Last night my parents and I went to a nice Italian restaurant downtown. Not super-duper fancy, but nice (and purveyors of one badass artichoke & 3 cheese pizza).
I think I’ve made it clear in my short time on the SDMB that I am not a fan of kids. I am especially not fond of kids in restaurants. However, I make exceptions for kids that do what they should, which is be seen and not heard.
Imagine my chagrin as, just as my lasagna arrives, a young couple with two small children are seated directly next to us. I cast a few glances their way as I dig in to my pasta to gauge exactly how bad this will be.
Uh oh. Toddler girl…two-ish. Big watery eyes and she keeps trying to jam her pink little fist all the way in her mouth. I am disheartened. My eyes then fall upon the infant of indeterminate sex. Wide awake and very curious. I think maybe this one is not so bad. The infant is, in fact, rather…ahem…cute.
All this to say that the children behaved themselves quite well. No crying, no outbursts, no fussing. Halfway through my excellent lasagna I grudgingly admit that these kids are okay.
The odd thing is that Mom and Dad kept the kids in their laps the whole time. The infant wasn’t fussy at all, didn’t seem disturbed about its surroundings. But Mom ate with this rather large baby on her knee the whole time.
I think ‘Okay. New baby, maybe it’s a post-partum thing. Maybe she can’t stand to have the little bastard out of arm’s length. Odd, but not creepy.’
But then Dad makes the little get into his lap. Little Curly Sue there didn’t demand it or seem to care either way. Apparently both of these young, obviously well-off people (I sure couldn’t afford to go there on my own…nor could my parents at their age have afforded it either) feel it’s necessary to keep their children in their laps, even in public.
This struck me as a little eccentric and very, very needy. There is no way in hell that my parents would have held me in their lap while eating. And there’s no way that I’ll ever try to keep a two year old in mine while trying to eat piping hot pizza.
Of course, maybe I’m the clueless one and this isn’t all that odd or needy. Perhaps, as I wasn’t coddled much as a kid, it just seems needy to me. Perhaps it seems odd because I can remember that I would not want to be held at all in such a situation. I’d be squirming to get away into my own damn chair. I still think it’s weird.