Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Lounge Vignette: Brat Alert

We just finished breakfast in the hotel lounge. We sat next to a couple with a boy about four years old.

The kid engaged in the worst behavior we can ever recall in a hotel lounge. His father had apparently removed him and brought him back in just as we arrived because he marched up to his mother and said loudly "I don't like you."

When he wanted food, he yelled for it. He wanted to try his mother's coffee and yelled repeatedly until the father told her to let him try it. He yelled again because she had already taken a sip out of it. We never heard a single "please" or "thank you." His outbursts were almost deafening in the fairly small room.

The lad looked at Kathy, who shot a stern teacher-look at him, so he yelled at her. The parents never noticed. At another point he was trying to cut his placemat with the butter knife and asked his mother why it wouldn't cut. She helpfully advised him he would need scissors to do that.
 
As we left, the father was getting advice from the concierge about the local aquarium, and the boy was crouched under one of the stools at the counter, enthusiastically trying to tip it over. It almost hit the floor before his mother pulled it back up and held on. He did manage to grab hold of her shawl and it ended up twisted around her legs. She seemed to think it was funny.

We've seen it all before, of course, and many decades ago figured out why some children in our schools and classes act like they do.

Strange as it seems, it also reminded us that we have a terrific bunch of grandchildren and would take any of them anywhere with confidence and pride. They would have been more shocked than we were at this little boy's behavior.

His parents seemed almost completely oblivious. We predict an, ah, interesting 10-15 years for them and their son. 

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