It was just Saturday evening that I was with my very own mother. We were on the escalator traveling upstairs from the lower level of Fairway to the street. Half way upstairs, we heard shrill screams and the sound of slamming footsteps on the tile. Ok, think fast. Kidnappers? Terrorists? Nope. Just your average run of the mill irresponsible parenting.
What did we see? At the top of the escalator which travels down, there were two kids that were no older than seven years old. What were they doing? They were sliding their fingers into the crevice at the top. Yes, that is correct. This is the same orifice in which the metal stairs slide into so they can continue going around. Well isn't that dangerous, especially in such a high traffic area in Manhattan? Yes it is. No need for alarm. The mother is only two steps behind.
The offspring removed their tiny fingers just in time to not be caught by the metal teeth. Next move was obviously running backwards towards the exit door and into the NYC street. This was a two-way road which means that it is always busy. The mother was chatting on her cell phone watching, emotionless. Once the kids were almost hit by moving cars, and a bus, their mother started yelling at them. Um lady, they are like 5. It is your job to protect them. There are two wonderful solutions for unruly kids, leave them home or leash them. This is for their safety and that of innocent bystanders as well.
True story. Unfortunately. When a baby is delivered, the parents need to get an email, or at least a text, about the end of the "being able to just exist routine" because it is apparent that this information is not doled out in the delivery room. To clarify, once someone becomes a parent, the ability to just be present is cut simultaneously with the umbilical cord. The motivation behind the lack of child monitoring (by the actual parents, not other bar patrons) is bewildering at the least. Why is it that kids do everything in their power to annoy each being around them, while their parents have headphones on watching DVDs from the portable players they removed from their mini-vans?
Adhering to the "it takes a village" adage way too literally is the only conceivable cause for what will now be referred to as "The Unruly Child Pandemic of the 2010's". Even if a village is the best child rearing option, the village in a NYC subway, park, bus, elevator (insert other location here) is one to always pass on. If I know that, then I'm really not sure who wouldn't, especially when my lifestyle choices are exposed. I have no kids. I refuse to have house plant since I want no additional responsibility. Should you need a memo defining which villages to stay away from, the only suitable solution consists of stripping your parenting rights away thus giving your offspring fighting chance.
Though the absolute reason why parents have no qualms about leaving little Sally with the homeless man on 61st street still fall into the mystery category, it is time to use the village method to school the unfit parents. Yes, this does go to show the benefits of the village approach, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Since it's morally wrong to discipline someone's kid (and probably illegal in some states), in no way will the children be acknowledged, and this is purely for the parents. And entertainment purposes obviously.
Behavior #1 The dreaded transportation howl
If there is a human left on the planet who has yet to be subjected to this one, pure unadulterated luck (guardian angel or a magic fairy) is the only apposite explanation. It runs out. Pay attention. The transportation howl is known worldwide and quite possibly the most maddening of the boisterous behaviors. For this horrible occurrence takes place only while in transport, thus rendering the spectator (s) trapped. The TH is not limited to screaming and crying. This encompasses singing, kicking, loud talking, and anything else the onlooker decides is annoying at that moment. Parents were once childless, so again, the mystery surrounding the disregard this act is perplexing. Is part of the memory also snipped with the cord? Is there information people aren't privy to prior to childbirth? Someone needs to pass out a handbook so everyone is on the same page moving forward.
Solution? Well there is only one. This needs to be followed to the t for it to work. Walk up to the offending parent (just be sure it's a safe time to move- disregard if the situation needs immediate attention) and child. Look the caregiver directly in the eyes and start screaming. Not only will this shut the kid up, it will provide entertainment for fellow travelers who are surely as shaken by the howl and in need of some light distractions. The bonuses are easy to point out, but the main objective is to shock the breeder in such a way that their child will either sit in silence on all future excursions or that said parent will get a gar/ RV/ whatever.
Behavior #2 The belligerent question asking
Belligerent Question Asking refers to the act of a child interrogating a neighboring adult with queries are either inappropriate (why are you so fat), annoying (why is the sky blue), and the worst of the trio, the stand alone why (repeating why after everything). This can involve a child you know or a stranger. Hopefully parents will restrain their little ones from talking to outsiders; then again, hopefully the recession will end. Though this is not as dire as the TH, it does get out of hand quickly, and should be shut down right after the 1st inquiry.
There is one preferred approach that will always work. Once the behavior has been identified as being aggravating, tell the kid the worst fact that comes to mind. The fact should be something along the no Santa lines. Since the goal is to punish the parent, a screaming child and the sudden demand to explain something (interact) to their offspring is no longer avoidable (unlike when victim was subjected) to their child's BQA. Since it's the victims call on what happens to be bothersome, thus rendering no question safe, this solution should curb the BQA almost immediately. Once the parent understands that concept, they will unquestionably sequester their kids.
Behavior #3 The cleanliness deficit
Kids touch everything. Although it is not certain if their hands are dirty prior to the touching or a result of the touching. Regardless, nothing is safe when sticky fingers reach out. This is the most spontaneous and has the largest range of damage of the horrid trio. It is never known how gross the child is or how delicate the surface they choose to have a hands on interaction with will be. The performance of TCD seems like the lesser evil, but it is not. Rather than letting something you cherish get destroyed, be aware of TCD and shut it down prior to contact.
Since this is already the third example, surely the resolution will be of no surprise. Should a kid walk over to personal possessions, scream and jump up and down. Why? Because this makes someone look completely insane. No one, not even a toddler, wants to interact with a nut case. In addition to looking crazy, the sudden noises and movement will garner the parent's attention and cause them to protect (if not, call child services) their offspring from the insane.
All three deferment tactics were tested and proven to work on friends and strangers alike. Unfortunately these are not the only methods used by individuals under the age of 18 to derail someone's day. However, with a little thought and critical thinking skills, every other display of irritation will fall under those main categories. If action takes place immediately, the childless have a chance at conditioning parents nationwide. Stay Strong. Good Luck.