16 October 2009

Time for another "Parents, What Say You?"

Ok, suppose this is the case: you are in a diner with your two darling children, both under the age of four. On the shelf next to the table is one of those evil animatronic plus animals from Hallmark that sings and dances when you push its paw.

The diner is crowded. The tables are close together. The animatronic animal sings "Who Let the Dogs Out."

How many times do you let your kids push the dog's paw?

Zero, because you hate seeing children happy
Zero, because once you start that shit, it never stops
Once, to satisfy their curiosity
3-6, or until you are ready to lose your mind
Until another customer threatens you with bodily harm
Unlimited times, because your children are precious snowflakes who can do no harm and why do people try to quash the joy of little children?

(I had a poll up but it didn't work right, so hit me in the comments section).


CharmingDriver said...

Ack am pretty sure I hit the wrong choice trying to close a pop up ad. I voted before I read the post, ha!

I would let the boys (3 & 6) do it once if they were interested in it but over & over & over? Not a chance. I am the enemy of fun and happily overindulged children.

Loralee Choate said...


Not even once.

It is rude for the other diners,and I made a rule my kids don't ever touch displays as 90% are NOT kid friendly.

Anonymous said...

Once to satisfy their curiosity. Over and over would drive me crazy, especially cause of the song.

Count Mockula said...

I'd probably not let her touch it.

On a related note, my phone's ring tone (it's usually on silent, by the way) is obnoxious, high-pitched, unintelligible Japanese pop. I was at a craft store the other day and kept thinking my phone was going off. It was actually one of those dolls singing "Who let the dogs out." I had to go investigate to figure it out, though.

Jess said...

If it was on a low shelf just BEGGING to be touched? Once each.

Then we're done. I would LOVE it to be once only, but they'd both want to work it.....sigh.

Peeved Michelle said...

Never for as long as I am alive.

Working Girl said...

I would use it as a reward - good behavior during the meal? One time each at the end of the meal.

mimbles said...

I would only notice it was there after one of the kids had set it off, because I am observant like that. And then I would threaten dire consequences if they did it again but eventually allow them to set if off one more time just before we left.

I have a very low tolerance for irritating noises.

jonniker said...

I like the idea of letting them hit it once at the end of the meal if the kids were good. But I KNOW parents who would let them hit it over and over and over again, because to them, that's better than hearing their kids whine. I don't understand this logic.

ptooie said...

I would aim for NEVER but would compromise with once per child because most days I just can't take the full-out double whining/fussing. One rendition, however horrible, from a stuffed critter I could probably survive, and if it's creepy enough my kids wouldn't want to do it again.

Jessica said...

Um, what was the diner thinking? It's obnoxious to even have that available for touching, because you know that some parents are going to let snowflakes 1 and 2 play with it ceaselessly. My husband tends to lean that way with his children, and I do not (which just makes me Evil Step Mommy).

Anyway, I'm leaning towards never, because really? not a fan of letting children do whatever the hell they want all the time, but I can just see my husband rolling his eyes and saying I'm mean, so probably once as a reward for good behavior (and I have to say, we took R and Z, twins age 4, out to breakfast last weekend, and they were awesome. So I bought them ice cream. At 9 am. Cuz that's how I roll.)

Mir said...

Once each. That's it.

Not sure you'd need to threaten anyone with bodily harm, though. I'd just lean over and say, "I let the dog outs. They're gone now." and take the damn thing up to the cash register and let the folks in charge know that they forgot to take the batteries out. ;)

Mignon said...

I was going to say none, but my kids are old enough to enforce that. Under four years? I'd remove the toy before it became a problem, because children that small often have impulse control issues.

I'm guessing the parents thought a melt-down would ensue if they took the toy away or made the children stop. So they not only have little respect for the people around them, they can't or won't discipline their children appropriately.

Adrienne said...

I would put the toy in an unseeable place and would then remove the batteries, so it would be rendered useless by all.

And possibly if no one was looking for long enough I would wring it's little neck.

I hate animatronic singing plush crap

Stillie said...

As a non-parent and general kid-hater, I would say that once each would be acceptable, 3 in total would be my cutoff, and any more than that would get a comment.

I used to work in a store with these flowerpots that had singing and dancing flowers in them. I merchandised them where they were all above eye-level even for an adult - on purpose. HATEHATEHATE those types of things!

