Kids: They Suck, Sure, But They're Still Owed Some Compassion
Politics/Community Special Needs

Kids: They Suck, Sure, But They’re Still Owed Some Compassion

Kids: They Suck, Sure, But They're Still Owed Some Compassion

Marcy’s Diner. Hopefully that’s all I have to say for you to fully understand what this whole deal will be about. In case that means nothing to you (Hey, I don’t judge. I don’t have TV or any sort of newspaper, so I am always about a week late on breaking world events. It’s just me and my trusty Netflix over hurr.), here’s a rundown:

Some parents ordered their almost-2-year-old three pancakes and then proceeded to let her throw a fit in a restaurant. The restaurant owner didn’t like this. Here was her response (which has since been deleted, but not before the internets sunk its pointy little talons in and took screen shots; remember, kids, that what you put on the web is there forever):

marcy's diner
Never mind that you can’t understand a fucking word of what she’s saying in this diatribe. You can at least get the gist, right?

The public is divided on this highly important incident (Fuck third-world hunger, poverty, and war! We’ve got a diner debacle to evaluate here, people.). Forty percent of America thinks the restaurant owner was well within her right to scream at a toddler and publicly bash the patrons in the comment section of the diner’s Facebook page. Forty percent think she was way off base. The other 20 couldn’t give a flying rat’s ass.

I am in the second camp with one foot and about half my ankle in the third.

You see, as the parent of a child with special needs, my first reaction to this nonsense was, “Jesus. I wonder if that kid has special needs of some kind that fuels her outrageous behavior and her parents’ inability to control it. That diner owner is a dick.” That was my first reaction because, as the parent of a child with special needs (bears repeating), it’s rarely ever anyone else’s.

Nobody ever thinks that maybe the disruptive child in public has a medical condition to thank for it and that maybe his or her parents are at their wits’ end, either exhausted from already running interference on the behavior all day or out of ideas and methods for curbing it. Nobody ever sees the wailing, flailing kid and thinks, “Those poor parents. I should really have some compassion for them and for the child because I have no clue what they are dealing with.” Nobody ever remembers, special needs or not, that they were once kids prone to unruly outbursts with parents who needed to get out of the goddamned house for a minute to get some goddamned food because they either didn’t have any at home or had other plans that necessitated a stop at a crappy diner for some sort of sustenance.

Nobody ever thinks about these things. Because most people are assholes when it comes to stuff like this.

“Oh, I would never allow my child to behave like that in public. Never,” they say.

“Good! If the parents won’t do anything about it, somebody has to,” they announce.

“That’s what’s wrong with kids today,” they scold.

Whatever. I invite these people to come over to my house and to wrangle my brain-injured child when he’s having an F-5 Epic Meltdown, or better yet, keep him perfectly under control when he loses his shit in public. LET’S SEE YOU DO IT BETTER, YOU SELF-RIGHTEOUS JERK-OFFS.

I’m not saying the child in question at Marcy’s Diner has special needs or that the parents did everything they should have done to maintain the peace and show respect for their fellow restaurant-goers. What I am saying is that this incident reminds me of countless others where, in the absence of a viral story and a crap ton of media attention, people continue to say and do the same things that this business owner and those who agree with her actions say and do to children and parents just trying to survive the day before them.

Kids suck sometimes. And so do parents. And yes, everybody should do their best to make sure their kids don’t disrupt those around them. But you know who sucks even worse? Judgmental a-holes who don’t bother to think that there might be other circumstances at play and can’t manage to muster an ounce of empathy for what just may be a struggling family trying to make it through another day without killing themselves or each other.