Our children haven’t been small for many years, and we don’t have grandchildren yet, so our little kid tolerance probably isn’t what it used to be. That being said, there is apparently an epidemic of bratty little kids loose in the travel plazas of the world.
It’s summertime, school is out and the food courts are full of whining six-year-olds, demanding Whoppers and $5 coffees from Starbucks. I’m not sure if the species is getting larger, or I’m shrinking, but there are some huge six-year-olds out there. I watched a little boy shove his mom around the travel plaza on the West Virginia turnpike and waited for her to slap his ears off, but she never did. He kept telling her he was going to cry until he got “the toy,” and shoving her in the back. My Mother would have taken this as a personal challenge, and not only would she have broken my little arms the first time I tried shoving her, she would have made certain I cried about “the toy” until I was completely exhausted and asleep. Then she would have woken me up and reminded me to cry some more, because I sure as hell wouldn’t have gotten “the toy.” I would probably still be crying to this day.
I have a problem with children who hit their parents. It infuriates me to the point of having to leave the room. We were standing in line at Burger King, minding our own business, when the most evil child in America walked up. His Mom had that “please kill me” look parents of mega-brats often have. The little boy was steadily kicking his Mom’s shin and repeating over and over, “I want an Icee, I want an Icee, I want an Icee…”
I was reaching for his neck when George stopped me.
“Don’t do it.”
“I saw you reaching for his neck. You can’t strangle other people’s kids.”
“I wasn’t going to hurt him, I was just going to admire his hair. With short, sharp bursts from my hand.”
By this time, the kid was running circles around his Mom, pulling at her clothing and still yelling, “I want an Icee, I want an Icee, I want an Icee…”
“I want that kid to evaporate.”
“It’s not going to happen. Don’t say anything.”
The bedraggled Mother finally got to the counter and ordered the little monster an Icee. He grabbed it off the counter, and as he turned around to take off running with it, he tripped over my foot and went face first into his beloved Icee, on to the floor. The caterwauling and commotion that followed were epic, but the supreme satisfaction in karma were well worth the scene involved. We got our food to go, as screaming children tend to impede my digestion, but I left happy, because even though the little tyrant was too small to understand, karma always comes back to get you.