Dear Older Women in the Booth Near My Table,
I heard your bitchy comment, "I don't want to listen to THAT baby cry through lunch." We hadn't been in the restaurant 3 minutes, near the table for more than a minute. I was getting him into his high chair when I overheard you say it.
Yes. It's true. Little Man was indeed crying. But he wasn't crying his foolhead off like he can, especially when strapped into his car seat against his will.
In fact, it was his Carseat Caterwaul that prompted me to stop at BJs. We had just been to the pediatrician where he got two shots and had to wait 90+ minutes in a waiting room, 45 of those sitting in just his diaper. When I got him to the car, he was cooked and starved. Instead of driving 30 minutes home, I decided to take advantage of BJs $5.95 lunch deals.
It was only 11:30. The restaurant was empty except for 3 other tables.
Little Man didn't want to go into his high seat. So he squalled, momentarily, and that was it.
But I heard your pseudo sotto-voce about not wanting to listen to my baby cry. You didn't even give him a chance. I hadn't seen your face yet, but I heard the snark and I thought, "You are extremely rude."
Then I saw that you and your companion were older than my mother and I was surprised. Usually such cattiness is the domain of the young childless people, not those who have Been There and Done That.
Listen. I don't understand the us vs. them mentality some parents or non-parents have. I just don't get it. There are advantages to having kids (the occasional business place excuse, getting on the airplane first to score overhead storage) and advantages to being childless (pretty much everything else, though I will say the childless get screwed in the workplace because there is always some leeway given to those with children). But it's people like you who set up that dichotomy between the withs-children and the withouts, for no apparent reason. There was no reason that you, another patron, should make me feel unwelcome in a restaurant.
And you know what, I don't want to listen to Little Man cry through lunch either. I never do. Nor did I want to watch your dessicated self gnaw through your sandwich. Nor did I want to listen to your inane chatter about the McCain fundraiser you are attending. I think that's actually more dissonant and jarring then a baby crying.
The truth is he fussed upon going into the high chair and cried when I scalded his mouth with overly hot clam chowder in an effort to keep him munching and quiet so as not to disturb YOUR meal. I shouldn't have stopped. I should have just gone home. But I know that I tip better than your meager $2 and I'm less demanding to the waitstaff. I think you're a bitter old bat and it was all I could take not to spit on you when I walked out.
I hope that the next time you try to take your grandkids out, that they act like hellions. Because, old lady, that's what you deserve.