Can We Go Yet?
Over the past few months I've gone to a bunch of places. Shows, expos, events, porn demonstrations, you know the sort. It never fails that during my visit there, somebody will have brought a small child. This should not be allowed.
Wow, that was a shorter introductory paragraph than usual. Anyway, don't get me wrong here: I don't have anything against most children, and this is not about how children should be kept at home where the only people they can bother are their parents and the cat (invariably named "Muffin"). No, this is about the parents who drag these kids out wherever they go.
"But Chris," I hear you cry, "what's wrong with bringing little Chucky to the travel show? Or the opera, or the auto show?" I think I can accurately answer this with some simple questions: when's the last time little Chucky asked to go see Deflatermouse? When's the last time he compared the horsepower to drag ratios of a Bugatti Veyron and a Lotus Elise? Do you think he would appreciate the video to the right?
The simple fact is your small child doesn't give a damn about whatever adult event you're taking them to, and they are going to be bored out of their fucking minds while they're there. They don't want to spend 3 hours walking up and down aisles tasting food from different countries, and even if they did want to do that there's no way they'd appreciate it the way it deserves to be appreciated. They don't want to be cooped up inside wandering around being bored, they want to be outside running around with their friends or riding their bicycles.
The obvious question, then, is this: why bring them in the first place? As a parent you must know your kid has no interest in going there, so why drag them along? Assuming they are in fact smart enough to know better, I think there can only be one answer: laziness.
I know that's coming a little from left field, but hear me out here. How hard is it to hire a babysitter? It's not like you woke up that morning and decided "you know what? I feel like spending seven hours looking at cars today," you've known for weeks, possibly even months that you were going to go wherever you're going. That's tons of time to find a babysitter, even if their name is Mom.
So what happens instead? The kid tags along because he (for ease of writing) has to, and starts trying to entertain himself. He wanders off, runs places randomly, pokes people, touches things... the end result of all this is that the parents get frustrated, and everyone else gets pissed off at them. Nobody blames the kid; he's just doing what kids do. This is the parents' fault for a) bringing the kid along where he has no interest in being, and b) not teaching the kid how to behave in public.
Even worse are the parents who bring a child requiring a stroller. Not only does the kid not have any appreciation for what they're seeing, but they literally won't remember a damn thing about the day. Meanwhile, the stroller has that person taking up at least 3x as much space as they should be using, meaning there's less room for the rest of us who are actually mildly considerate.
Even worse than that are the parents who bring an empty stroller places so they have a place to put their free handouts without having to carry them, but this article isn't about them; just tip over the stroller and run away giggling, and eventually they may get the point.
So what's the solution here? Get a babysitter, or stay home. It really doesn't get any simpler than that. If you want to go somewhere your kid doesn't care about being, get a babysitter. If you can't get a babysitter, keep your ass at home. As a parent, it is your job to suffer for your children, not the other way around. If they don't want to go, and they won't appreciate being there anyway, they should not be there. It just brings down the experience for the rest of us.