I’ve been trying to be more understanding about children in coffee shops lately. Really, I have. I know it’s unhealthy to sit around thinking so many homicidal thoughts, and for all I know, they’re living with a grandmother afflicted by Alzheimer’s as well. Maybe they have work to do: coloring books to fill, patrons to terrorize, germs to spread, etc. Maybe the coffee shop is their refuge, you know: for those times when story hour at the library gets too stressful. Technically speaking, they’re paying customers— they have every right to be here—but today’s adventure truly takes the cake.
I’m sitting at my laptop minding my own business when I hear the mother say to her adult companion, “Hang on a sec, I hear her trying to open the door.”
She’s referring, of course, to her daughter—the very same child who I first encountered a few weeks ago when she was twirling around the railing on the steps into the coffee shop with nary a chaperone in sight. She later threw a fit when her mother “ruined” her bagel by removing some of the cream cheese and this time she’s locked herself in the bathroom on the opposite end of the coffee shop.
The mother gets up and heads down to the bathroom. She rescues her daughter but doesn’t bother to ensure that her daughter has completed the normal post-bathroom rituals of… you know… flushing the f*cking toilet or throwing away the wad of paper towels she’s used to dry her hands.
I know this because I have to go the bathroom now, and I’m greeted by the site of wet toilet paper, wet paper towels and—this is the best part—a bowl full of someone else’s excrement.
As I flush the toilet, I start fuming.
And I start designing a new t-shirt in my head… something along the lines of “If you’re too young to flush your own sh*t, YOU DON’T BELONG IN A COFFEE SHOP!”
(Followed by “If you’re too irresponsible to ensure that your offspring has flushed his or her sh*t, YOU SHOULDN’T BE A PARENT!”
And we’re not even done yet.
Little-Miss-Junior-Frappucino is wearing slip-on high heels. With feathers. The kind that strippers and Victoria’s Secret models wear. And as if that isn’t bad enough, she is goose-stepping around the coffee shop slapping her stupid heels against the hardwood floor and her mother isn’t saying a DAMN THING!
Now I’m all about shoes that make noise, in fact I’ve spent about $800 on tap shoes over the past year or so, but percussive dance has a time and place and that place is NOT the coffee shop.
I think I’m going to try a new approach. I think I’m going to start carrying around brochures for the children’s tap class I teach around the corner. And I’m going to start giving them out with polite suggestions that TAP CLASSES comprise a more appropriate form of amusement for children than COFFEE SHOPS.
It’s either that or a license to carry fire arms…
And believe it or not, this story still isn’t even finished.