Stop Sucking at Parenting, Dinnertime Parents

Welcome to Alice Column, in which Alice Laussade writes stories about things on (roughly) the same day of (roughly) every week, making it (roughly) a column. Got an idea for a column? Start your own blog and write it up, you lazy shit.

You decide to go to Cane Rosso at White Rock Lake for a nice pizza dinner. You don't bring your kids because you don't feel like spelling the bad words you plan on saying. You are excited to sit on the patio on this beautiful evening. That's when you see it: a ton of kids running around and turning what should be a serene patio into a shit show.

One kid throws a piece of gravel from the gravelscape at his kid friend. Kid No. 2 does what instinct tells him to: He throws a larger amount of gravel at Kid No. 1, with more force.

A nearby stranger sees your look of shock and tells you, "This actually isn't that bad. One time, I saw a kid throw a rock right at a patron's face."

Somewhere, Super Nanny is throwing up and convulsing and she doesn't know why.

"Did these children walk themselves here?" you wonder. Surely the parents of these children are not here. Because parents are awesome. Parents are supreme regulators. They are the ultimate wild-animal handlers.

A father lifts his diapered daughter out of the water feature for the third time. "WHAT THE HELL, NOW I HAVE DIAPER POOP GERMS IN ME!" the soon-to-be-removed water feature bitches.

You've got kids. You know kids can be assholes. Sometimes this stuff happens. What's missing in these parents, though, worries you: They're not embarrassed. They're not upset with their children. They're not immediately stopping the awful behavior and then removing themselves and their kids from the public.

They shrug their shoulders and throw their hands in the air. "Kids will be kids," they say. And you think, "I was a kid. My ass never left the seat at restaurants, because it was time for dinner, not a track meet."

Maybe these parents are simply too tired to stop their kids from wrecking things. Parenting can be tiring. To these people, you offer what must be new information: There are people you can pay who will watch your children while you go out to dinner, if you're too tired to watch your children at dinner.

Are baby sitters too expensive? OK. Consider these options as spaces where your child can get dinner and also appropriately run around like crazy: Chuck E. Cheese. Klyde Warren Park. Your Own Backyard.

If you're too tired to parent your kids, you're too tired to go out to dinner with them at a restaurant.

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