Monday, June 15, 2009

Howler Monkies should be sedated

Oh the hazards of the 10AM ferry. In exchange for a nominal amount of extra sleep, I endure tables filled with teens playing cards, loud out-of-state vacationing talkers and sticky, howling children. Children who buy all the good donuts as soon as they get on board, whine about having to go to the bathroom, and narrate everything around them.

“Look! He has a hat!”
“Yes, dear. What color is the hat?”
“Blue! He has a blue hat!”

Lovely. On good days, the parents realize that it’s a two-deck boat, and they take the child upstairs. On bad days, the child is indulged, ceaselessly, so much that you want to shout out.

“Didn’t you learn anything about the effects of unrealistic expectations from the last meltdown of Britney Spears?”

Apparently not. Instead these parents allow their children’s outrageous behavior to escalate while everyone else on board suffers and considers using their cell phone to take video to send to the Super Nanny.

One of the benefits of being the mother of children is the justification I feel when casting annoyed, dirty looks, devoid of empathy or understanding toward parents who lack the courtesy of drugging their children if they can’t be controlled, before stepping onto a boat or a plane. I’m serious. When my kids were of howling age we use to fly a lot between SFO and St. Louis. I was a young mother with two boys. And, as I would board the plane, I could see terror in the face of every business traveler in coach, each of them making pacts with the devil or god so we wouldn’t sit near them. We would worked our way down the isle scanning for our seats, and I’d joke along the way, “Hi! It’s us, you’re worst nightmare!”

Once we sat, usually to the disdain of those sitting closest, I’d say, “Don’t worry. They’re drugged.” This line never quite got the reaction I was going for on the St. Louis side. Usually it was a look of astonished alarm. I mean it wasn’t like I was giving them Quaaludes…just a proper dose of Benadryl. It’s a trick I learned from a pharmacist when I was in the Army. I call it being considerate.

Sadly this wisdom is lost on some. I’ve tried to suggest the sedative method whenever I encounter a parent whose child screeches like a howler monkey, but they always look at me like I’m some sort of monster. So, I decided to just keep my suggestions to myself and cast dirty looks instead.

No comments: