Wherein A Parent Follows Through…

In my quest to find more suitable boots for riding, I wound up at...well, you can guess…and I heard the fountain soda machine calling my name. Between having forgotten to take my DDAVP before leaving the house and the 90 degree heat, I was looking for an endless supply of icy cold liquid, and for a buck I can fill up 362 times if I want.

Three refills was good enough this time.

I sat there in the corner, not too far from the soda machine lest I be very conspicuous in my beverage consumption, and watched people come and go. And for it being lunch time, there weren’t a whole lot of people to watch. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so few people hanging around WalMart’s McD’s. It was almost disappointing.

But I heard one coming. I heard her before she came through the sliding doors. I watched Bill the Greeter, the World’s Friendliest Guy ™, turn away from the shrill sound of this kid shrieking, and I just knew her mother was bringing her into McD’s.

And I was right.

Mom hand the little girl by the hand, and was reciting a litany of “stop it…stop it…stop it…” as her spawn continued to shriek at ear-splitting decibels. This wasn’t a kid who was ticked off or annoyed or tired or in the throes of the temper tantrum from hell. This was a little girl who must have recently discovered the sheer Joy Of Being Loud.

In line Mom sighed a tired “I mean it.”

After she ordered she said, “Be quiet, or else.”

When the food came and the little girl shrieked yet again, Mom had had it. She looked down at her demon child and stated quite clearly, “If you scream one more time, we’re leaving. And I mean it.”

The little girl, twinkle in her eye, glanced at the food tray Mom was holding, and I could see the split second thought that rushed through her little mind: you just bought a bunch of food and there’s no way we’re not staying here to eat it.

So with a sly grin, she shrieked.

Mom, clenching the tray in one hand, grabbed her little girl’s hand with the other, and as they abruptly exited Mom deposited the entire tray of just-purchased food into the trash, and dragged Little Miss Lungs-Run-Down-Into-Her-Legs out the door, past Bill the Greeter, where she shook her head apologetically.

Mom made a major impression upon her child today, I think.

I was impressed.

I hope she has some major headache medication at home, because surely that child screamed the entire drive home…

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