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Bring me your poor….but not your children.

English: Patti Smirh performing im Rosengarten
English: Patti Smirh performing im Rosengarten (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I pride myself in having exposed my child to the world of art and culture our local art gallery. Albeit entirely against his will, and almost entirely forgotten but for the delicious croissants served in the member’s lounge.

I also pride myself in not having had a wild jungle freak tearing art from the walls, fingering Rodin’s Adam, or running his own stroller NASCAR style around the galleries.

Please, I beg of you urbanite, let-them-explore-so-I-can-continue-to-be-a-child-and-buck-the-social-burden-of-parenting, keep your little monsters at home. Unless of course you’ve grown up yourself, and use the outing to teach etiquette and behaviour standards.

Today at The AGO’s Patti Smith, Camera Solo exhibit I had the good fortune of practicing patience and peace. Oblivion-feigning parents (because no one is that stupid) whose children were walking on the lounges, moving the art on the walls, and racing around the gallery  granted me a choice; I could either wallop the turds and tune them in about their ill-behaved selves and offspring, or I could take in the exhibit quietly, serenely, breathing deeply and being thankful that I have access to such wonderful art.

I chose the latter, simply because prison orange is not my colour.

In all deep spiritual practice, children are welcomed as a valuable part of the community. So, it leaves me wondering when I’m at a gallery or performance, just what side of the thick grey line do I take when parents (I don’t blame the children), do not respect the space (aural, visual and tactile) of other patrons?

I chose today to attend the local art gallery because tomorrow, Family Day, has been advertised by the gallery as a day to bring in children.  I’d rather guzzle a bottle of Absinthe and run the sub-zero streets naked, than dodge bored, whining, sometimes screeching, un-supervised children  thank you very much.

Admittedly, it is my generation of parents who’ve got it all wrong. If you’ve committed to children, you’ve sacrificed your ‘cool’ quotient.  Parenting is not cool, it is sincere work and bonding. Your children deserve parents who teach manners, get real about what is kid appropriate and what is not.

A children’s museum is kid appropriate. A dinosaur exhibit is appropriate. Watching airplanes take off and land is appropriate. Patti Smith??? Not so much inappropriate as dull as shit for toddlers and babies. Hell, some adults would be whining and picking at your sweater to get out.

I see parents still spoon-feeding their four-year olds, laughing at the little buggers when they press their fingers against centuries old paintings, and letting them run like wild rabbits in places where the only excuse for running or loud talking is if there’s a fire or gun-wielding maniac.

My generation needs to grow up and parent children to become the kind of human beings that other human beings want to share the planet with.

A word to the wise; be sure to visit the Camera Solo exhibit on a weekday to avoid sitting on a muddy lounge, or getting your shins scraped by, toddler-driven strollers.


7 thoughts on “Bring me your poor….but not your children.

  1. We were just talking about this in a restaurant yesterday where the man kept his face buried in whatever he was reading and the woman totally ignored the disruptive kids. We happened to leave the restaurant a little before them and we seen them come outside. The kids were under 7 years old and it was 16 degrees Celsius outside. The kids didn’t have any coats on and were running ahead of the parents into the parking lot. The parents weren’t carrying any for them at all while they kept talking to each other snug in their own coats.

  2. I went to Kelsey’s for my birthday dinner that I was really looking forward to and someone let their little brats run around to play. The manager approached the kids and asked them where their parents were and walked them to the parents table. He told them the kids were not permitted to run around disturbing other diners. I was so impressed by that. The parents not so much. We need more places to take that sort of action and stop lazy parents from ruining other peoples outings. I will definately go back to that place because I know the few nights that I do venture out, it won’t be spoiled by unsuperivised kids and ignorant parents.

  3. When I worked at a casual fine dining restaurant (what does that mean anyways?) we would have entire sports teams of young kids come in, or families with a couple of young children. There were times that parents would let their children literally writhe around on the carpet as they waited to be fed their Kraft Dinner or hot dogs. I had to step over them to put their food on the table. Oh how tempted I was to give them a swift kick in the back….

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