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BOTD 3/12/13 "Public Meltdown" An 18Smacked Production

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David M. Katz

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Marshall
Public Meltdown
An 18Smacked Production




This is your six year-old son, Joey. You are out with him while you are running errands for the day.
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Taking a break at a restaurant, he did what you had been praying you would avoid- he had a meltdown in public. Joey was not satisfied with anything on the menu and devolved in to his meltdown when you ordered macaroni and cheese for him (usually his favorite.) And, to your utter embarrassment, it was an epic meltdown at that, with lots of yelling and screaming. You were looking for a crack in the wall that you might be able to crawl into so you might hide.

Your meals have been ordered.

What do you do?


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Adric

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Cowboy
A quick trip to the restroom for a father-son talk.  If I'm lucky that is all that will happen there - just talk.  If not lucky, well...

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Y Lee Coyote

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Deputy
I’ve been a stupid, selfish, monster and got what I deserved.

I’ve been tending to my needs to get things done and boring my innocent son to death -- or more precisely -- to a meltdown.  When I finally gave him some attention I refused to listen to his wishes that  there was not anything on the menu that was tempting which was code that there was a problem.  Instead I pushed forward with my own agenda.

Hopefully the restaurant manager will throw us out and cancel the food order.  It is way past time to find a playground and stop being a egoistic brat.  We both need to run around for an hour. We we get back to errands, Joey needs to be more involved.

Y.

P.S. Joey seems very well developed for six with his side incisors in place already.

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Beaver

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Wrangler
Y Lee Coyote wrote:I’ve been a stupid, selfish, monster and got what I deserved.

I’ve been tending to my needs to get things done and boring my innocent son to death -- or more precisely -- to a meltdown.  When I finally gave him some attention I refused to listen to his wishes that  there was not anything on the menu that was tempting which was code that there was a problem.  Instead I pushed forward with my own agenda.

Hopefully the restaurant manager will throw us out and cancel the food order.  It is way past time to find a playground and stop being a egoistic brat.  We both need to run around for an hour.  We we get back to errands, Joey needs to be more involved.

Y.

P.S. Joey seems very well developed for six with his side incisors in place already.

I am not sure how you come to this harsh assessment of the parent here. The only information we are given is that I am running errands with my son. While this is obviously not quality time with Joey, it's something that almost all kids have to put up with as well. I don't see how it excuses his meltdown in the restaurant whatsoever. Although you do raise a good point: Namely that Joey not finding anything on the menu signals a deeper problem, and I should have taken the opportunity to talk with him about what is bugging him.

To add my take: The first thing that came to mind was simply to ask the waiter to change the order to take-out. I would then head home with Joey and we would eat there. However, this does not seem to be viable given that the scenario indicates that there are still some errands that have to be done. So I am with Adric: head to the restroom for a father-son talk, accompanied with a warning that his behavior has to stop immediately.

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AFinch

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Sherrif
I agree with Adric and Beaver. Even at six, a child needs to learn that the world doesn't revolve entirely around him/her.

In the father/son talk, I will try reason and bribery. Failing that, I'll ask the waiter to package the meals to go, and we'll go home and eat and hopefully defuse. Assuming I'm not doing errands 90 minutes from home (which, sadly, is now my lot since I live in the middle of nowhere), we can then resume what needs to be done or get a babysitter. If I need to get a babysitter, Joey will be spending that time in his room, thinking about what he might have done different, rather than playing.

ivor

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Marshall
Time to cancel and/or pay for the meal and get out of there. I think I've been expecting too much of a six year old who seems to be bored stiff and in need of some entertainment.

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Jack

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Admin
Beaver wrote:
Y Lee Coyote wrote:I’ve been a stupid, selfish, monster and got what I deserved.

I’ve been tending to my needs to get things done and boring my innocent son to death -- or more precisely -- to a meltdown.  When I finally gave him some attention I refused to listen to his wishes that  there was not anything on the menu that was tempting which was code that there was a problem.  Instead I pushed forward with my own agenda.

Hopefully the restaurant manager will throw us out and cancel the food order.  It is way past time to find a playground and stop being a egoistic brat.  We both need to run around for an hour.  We we get back to errands, Joey needs to be more involved.

Y.

P.S. Joey seems very well developed for six with his side incisors in place already.

I am not sure how you come to this harsh assessment of the parent here.

It doesn't have anything to do with the scenario. This one is pretty open for interpretation. Most of assume that there were things we had to do, and either Joey wanted to go with us, else we had no where to leave him and the things had to be done. That interpretation is because of Y Lee and nothing to do with the scenario or who wrote it. It's probably the same reason he criticizes the pictures, when people spend a lot of time putting these together just for fun.




As for myself, I'll let the waiter know we'll be right outside, and take Joey out for some fresh air. Without knowing exactly what we've done so far today, I would imagine he needs either a nap or just a break. While I can't help with the break right now, maybe we can find a park and relax for a bit before our next errand or at least go get an ice cream and sit for a few minutes.

The honest truth is that sometimes I get keyed up and ticked off, and I wish I could throw a screaming tantrum. I just have to get Joey through this one without disturbing too many other people.


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squarecutter

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Sherrif
Yep trip to restroom to see if we can sort this one out. Hopefully at 6 I will be able to fin out whats eating Joey. If he really doesnt or we cant get him sorted to eat here we will pay what we need to and leave, probably to go home. We wont leave till Joeys calm.

Y Lee Coyote

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Deputy
I’ve been criticized for being harsh about the parent here.  Regardless of whether or not Joey chose to go with me or I had to take him I think there are basically two options.  The first is that it has been a long morning for a six-year-old and he gradually became stressed in someway or, second, that he saw a horrid monster in the menu and freaked out.  I note that the scenario indicates he is used to reading a restaurant menu and making a selection so this is an indication that something is wrong -- very wrong.  

I don’t believe the second!  I should have noticed the first happening.  At the very least when he rejected the entire menu which had stuff he liked it was a BIG RED FLAG waving which should have caused me to back off and realize there was a problem.  That was the time to get outside and play and run around.  This is why school have recess in the lower grades.

The picture was of a delightful lad but obviously much older than six.

Y.

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