I am not a bitter IFer. I may get a tad sad when I hear yet another pregnancy announcement. I may throw myself pity parties on occasion. But I never hold a grudge against people who are able to conceive. In fact, I am genuinely happy for people who don't have to go through what I am going through in order to have children. However, I do hold a grudge against people who take these tiny miracles for granted.
I went to lunch by myself today. When I walked in I noticed a table of about 6 women who looked like they were probably old school friends or something. The majority of their plates were all empty and they were just talking. At the end of the table was a little 3 year old girl. She was sitting there quietly playing with some left over food. I ordered my food and then sat down at the table next to them. A few minutes after I sat down the little girl tried to get her mothers attention. She said "mommy" at least 5 times and her mother didn't even acknowledge that the girl had spoken. Rose (I've changed her name) proceeded to stand up on her chair, jump up and down, yelling "Mommy" at the top of her lungs. Her mother continued to ignore her. There wasn't a "shh, mommy is talking" or anything. Rose then proceeded to climb down from her seat and start walking around the restaurant. She came over to my table and said "hi" to me. She then walked around to every other table and proceeded to tell everyone her name and how old she was. She played with things on the other tables and even ate some food off of a plate that had been left by another customer.
It was a good 10 minutes before her mother even noticed that Rose wasn't at the table. Instead of getting up and trying to find her, the mother just yelled across the room and then went back to her conversation. About 3 minutes later the mother finally got up, picked Rose up and took her back to her seat. Rose proceeded trying to get her mothers attention once again by calling her name, and when her mother didn't respond (just like the time before) she got down from the table and started to walk around again. Rose walked across the restaurant, climbed up onto a bench, and cuddled up with a man sitting at the table. She started talking to him and asking him questions. He responded and tried to get the mothers attention at least once or twice. Anyone walking by would have thought that she was his. Her mother once again, hadn't even noticed that Rose had left the table. She finally noticed about another 10 minutes later and went and got Rose. She sat her at the table and said "you need to sit here or I am going to put you in a high chair...I mean it." No sooner had Rose's bottom hit the chair, Rose was up and running across the room again. Would you believe that her mother didn't notice her getting up again!?! Less than two seconds later!!! About 5 minutes later, from clear across the room, I heard Rose yell "Mommy come get me." in her high little giggly voice. No response what so ever from the mother. Then in a quieter voice laced with tears, but one that still carried across the room "Mommy PLEASE come get me." Her mom didn't budge.
At this point, I left with a tear running down my cheek. That poor little girl wanted nothing but a little bit of attention from her mother who obviously felt that her friends were more important than her own daughter.
Don't get me wrong, I know that kids can be a handful at restaurants. I've seen plenty of parents chasing kids over the years. I have seen my share of out of control kids. But seriously! If you are going out with your girl friends and you know that you are probably going to be sitting at the table for an hour plus after the meal is over, use your brain! A three year old isn't going to be able to sit there for that long with out some for of entertainment!
Any parent who actually cared would have at least brought a coloring book and some crayons for the child to play with. Any parent who actually cared would have at least acknowledged her calls by telling her that she was talking but would be happy to listen in a minute. Any parent who actually cared would have at least been paying close enough attention to know when the child left the table. Any parent who actually cared would have at least noticed when her daughter was talking to a stranger with whom she most likely would have left if he had asked her to.
Come on parents! Don't you understand what a blessing you have with your little ones? Can't you see how special they are? If you aren't prepared to give them what they need to grow up, then don't have them! There are too many of us out there who would give our lives to experience the miracle that you have received. Embrace your miracles, don't push them aside like trash.