Friday, August 26, 2011

Seen and not heard?

I read a comment on facebook from an acquaintance the other day. She was complaining in rather colourful language that she was in a first class airline lounge and there was a small child dancing around, disturbing the peace, while she was trying to relax and enjoy her French champers.
6 years ago, I would have been right there bitching with her. How DARE people take their child into such an environment, then refuse to control the child! Now I have a child of my own, I am completely aware that it is NOT always possible to make a child sit down and shut up. Not for lack of quiet, shhhhhh, and for the love of god would you please stop making noise are on constant rotation. I'm fully aware of trying not to disturb people, particularly if we are in a more adult environment, but it isn't as easy as those without children - or those with less spirited children - think it is.

Yesterday I had to take Miss TikiBoo to the GP. We were 10 minutes early, and were told there were a couple of patients before us. After 15 minutes of trying to sit quietly, or read the broken books with missing pages, she was starting to get bored. Knowing we had at least another 20 minutes waiting time, I gave her my iPhone to play with. Cue raised eyebrows from a few older patients. Huh. Sometimes the only thing that gives a parent 10 minutes of quiet, is to plug their child into an electronic device, thereby exposing ourselves to more judgement over parenting skills. And, what's the alternative? A smack? Threats? She tries hard, but she just finds it incredibly challenging to sit still and do nothing.

So, seriously, if you see a small child sitting quietly with an iPhone/Pad/Pod in a nice restaurant or airline lounge while the (probably exhausted) parents appear to be ignoring the child, do NOT tut or pass judgement, consider the alternative - that said parents take electronic device and put headphones on to drown out sound of the child - be happy that you can drink your wine in peace!

Have your children ever 'disturbed the peace'? Or has yours been rudely interrupted? Should children be seen and not heard?

(Image of Miss TikiBoo, June 2010)


  1. You sure do raise some good points. I never had problems with my daughter, Maddy. From the minute she was born she was quiet, kept herself amused and she was 9and still is!) so easy to look after. Three years later and Big Al arrived and boy, did he let us know he was around! He is still loud, fidgety and needs to be doing something all of the time. We bought him a Nintendo DS for those moments when we need peace and quiet. He doesn't have access to it all the time as I "Look after it" but I will always be grateful that I purchased it, especially one evening when we were stuck in Chicago airport due to a snow storm for 6 hours! Used in moderation and with supervision these kinds of distractions are a must!

    Best wishes and thanks for a great post!

  2. Helo Kathryn

    Well said!

    Ditto, Ditto, Ditto


  3. Ugh, totally get where you are coming from with the iPhone.

    I have no problem giving my phone to my daughter to play with when we are waiting somewhere that requires sitting and being quiet, but my goodness, the looks you get! Can't win it seems, because if kids were jumping around or having a tantrum then you still get the judgemental stares *sigh*

  4. I've been on both sides of the situation here. My son was one of those children who always kicked up a ruckus everywhere we went. And I have also been the one who'se peace was shattered by a child throwing a tantrum.
    In most cases, I feel sorry for the parent because I still remember what it felt like to be in their shoes. Of course it's different if the parent in question is obviously not doing a thing to try to bring the child under control. But, then again, those parents are hardly the type to be upset by judgemental stares. In fact I wonder if they even notice?

  5. I have two " spirited" children and do not go anywhere without copious snacks, books, things to do and where tedious appointments are concerned- electronic devices. I have also worked very hard at not giving a stuff what people who have no idea might be thinking. By the way, love your new house, totally agree about the yellow- that is the interior of my house and be thankful you do not have to look at it while eating breakfast. Also we are practically neighbours- you do know once you arrive in this suburb you will never leave? melx

  6. MY kids are pretty good, but I also think kids should be pretty much everywhere, in public especially.

    Kids can make a waiting room less dull for other people.

    Let them make noise I say.

  7. Well my kidlets are all grown up but I do remember carting snacks, drinks, colouring books, toys etc to keep them amused. I resembled a pack horse.
    Kathryn if iphones had been available 20+ yrs ago then I sure would have allowed my kids to have a play if it kept the peace in a public place.

  8. I gave Charlie my iPhone to play with on a trip to the hospital casualty dept - it was never the same again - he somehow managed to bugger the camera up. BUT it was worth it, just to see him engaged and not bored and not frustrated and to give me two mintutes to grab a breather and a cup of water.

    Electronic devices save my sanity.


  9. I'm glad I'm not the only one with a 'spirited' child! Thanks for the comments everyone.

    Bri - it's true, you can't "win", people are always going to judge. Let them!

    Mel, other than a few years "on the other side", I've lived around this area most of my Brisbane life! We were originally contemplating going slightly east, but my heart (and daughter) said to stay in this area. I'm happy with that decision! (and now trying to figure out where you are!)

  10. oh dear! It was probably my children disturbing the peace in the airline lounge!! I got a few tut tuts from the other passengers. Then I also got tut tuts from them when I set up the ipad for one and the ipod for the other. And this was *before* we boarded the 15 hour flight!!

    Ah well... we paid for the seats so people can deal with it!!


Thank you for taking the time to comment, you just made me smile!

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