryce was about 5 and Gunnar was about 2 and I was miserably pregnant with Evelyn we went with a realtor to look at houses. He took us to a house that was being shown by the owner and when we were in the garage they all got to talking and we were just standing around this warm garage. This was the last room to see and I’d held hands and entertained and kept them quiet and made sure that the boys didn’t touch anything and we were all worn down. All of a sudden, while he was right smack in the middle of the circle of adults, Bryce looked down at the garage floor and spat. Right on the floor. There was a collective silence and the home owner was absolutely horrified and gave me a rather nasty look. I apologized, took the boys back through the house and out the front door to our waiting car and sat there, waiting for the ground to just go ahead and swallow me up. When later asked why he would do that, Bryce said that the garage is just like outside, and it’s okay to spit outside right? *sigh*

So, while my child did something awful and insulting to this poor homeowner, I as the parent at least had the decency to look properly horrified and remove the child from the environment post-haste. I probably should have cleaned up the spit first, but I was in fight-or-flight mode at that point. I fled!

I’ve been there. Parenting is hard. Kids can be unruly. But parents, please, don’t give up. Keep trying. Keep working at it. Be considerate of your child’s behavior around others, so that one day they will learn to be considerate themselves.

After sitting for a few minutes in the restaurant, we decided to leave. We left a few dollars on the table for the 2 or 3 chips we’d eaten and our glasses of water and walked out the door. Dave did stop on the way out and mention to our waitress that it was just too loud in the restaurant for us to stay. The waitress looked over at the yelling, dancing girls and said, “I understand.” I felt bad for her.

We went down the road a bit to another little Mexican place (this is Texas, you can throw a stick and hit 2). This place was okay. The food was mediocre, but you know what? It was quite. Non jiggidy-jiggidy Spanish music was playing at a reasonable level and all the kids in the restaurant were sitting at the tables with their parents and not yelling. So, in my book? Score!

I remembered this article that I’d read a few years ago and thought I’d post a link here. This guy said it so much better than me, and he did it with such wit and humor. I was cracking UP!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Times, They Are a-Changing

I am now the mother to two college students and two high school students.

These kids.

Are now these kids.

No matter how much you wish time to slow, it never does. Gunnar graduated high school in May. Here is a shot of his senior table. John Deer sheets (he’s had those sheets since he was a toddler and they’re still his favorite!) and a gas can. Yes, a gas can.

He wanted to put his motorcycle on the table and call it good, but they wouldn’t let him bring it in the building. Seriously. He asked.

Just about every photo of him in his slideshow and on his table was taken outside. He’s that kind of kid.

The day after graduation he was supposed to hop in his car and drive 17 hours to a dude ranch in Colorado for his summer job. But this was not to be.

He made a comment on Friday about how he thought he might be getting a cavity. By Saturday he was sure he was getting a cavity and was taking some Advil and had some pain during the graduation ceremony and after-party. I gave him all of our dental insurance info and told him he’d need to find a dentist up near the ranch. When he woke up Sunday morning, the day he was to leave, the entire side of his jaw was swollen and he was in excruciating pain.

Instead of going to Colorado, we went to the ER. Turns out, he had an abscessed tooth. He had a traumatic root canal 10 months ago where the dentist broke off the drill in his tooth and it took 2 days to do the whole procedure. It was horrid! Apparently, that can leave pockets in the jaw where bacteria can get and cause this problem. I was amazed at how fast it happened. The ER doc gave him a shot of antibiotics and some pain meds. We got into an oral surgeon on Monday morning. This doc was wonderful. We were initially told he was busy all day, but when he heard how bad off Gunnar was he said to bring him in right then. So we did. He basically opened his office early for Gunnar.

He saw him and scheduled him for surgery the very next morning. The doc said that this is a very dangerous infection and left untreated could be FATAL! Holy cow! He said that it’s a very good thing it happened before he left and not in The Middle of Nowhere, Co. By the time Gunnar went in for surgery, the entire side of his face was swollen, and his eye was almost swollen shut. He was a mess.

Within 24 hours of having that tooth removed he looked back to normal. (He’ll be getting an implant when he comes home in the Fall. Cha ching!! But I’ll not think about that now.) It was amazing. The bad part of the whole deal was that he had to stay home for a whole week recovering. He had to sit around and do nothing. If you know Gunnar you know how hard that is for him. The first day after surgery he was asking to use his chainsaw (to remove a tree that fell the night before) ride his motorcycle, go out with friends. Sheesh! 

That kid does not know the meaning of rest!

The following Tuesday morning we had a 9am appointment with the surgeon where he got clearance to leave and he was on the road, Colorado bound, by 10 am.

That was two weeks ago. I’ve talked to him a few times and it sounds like he is having the time of his life up there. If he were not signed up for EMT/Fire Academy in the Fall, I’d be afraid he would not come home.

Also this summer, Evelyn will be getting her driver’s license. And Annika has moved up to high school in the church youth group. Lots of changing going on around here. Next school year is going to look very strange. Both of the boys at college; Bryce getting his associates in Paramedicine, Gunnar doing EMT and Fire Academy (Bryce has completed that already). Evelyn taking Duel Credit classes at community college, and Annika taking high school classes at our co op. Annika is really the only one I’ll be doing much hoeschooling with. I guess I’ll have some free time next school year.

Maybe I can finally get those closets cleaned out…