It's 8pm. I want sleep. I want rest. Really, I just want a big cup of hot cocoa and a lap to cry in. I hate that working a 10 hour shift does this to me. No, I guess it's not every 10 hour shift, just the particularly heinous ones, like today.
Today, I put a smile on my face for HOURS while a gaggle of self-righteous suburban mothers took over the bakery with their strollers and little bundles of joy, none of whom were over the age of three, and most of whom were crying or spitting up. For the ones who were mobile on two extremities, there was twice the terror of the crying ones, for unsupervised two and three year old girls in troves are an unstoppable force. After politely serving the group their pastries and beverages, I came to realize the hell that was happening before my eyes.
One hellion was using her hands AND forearms to smear the chalkboard I had delicately written. She then used the easel as her personal tent where she ate her food and left her crumbly mess. Two of them were running up and down the hallway, screaming and cackling. One of them took off past me behind the counter and went careening into the kitchen before I threw down my steaming pitcher and snagged her by the midsection, holding her wiggling little body as far away from my own until I could safely pass her off to her mother. One of them decided to wander down the hallway past the bathrooms, through the door to the back of the kitchen, and into the stockroom, where she was found by the dishwasher, who promptly escorted her out to a mother who was suddenly grief-stricken at her child's mysterious and potentially dangerous disappearance.
Come on. That is a DAMN LONG HALLWAY, lady. If she managed to make it that far, it's because YOU WEREN'T PAYING ATTENTION. Thank you for buying cupcakes for your clearly over-sugarized children, but please don't come back, otherwise there will be tequila shots in those cups of apple juice, and instead of chasing after your daughter in a place where she is not supposed to be, I might just stick out my foot and trip the little bloody thing the next time. And trust me, we have concrete floors. She will be bloody. Or better yet, maybe I'll let her run into the kitchen where she can grab those burning hot sheet pans or where there's a slot in the deck oven that is at just her height.
Now, I realize that two year olds will be two year olds, but that also means that parents need to be PARENTS.
And after all of the stress and rage I experienced in the THREE WHOLE HOURS this brood took over the bakery, terrorizing not only me, but the other customers as well, I really just want to throw a fit and cry, because I can't actually tell these women to discipline their children. I can't actually ask them to never come back. I can't actually lose my shit on a mom who bitches to me about not having high chairs and then makes snide comments about how she thought we were a "child-friendly" establishment.
People, there is a reason that we have a sign that says, "Unattended children will be given espresso and a free puppy."
Take a hint. Park your stroller outside. Do not leave it in the aisle where other customers have to walk to get to the bathroom. Watch your children, not because we aren't child-friendly, but because it's your job. Your barista is not like your neighborhood nanny. And for real, if you have caused that much destruction by bringing in a huge party of neglectful mothers and their spoiled little children without phoning for a reservation in advance, have the decency to LEAVE A TIP. Even one measly dollar could have said "I'm sorry" if you didn't have the guts or common sense to say so in person.
I get it. Your life is hard. You're a mother who is over-worked and under-appreciated, and you're probably exhausted. But if you can't watch your child in public, then don't take little Susie out. If you can't watch your child at all, then don't procreate.