Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bad Kid or Bad Mom?



Today, Clifford was scheduled to visit our local Barnes & Noble. Since we're big Clifford fans over here, we decided to head that way before going to the fall festival in town. We got there a little early and M was able to find a good seat right up front.

A few minutes before story time was supposed to start, a woman came in with her son. She was making a big deal about how it was really crowded and Clifford was coming and how there were no seats for her and her son. Now, if you've ever been to a Barnes & Noble, you know that they only have a couple benches up front near the stage. The rest of the kids tend to sit on the stage, floor or they stand with mom & dad. The woman made such a big deal about it, that another woman moved her 2 year old so that she & her son could sit down. We later found out that the boy is 4.

The story teller finally walks out and takes a look around the room. Her eyes land on the mom of the boy and you can tell something is wrong. Right away she starts, "OH NO! You need to talk to the manager!". Everyone else starts looking around while the story teller disappears and then the mom does, too. The manager decides the woman can stay, but her son cannot sit near the stage. The boy starts SCREAMING at the top of his lungs about how he wants to sit on the bench. Finally, they have to ask the woman to leave and you can hear her yelling at her son the whole way "Now we have to leave, thanks to you. It's all your fault. You ruined it". Um, what?

Yeah, it turns out that the last time B&N had a character come, the boy attacked him. The character fell backwards, the head fell off and the person playing the character wound up with a concussion.

There are so many things that I think should've gone differently this morning. First, I think the story teller should've taken the woman aside privately to talk to her instead of calling her out in front of 10-15 other parents. I also don't think the story teller should've told everyone what happened. That's not our business. Second, if you know your kid attacked one of the characters RECENTLY, wouldn't you think to check the schedule to make sure that wouldn't happen again? Even more than that, wouldn't you be embarrassed to bring your kid back to that store at all? I know I sure would be. Third, if your kid is causing a huge distraction, remove or calm down your child. Don't let them sit there and scream while other kids are trying to listen to a story. That's just rude. Take the kid outside or walk away, don't stay there! And finally, why would you loudly start blaming your child for this? It's not your son's fault that you didn't call to see if it'd be okay if you guys came. It's not your son's fault that you didn't go online and check the schedule. And why did he attack the character in the first place? You couldn't have waited until you were outside or in your car to tell your son why you had to leave? You couldn't have walked away, calmed him down and then come back for story time?

I don't know, I think the whole situation should've been handled differently. What do you guys think?

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