Feral Children in Public Places
To everything there is a season. A time for bouncing off the walls; a time to sit quietly and listen. Some children have parents who don’t know the difference. Â A rant…
I have a low tolerance for children allowed to free-form misbehave in public places, particularly when their acting out and noise detracts from an event that my neighbors and I have spent our time and money to attend.
It took every ounce of restraint not to turn around at the recent music event last weekend at the EcoVillage in Floyd and verbally throttle the mother of the childrenÂ behind me. The irritant was the children, but SHE was the responsible (or in this case IRRESPONSIBLE) party that should have nipped that misbehavior in the bud.
One of the little darlings–which I assumed must be a very small girl–was dancing behind me Â (read hopping in place to no particular rhythm) whenever the classical-contemporary music had any up-tempo at all. My chair bobbedÂ up and down with the impact.
The other child–that I assumed must be a year or two older–talkedÂ non-stop in a loud voice while the music played about nothing in particular, taunting the younger, complaining about being bored. This especially helped me appreciate the nuances ofÂ the Vivaldi and Dvorak pieces.
In a bluegrass setting, this boisterous pillow fight might have been narrowly and briefly acceptable. In a classical concert where one must attend to both the music, the story and the shifting moods and voices, this behavior made it impossible to enjoy the performance. I considered asking the mother to refund my money.
What I should have done is to get up and move. I should also pull the heck over and let the speed demon behind me go ahead when I’m already going the speed limit. I’m not going to change my behavior so the misbehavior is rewarded. SHE should have jerked those kids to the back of the auditorium–or back to the car–after the first instance.
I wonder. Do parents of this particular stripe Â 1) just not give a damn about other people in public places? 2) consider their own “rights” supreme in all cases to the rights of others? or 3) are theyÂ gutless and powerless because they’ve allowed their kids to operate without boundaries. Ever?
When the concert was over, I made myself take a few deep breaths before standing to turn around and view the source of my hour of discontent. I was shocked.
The children were not 3 and 5 as I had imagined on the basis ofÂ their immature, raucous behavior. No, they were more like 5 and 9. Dear lord, woman, you’ll be lucky if you survive long enough to visit these children in prison.
Somewhere, there’s a middle ground between total managementÂ of children at all times and complete anarchic permissiveness.
ParentsÂ Â from the Total Anarchy Camp, I ask in the future that youÂ chose to not bring your feral children to events like VBRMF, since you Â have chosen not to train them how to live in this community as if other people mattered.