Monday, February 23rd, 2009...8:28 am
Willie Wonka And The Bad Baby
It’s about darn time I tackled the subject of bad babies. I mean, I work with the public for a living, for chrissakes. First, let’s be clear: when I say “babies”, I mean someone who is still being parented, be they 2 or 12 or 22 (gross). If their parents are still paying their way, they are babies and there ain’t no two ways about it.
Now, for the first time ever, and with a minimal amount of shame, I share my secret…I LOVE bad babies (betcha didn’t see that one coming). Love ‘em. Why? Because there is a bad baby inside of me and I totally relate. If a kid is in the store, screaming his fool head off for candy, I secretly, subliminally, egg him on. “YES!” my mind cheers, “SCREAM UNTIL YOU GET THAT CANDY!” Does the child’s screaming bother me? Not one bit. In fact, from time to time I will stroll by a precious angel who is having a complete meltdown and say something like, “Go get ‘em, tiger!” If the parent is patient enough to wait out the fit and the child doesn’t get what he wants, I am disappointed. Disproportionately so. Almost as if *I* didn’t get the candy.
Let’s face it, people, the middle of a crowded market is not the best place for you to teach your overindulged child a lesson, anyway. Unless it is his first time out of the house, lessons in proper behavior (what I call “home trainin’”) should have started some time ago and NOT in the candy section that rivals Willie Wonka’s factory. If you haven’t had the “we are just here to get groceries and not treats” talk a hundred times by now, stood by it (the key, really), and made it stick, that’s your mistake. Don’t punish other shoppers and your confused, overstimulated child by deciding you are going to start taking a stand right then and there. Give the baby the candy, make everyone happy, and have a chat when you get home. Besides, when he gets a lollipop bigger ‘n his head, I feel like *I* get a lollipop bigger ‘n *my* head, and that makes me a very happy checkout girl.