Tweet-Up Gawn Baaaaaad...
(...but not 'cause of the Tweeters themselves)
On the Tweeter Tube:
from Sophmom Please tell me that someone's blogging story of the toddler-laden tweet-up at CCs in NOLA from which tweeters were asked to leave. Please.
from me: Oh, dear God. You really wanna hear about that? I only wish we'd have outnumbered the folks on their laptops...
What the hell. It's been emblematic of my day anyhow, the events at the coffee house meet up.
It was spur of the moment, just like my son deciding this morning that he didn't feel well, just to get out of going to camp. I kept him at home, got frustrated with him when he wanted to do things like head to the Children's Museum (you're supposed to be feeling bad...and you wanna go to a museum? Think again, kid!), and finally, to get over my feelings of being trapped at home, I saw a nifty message from Loki of a Tweet Up of bloggers at a local CC's Coffee House. Oh, to meet up with Loki, Pete, Nola, and, for the first time evah, the Southern Mom! How could I possibly resist?
I strode in a little after 4 PM with the little guy in tow. We all settled in, even the kids: Nola's girl Sun, SoMo's Sam, and her Amber and my little guy, both of whom immediately became engrossed in a conversation about SpongeBob. Nola had already expressed some reservations over the increased decibel level a gaggle of kids could add to a coffee house (or a chaos of kids). And, actually, things were pretty calm with the kids at first.
The potential for a coffee house clash was there, however, because we were surrounded by tables of people working on their laptops. At least five of 'em. Hell, now that I think back on it, we probably could have taken 'em on. Nola's Cap'n Sarcastic was there, and soon we were joined by another local blogger, so we could have bashed in some heads with the laptops all around while the kids kicked in some shins.
Alas, we are supposed to be a civilized bunch, we blogging folks. It is one of the reasons why we blog in the first place...so's we don't have to act out our true feelings on an unsuspecting public. We are actually doing all of you mere mortals a service by blogging - more than most of you will ever, ever know. So, in the end, the laptop brigade around us didn't quite understand that, as parental units, we were just grasping at a chance to get together.
SoMo and I were talking about how early the cliquish tendencies of kids are marshalling themselves these days (Five-year-olds in cliques? Somebody shoot me now...) and marvelling at how well the little guy and Amber were getting along, when things took a rambunctious turn. My son and SoMo's Sam began running back and forth with each other in the shop and giggling at full-tilt, with Amber half-joining in, half-trying to calm things down (the former was winning out). We're parents, and we are not of the faint of heart when it comes to rambunction - hell, we've even been known to join in on it ourselves. Problem is, the noise echoed around the shop and carried back to a thin, pale lady, who walked up to us and asked us as politely as she could to please rein in the noise, because she was trying to study and to listen to something on her laptop earbuds.
And here's where we get stuck as parents.
from Soulprncs2 How did the meet up go, you ask? Well, those of with children were politely asked to leave, because we, apparently, breed heathens.... Reason 1: I never go to coffeehouses and I don't drink coffee. I guess I missed the memo that coffeehouses were the new libraries.
from me: I believe the heathens are our future/Teach 'em well and let 'em screech their way....Those kinds of occurrences are the times when I am reminded why parents don't eat their young: the public is happy to do it.
Our responsibility is, first and foremost, to our families. Problem is, parents are still people, and parenthood can be isolating. When we click with other parents, it is a good great thing, and we want it to continue. But trying to do this in public places can be difficult sometimes. It can feel as though we are being pushed aside and cordoned off. Parenthood as quarantine. Nasty looks and a feeling of being surrounded by people who seem to have forgotten that they were once kids as well, or that they once had to deal with kids of their own (actually, that last bit I can certainly understand - I'd love to have a huge, blissful hole in my brain leftover from the omission of my memories of my son's first impossible year on this planet, but it ain't happening).
Southern Mom had to take the kids with her shortly after this lady asked us to keep it down. She, Amber, and Sam had already been there a while, so once the kids were riled, she knew how tough it was gonna be to calm 'em down and she took 'em home. I wish I'd been able to spend more time with her and her kids, but the environment didn't give us that luxury. And, even though she, Nola, and I hadn't been asked outright to head out and take our kids with us, that implication was there.
I know I'm going to get some people trying to reason with me on this somehow. Perhaps it's simply the day I had, but it was hot out. We were trying to get together and have a good time, and taking the kids outside in the heat and humidity would have lasted about two minutes, maybe. This wasn't a bar, it was a coffee house - and, come to think of it, I've gotten better receptions from people in the bars in NYC when I've had my son in tow than from the folks in the coffee house today. I do my best to be an advocate for my son and for a public that has great potential to be annoyed by his antics, and I end up feeling split in two.
Pardon me, O Omnipotent Public, but I'm sick of the split. And your reason ain't all that reasonable to me....because, in the end, the raising of children can turn reason upside-down, inside-out, and create whole new dimensions. Welcome to my world.
Today, you can kindly take your requests for me and my fellow parents to straitjacket our children and shove 'em up your asses sideways with a chainsaw.
That is all. Have a nice damn life.
Update, 8-8: For more on this incident, head to Southern Mom.