Journal of Whatever...

April 24, 2002

Today's topic is one near and dear--sometimes--to my heart.

Kids, Behavior and Proper Ettiquette.

On Sunday--our well having lots of nice minerals that do not mix nicely with stains, took our laundry to the local laundry place to wash the shirts--return home and dry them. First of all--the normally sedate place was just absolutely buzzing with people. Most of them--were of Filopino descent (no slam here, readers--just an observation).

First off--I couldn't find a machine or two to use. I thoroughly love those who throw their laundry in--then procede to leave it there for long periods of time after it has completed the wash cycle. A nice, older gentleman told me (in thick accent no less) that one particular machine was empty and that the other one beside it would be finished in just a couple of minutes. Thanking him, I began to load one machine and by the time I had gotten it done, he had already cleared out his washer.

All was good in the world.

Then hell began.

First off--these wonderful Filopinos--would look around, look at certain people in the laundry, then break in to their own language. *sigh*

Then--there was this mother with these two young boys--probably no older than 7 and 11. They were beating up on each other, running around, jumping on each other, whining, you name it--these little devils spawn (hey, a good phrase for this one) were doing it. Mother--being totally within her own little world, would act like their mother one minute (wonderful, yet she never followed through with any of her idle threats), then their friend. Instead of getting her lazy carcass off the chair and checking her laundry, she had the 7 year old go and do it--running in to people.

Then bring in mommy-sam and her little 4 year old devil spawn. By this time, the two older kids were calling each other "shit head" and pummeling each other in a corner, unable, apparently to do the fundamental task of removing their clothes from the washer. But back to this 4 year old.

Mom was so engrossed in her non-english conversation, that she wasn't watching this little demon. First, he decided the floor was not the place to be--he had to crawl up on the folder table at the end of machines where I was. Then, he thought it would be fun and exciting to to swing from the bar in which people may hang up their freshly washed and dried clothes.

Deeply engrossed in my latest issue of Glamour, I was watching him from the side, but not really paying any mind. After all, my clothes were about a minute from being finished, then I could retreat from hell back to home. Then, the little monster thought it would be fun and exciting to crawl on the flat counter top surface between the sets of machines.


Then he looks at me, gauging my reaction, and procedes to change the cycle of my clothes from "Bright Colors" to "Whites". In other words, I was gritting my teeth now. At least the clothes were on spin so no damage could come of them.

Then, as if my facial expression (i.e. motherly, don't you dare or I will kill you look) wasn't enough, the little shit decided to look me right in the eye and hit the button on my second machine.

I reigned myself in. If it had been during any other point during the wash cycle, that kid would have: a) been hauled down physically from the machine and stuffed within, b) plopped unceremoniously in front of non-english speaking mother (after being told that she's in mixed company and speaking her own language is rude) and told to control her little brat.

Only as I was leaving, when the little devil was in the way of about four people trying to move whilst carrying large baskets of laundry did she do anything.

But that wasn't it.

On the way out, a young man--probably around 11 or 12 decided that throwing magazines on the floor was a nice thing to do--in some sort of pissed-off fit. Sighing heavily, I got the hell out of there--swearing to never do laundry on a weekend again.

So that brings me back to one of my topics: Kids.

I don't understand parents today. No, I'm not one, but since I was one---as we all were, we know the difference between right and wrong and good and bad behavior. What I saw on Sunday was a bunch of bad behavior.

Honestly, I don't see why some people have kids--other than being too lazy to use some sort of birth control. They pay no attention to the kids, enforce no behavior patterns, or emphasize appropriateness. Consequently, I feel this is such a huge problem--which turns in to the kids turning to violence, have runaway mouths (if you've ever seen the out of control kids on Jenny Jones, you'll understand what I mean).

Frankly, I think people should be forced to have permits to bear children. I hate the fact that parents basically take their children to public facilities, then turn them loose to do whatever they want--while the parents are ignoring and totally oblivious to what their children are doing. And--heaven forbid you work in one of these places and you happen to say something to that child--oh, say the child is running around with displays that have prongs or things sticking out. What if that child--that a parent is letting run amok--runs in to it---the parent then blames the company and the place for "NOT WATCHING HER CHILDREN!"

Excuse me--did I miss something?

As a customer service representative, it is not my job to watch YOUR children. And--say I did say something to these children--99% of the time, the adult who has politely asked them to stop the behavior that is possibly endangering themselves and/or others, you receive anymore, nothing but back talk with a possibility of some obsene gesture.

Then again, what do you expect with society the way it is today.

First of all, parents cannot discipline their children--or won't. When I was a kid--and mind you, it wasn't that far back, I didn't do (or even entertain the thought) of doing what children get away with today: running around in public places with no supervision, jumping in chairs/booths at resteraunts, peeking in bathroom stalls, throwing temper-tantrums.

Though heaven forbid (after you've told this child no a few thousand times) you give a kid a swat on the posterior (and yes--there is a difference between beating the living shit out of a kid and applying a swat to get a point across--there is a difference between abuse and discipline--look it up sometime). So that is out--and that goes for in your home too, since kids now think it is okay to turn a parent in for abuse whenever they think they can. (And you know that old argument that "being spanked leads to bad behavior?" I was spanked many times--and I know I deserved it--and I do not committ crimes. The sad fact is--that this is just an excuse. You aren't traumatized because your parents gave you a swat for eating bleach).

So that leaves very few options to take care of the kids: one is the counting method. Parents, you read this--DON'T DO IT. Why? Because 98% of the time, the kid will push you to see if you really will do anything when you hit 3, and that 98% of the time, the parent doesn't follow through with the threatened punishment.

That leaves restriction (or grounding). Yeah...confine the kids to their rooms, where a kid usually has a game system, game boy, stereo, telephone, computer--you name it, the kid has it--so where't he punishment?

Frankly, if parents were more involved with their kids--teaching them...yes, that's right TEACHING THEM what is right and wrong, there would be better people. Plopping kids in front of a TV to babysit them, or putting them on some sort of medication isn't always the answer--parents need to get off their own butts and pay attention. Just like that woman in the laundry mat--if she'd been paying attention, then the little devil wouldn't have been climbing on the counter, swinging on the hanger bar and changing the settings on my washer.

I have this to say: if you have kids, spend time with them, teach them right from wrong, point out and explain why behavior is unacceptable and then spend some time with them. Then, you'll know if something is bugging them.

Which brings me to the closure of this: when I told a friend about this little incident over the weekend--and how I basically wanted to shove the kid in a washer, a friend said, (something to point of) "you play two mothers in RPG and its ironic you would say such a thing" (something like that). That isn't the point--

At this point--I would like to have kids, but it isn't a priority and I refuse to do it on my own. But I know if I had them--I probably would instill what I was taught. Too much emphasis is put on not doing what your own parents did: maybe. I know there were some things mine did I wouldn't want to repeat, but if you keep that in mind, you won't. It shouldn't be a factor is what and how a child is raised. Frankly, those who shy away from parental responsibility don't really see that they can stop or start something--good or bad by way of example. You don't have to be your parents to raise a child--you just need to be able to be open, thoughtful and understanding. You need to make the barriers, reinforce them, and be wise enough to not make your children into carbon copies of yourself.