I've always prided myself on my live-and-let-live parenting attitude. Cry it out? Okay! Whatever the current opposite of that is? Sure! Formula from Day One? Whatever works for you! Breastfeeding until your kid is four? Sure! No TV? A'ight! Steady stream of Nick Jr.? Fiiiiiine! I am the honey badger of caring about these things, basically!
I am rapidly realizing, though, that I have One Parenting Thing which makes me Hulk-like with rage. There are obvious situation, sure, like seeing kids not properly restrained in moving cars, or parents smoking all up in their kids faces, but this, while not life-threatening in any way, still makes me have uncontrollable, angry-judgy eyes.
I speak of parents taking their kids to horrifically inappropriate films. By way of background, I grew up with relatively strict parents. I was only allowed to see PG-13 movies once I WAS 13, and even then -- EVEN THEN! -- they had to vet them first. With that in mind, though, is there any reason you can think of which explains why two seemingly mentally sound parents would take their baby and toddler to a 10:20 PM showing of The Hangover II?
I saw them in line, and found myself staring at them in abject, open-mouthed disgust, quietly muttering "REALLY?" to J. Because the thing is, there is ACTUALLY NO EXCUSE FOR IT. I'm not great at typing up flow charts, but rest assured, if I WAS, all signs would point to NO EXCUSE/THESE PARENTS ARE ASSHOLES. Let's dissect:
~ It's 10:20.
~ You KNOW going in that the movie is going to be inappropriate for kids. And if you haven't already seen it, believe you me, this is AGGRESSIVELY inappropriate for kids.
~ If you don't have a babysitter, DON'T GO. If a babysitter is too expensive, DON'T GO. It's The Hangover II, not your sister's wedding.
~ There were already, like, 472 loud, fratty jerks in the theater, and that baby was louder than all of them. Not the baby's fault, obviously, but COME ON.
~ I started overthinking things, and feeling guilty for everyone involved -- Zach Galifianakis, the guy who sells the popcorn, the projectionist, me -- because we were all complicit, somehow, in this couple's horrible parenting decision.
I think I missed half the movie because of the loud baby and my overthinking, but also because I was very busy having Imaginary Uncharacteristically Confrontational Discussions with the parents of these kids. Just a whole lot of "the jerk store called, they're running out of you" type stuff, complete with the "you should be ASHAMED of yourselves" kicker.
I of course said nothing, even when we saw them strolling on out after the movie, but I...well, I feel no guilt for my judging this scene. This isn't the first time I've seen crap like this, though, and I'm wondering when/if I would work up the courage to ever say anything, and if so, what I would actually say. What about you? Do you have any parenting stuff that sets you off? Would you -- unlike scaredy-cat me -- have said something if you saw this? I must know!