The only thing more annoying than eating with a family that has rude children, is being the family with the rude kids. It happened to me only once, but it was traumatic enough for me to solemnly swear, "Never again!"
Humiliation is Served
By now beads of perspiration spotted my brow. The dinner conversation was taking its toll. "Audrey, please stop yelling at the table... Audrey, please sit up... For goodness sake, take smaller bites... You are talking with your mouth full again... Didn't I say stop yelling?... Hey, get out from under the table... Put that dessert back until you finish your meal...Did you just spit your food out on the table?... How about saying please first...Stop reaching, you're going to spill your... Great, you spilled your milk all over the table... It is not funny, Audrey!"
I could feel the judgmental glare from the other guests piercing me and I could hear their disgruntled thoughts. Half were thinking, "Geez, lay off. She is just a kid and you sound like a broken record," while the other half thought, "For crying out loud, why don't you spank that little monster." I imagined the two groups both thought, "What a bad parent and what a miserable dinner party!" The pressure was taking its toll. I just wanted dinner to be over so I could hide myself.
Finally, it all came to a head. My lovely daughter was yelling down the table for the umpteenth time. By now everyone, including me, was sick of hearing my voice. So, I decided to causally remind her to quiet down by tapping her leg under the table. I stretched out my foot and gave a light tap. She didn't even blink – to excited to feel the nudge. I stretched out again and kicked slightly harder. Nothing. I was determined to secretly get her attention, so I slid down in my seat giving myself enough reach to give her a good solid kick. Unfortunately, the kick was very solid, a little too solid. Audrey gasped, her eyes welded up with tears. I held my breath. Then the flood gates burst open and she started to wail, "Mommy kicked me! Why did Mommy kick me?" She was inconsolable and I was utterly humiliated, so I threw in the towel. I smiled politely and excused myself. On the way out, in a last ditch effort to save face, I made a classic parental excuse for my child's poor behavior. Looking very puzzled I claimed, "I don't understand. She never acts this way – she is probably just overly tired. She hasn't had a nap today." Then I tucked my tail and left.
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