Friday, January 02, 2004

Is it just me?... yeah, it's probably just me.... but I'm amazed at how rude people's children are. Huh, you say? Yeah... other people's children really are monsters.

I have harbored the secret opinion for a long time that folks my age (50s-ish) were lousy parents because it took so damned long for most of us to join the ranks of adulthood and as a consequence our children were raised leaderless and berift of any cultural continuity. Unless you consider wrapping a really tight pencil joint a cultural artifact.

But now it seems as if we were absolute paragons of parenthood... akin to Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver themselves... compared to the most recent crop of parents I'm seeing these days.

I just had a nice dinner at the local Vietnamese noodle shop. There were three young families there complete with rug rats. One of the little tykes kept shouting over and over "Fuck you!" to his young mommie while he stamped his feet and raged back and forth through the restaurant. Amazing. The doting father, about the same age as my kid, ignored the lovable tyke. Amazing. I find myself thinking things that I once swore I would never think. Thinking like my father... "If that were my kid I'd tie a knot in his tail!" And mumble mumble grumble grumble. Like the cussing in the Christmas Story where the kid "Will put his eye out" with the bb gun. Remember how his dad would cuss? That was me tonight.

Amazing. A pottie mouth three year old. Of course, cold reflection makes me realize that the little tyke undoubtedly learned that crude vocabulary at his parents knee, but still... my dad would cuss like a sailor, but he certainly wouldn't permit ME to follow suit. Especially in public. Horrors.

I guess what I long for is a little of the old timey hypocricy that left MY parents with a veneer of respectability that must be lost on the present generation. I suppose that when my parents took too long in raising me into adulthood I never got around to teaching my kid civility.. and as a consequence the current crop of parents are about to foist a collection of absolutely miserable young poltroons on the future. Yikes!