Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Children Should Be Seen ...

I love children.  I was one myself once!  I’ve also given birth to a child of my own so, having been one and raised one, I think I’m able to speak with some knowledge on my chosen subject for this week’s blog.

And, yes, it’s a rant.  So if you don’t like ‘Moany Mummy’, or you’re one of those parents who let your kids run free, stop reading now.  You have been warned.

When I was growing up it was a huge treat to eat out or to go to the pub for lemonade and a bag of crisps on a summer’s evening.  But I knew that there was a certain way to behave.  These places were for adults and children who knew the rules.  You sat at your seat, remembered your manners and your parents were proud of you.  If I needed the loo, I didn’t need to announce it to the world.  Similarly, I didn’t need my parents to shout through the vocal equivalent of a loud-hailer, ‘Do you need a poo?’

What has happened to those very simple rules?

Just last week a Yummy Mummy felt it totally necessary to announce to all and sundry in the queue in WH Smiths that little Archie was a bit smelly and needed to get to the coffee shop loo ASAP.  WHY?  Do we really need to know?  Don’t turn and grin at me as if it’s the most important thing I’ll hear all day.  I don’t give a sh…

In a restaurant recently a group of mummies and daddies, clearly set on having their jolly boozy lunch, totally ignored three ‘little darlings’ who decided it might be fun to run amok and then constantly try to distract a business meeting by chucking their toys onto the table.  There was only so long the group could paste tolerating smiles on their faces before the masks started to slip.  I can only imagine where they wanted to shove those toys.

In a pub for Sunday lunch this weekend, a mother totally dominated a main thoroughfare with her baby twins - setting up camp with a blanket, toys, books and chucked clothes.  The bar staff were negotiating the obstacle with plates of hot food.  Not acceptable!  People should not have to be looking out for your kids and then possibly sued if something happened to go wrong.

I can remember, many years ago, finding myself in a heated debate with friends I’d made from my ante-natal group.  Our kids were about four at the time and we decided to head off to the local Pizza Express for a pre-Christmas celebration.  The only table big enough to accommodate our group of mums and kids was upstairs - a spiral wrought iron staircase with marble steps.

Every child on our table was allowed - mid course and even mid eating - to play on that staircase with balloons they’d been given.  Every child, bar mine.

Mean mummy?


My son’s been brought up to know that a restaurant is for eating in and a playground is for playing in.  He had a colouring book, a puzzle and a mother that took the time to see that he wasn’t bored.  What more did he need?  ‘Ah but they’re only having fun’, my co-mothers told me.  Yep!  But in the wrong place.

Kids get bored in pubs and restaurants.  It’s only natural.  They scream, they cry and I totally understand that.  I pity the parents who do all they can to placate a child just to get through a meal (I’ve been there, believe me!) but it doesn’t mean they can just be allowed to do as they please.

Had I been brought up with those rules, I might now find that I chuck myself down in the middle of Sainsbury’s aisles and chuck my arms and legs about just because I can’t cope with another weekly shop.

Hmm … now there’s a thought …

Yummy Mummies drive you nuts?  Then why haven’t you read my books?  On Amazon and at Lulu.


  1. Not mean! I believe in teaching them early, after all its easier than suddenly changing the rules. Plus alot less hassle. Great post x

  2. Not mean at all, and you sound exactly like me! I'm the 'mean mummy' who, if we're going out for a meal in a restaurant/pub/drink in a cafe won't leave the house without a pile of colouring books, pens and reading books.
    As long as they've got something to occupy themselves, they'll sit and colour and behave themselves. :-)
    If teaching them appropriate behaviour is mean, then I'm as mean as they come! :-)
    Save the running about for the playground.

  3. My mother didn't take us out to restauraunts at all until we were old enough to understand how to behave. My son is only 11 months so table manners are not his strong point but I intend to be a 'mean mummy' and teach him a time and a place for running around.