Children Should Be Seen and Not Heard
Why would you bring your children to a small café on a rainy day? That’s more of a statement than a question because in truth I already know the answer: because you’re a monster. Let me paint you an accurate picture of children in a rainy day café:
The fever begins out in the street; people are driving like maniacs, birds are spinning in the sky, pedestrians are scurrying over and around puddles, blinded by their own umbrellas, zigzagging across busy streets and bumping into each other. If it was sunny, these people would be normal, but give them anything more than a drizzle/ frisky wind and they’re in pieces. Let’s move these weather-confused wankers into an enclosed space and hype them up on caffeine:
Pushing and shoving hasn’t been so fierce since the last witch hunt, and customers hover like starving seagulls at any soon-to-be-available seat, people are in the way wherever they are, and staff have a panic-stricken gleam to their miserable faces. Imagine now, the high-pitched squeal of a small overexcited child piercing through the restaurant not unlike a boot through a pane of glass, and said child streaking through the adult legs bumping tables and knocking nannas and probably spilling someone’s delicious java. Heads turn, frowns and glares cut through faces, and somewhere, bringing up the rear of this short and damaging journey is a warmly smiling parent, cooing, ‘Slow down Jesamina! <to everyone else> She loves the café/ haha, kids/ should have given her decaf…’
DIE!!!!!!!!!!! A destructive child in a busy café is like a shit at the bottom of a hot chocolate – completely unwelcome and leaves a nasty aftertaste. It’s my fault of course for attending a café that keeps a crate of toys. That’s fucking asking for it. I take great pleasure in telling parents at my own work that we do NOT have any toys, and I relish that fact that no matter how sharp the colouring in pencils are, you have to press down with the force of an alligators closing jaws to leave any mark on even the whitest of papers. We don’t like your kind around here.
Another shriek stabs through the heavy brown hum of the room. Every mother in the room pricks her ears like a horse to a whistle, and every father bares his teeth and goes to raise his hand ‘shush’, but it’s pointless, their children are elsewhere. The owner of this fetid sapling gives a smiley, insincere shush and hands their toddler a piece of food that is too expensive and delicious for anyone that sucks this much. The pair of them has stains on their clothes, flowers in their hair, and crumbs spread to a two metre wide radius. They’re hideous. I hate them. Everybody does. They have the best table in the house and they’re ruining it! They belong at McDonalds.
I’m sitting next to a homeless guy and his bags, and watching the scurrying squirrels flap and fight to get any newly empty table, packing the used plates and cups to the edge and trying desperately to nestle into this comforting shelter from the storm, it’s almost embarrassing to watch. There is however, a significant hesitation within all parties to obtain the tables nearest the squealing child and parent with the rose coloured lenses. I mean, nobody wants my seat either, but as far as I’m concerned I would rather sit next to a guy who is asleep and only smells a little bit than noisy inconsiderate families making bad choices about how they spend their time (I don’t believe for a second that any parent struggling to watch a rabid child is enjoying their cuppa). The homeless dude rifled through his bags for a second just now and then turned and asked if I was Emma. I’m not. I said who I am and where I work, and that’s how I know him, and he then talks about my work and the weather and why he likes to sit on couches as opposed to dining chairs. I am actually interested, but it gets to a point where I cannot hear what he is saying without leaning in close enough to count his teeth (or lack thereof) because my all-time least favourite regular of this café has arrived with more children than I’ve ever seen her with. I’m suppressing a rage blackout and shove my cup to my mouth to stop myself spitting with fury. This beast and her gaggle of noisy croc-wearing ratbags have set up right at my feet, literally on top of me. I hate the sound of her voice, and the way her rabbity mouth moves when she speaks to her children as though they’re adults. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to baby talk to my eventual kids, but I’m sure as shit not going to reason with them as though they’re equals. Homeless guy reports that he had better make a move, and after a brief discussion about the best sort of umbrellas, I also resign to make a swift and painless exit.
Someone will inevitably take over our lounge, burrow into it and wish beyond hope that the ruckus playing out before them is going to be quick. I hope the staff serve hideous croc mother that coffee that is made out of cat poo.