Except for Billy Bass. That was so white-trash redneck that it was actually cool.

SUEB0B said...

I have no idea why the restaurant put it where children can reach, unless they are truly demented.

Interestingly enough, the mom seemed honestly amused by it - over and over and over and over - when she wasn't busy texting.

Dani - I won one last year and gave it to my mom and dad. Lisa came over with the boys and they LOVED it, so Great-Grandma gave it to them to take home. Made me wonder how much she likes Lisa & Sam LOL.

Jessica said...

OMG! I so called it!

Today we were at the grocery store, and Dan comes rolling up with the kids in one of those car-cart things and they are SCREAMING at the top of their lungs - and he's encouraging it. I said "OK! Enough!" and he got pissed with me. Said they were "just having fun" with absolutely ZERO regard for anyone else who may have to listen to it. He has NO UNDERSTANDING that he's INSIDE a public place, and not everyone in the world just loves the sound of small children SCREAMING - including me (I think the thing that bothers me most about kids is the NOISE - my nerves give me a low threshold for noise). We actually had a fight about it.

I love my husband dearly, but we're on totally different planets intellectually. Most of the time that's not a problem (I married him for his looks, not his brains - LOL!) but sometimes the result of his "typical" upbringing drives me batty.

super des said...

Once to satisfy their curiousity. My children will be smart enough to know when things are annoying.

Plus, I'll beat them.

(kidding of course. Kinda)

Anonymous said...

Just a side note to all this touching of a object in a public place... you do know that kids do not wash their hands. I work in an elementary school and the cleanest thing there are the bathroom sinks - rarely used. That "flu bug" your kid suddenly came down with is from unwashed hands.
Yep, you guessed it - not even once is my vote.

Skye @ Planet Jinxatron said...

You didn't have an option for "Zero, and take it outside and throw it in the dumpster" so I didn't vote.

Unknown said...

Never, because if every parent let their stupid kid press it one time, it would probably be going off constantly, right?

Anonymous said...

I'd allow once, to allow for curiosity. But it would be the rule that it would be allowed once. and only ONCE. Why? Because that's the rule, we can only push it once.

OH. I just read the rest of the comments. I like Working Girl's solution.

mystic_eye_cda said...

If they put it where kids can see and touch it clearly they want it set off all the time -I mean its a diner, that's practically the definition of "family friendly restaurant (excluding places with you know "play areas" we all know which food place I'm talking about)

So I'd like to say "just once, each, when the meal is done" but in fact it would probably be once each when they noticed it. Once each if the meal took too long (unlikely at a diner, but you never know) and I'd probably say they could do it once more each when we were leaving but I'd hope they'd forget.

Now if we were "alone" in the restaurant then I might just let them keep hitting it as long as it wasn't bugging me. Because if you work there and it bugs you and aren't smart enough to put one of the batteries the wrong way or to otherwise sabotage it then it sucks to be you!

I've worked a lot of retail, which I grant isn't waitering and frankly I do NOT drink the koolaid. I will NOT ask 7+ questions while ringing something in (I swear to god it was SEVEN they wanted us to ask, membership card for the store, membership to the mall, air miles, mailing list, etc, etc). I'm not doing it -fire me or don't. I give great customer service, I've gotten gifts, I had the owner of one store who "hates" all staff fawn over me, etc. But I will not do what I know customers will hate nor drive myself insane (Yes I will keep the karaoke machine running all day, no I won't play songs that drive me insane nor do I leave the microphone attached. I will give it to anyone that asks.)

mayberry said...

mimbles, I think I love you. That is EXACTLY what I would do.

Lynnea said...

Zero because not only would they never want to stop (four year olds are that way), but also because it would be dirty and they would most likely start fighting over it in their current phase.

More rationally, still zero. Eating in a restaurant is a great time to teach manners and we don't touch things that aren't ours.

Suzanne said...

My faith in other people is restored. :)

cakeburnette said...

I have to agree with Anonymous--I would go with NONE because who knows what kind of nasty germs would be on it. And if anyone touched it BEFORE I noticed it, I keep hand sanitizer in my purse plus I would probably send them to the restroom to wash with real soap. Ick.

Karen Bodkin said...

Zero. For I am Bitchy Mom!

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