So at the table next to us this morning at breakfast was a mean looking lady and a fidgety young child.
The lady as we found out over the course of their dialogue was the child's grandmother.
And she wouldn't stop berating this kid, maybe 5-years old.
Grandmother: "Don't you dare get up from the table until I'm done with my coffee, [and then this weird chilling] thank you."
Child: Obviously looking to run around and have some fun, "But I just want to go."
Grandmother: Who has finished her breakfast and coffee and is just making a continuing point, "You'll wait until I'm done, and I say we're ready, [and again, the long controlling pause and then] thank you."
Child: "I'm tired."
Grandmother: "Then you'll go upstairs, get back into bed and go to sleep, and no tv, just sleep--you will not move!"
Child: Looks up helplessly sad.
Grandmother: Now the truth starts to come out, "You know I don't like the way you treat you mother. Your disrespectful! And that won't go with me."
Child: Appears to not really understand what she is saying and legs dangle anxiously off the chair, but clearly very afraid to get up.
Grandmother: "You'll learn to be respectful to your mother. You will learn!"
Child: Head leaning sideways on table, says nothing.
Grandmother: Makes child wait some more and more, and finally, "Now we can go."
Child: Child picks head up and runs to take her hand.
Grandmother: Sneers and smirks with her power over the child--she looks like a freakin' witch.
Whole scene was sort of heartbreaking.
My wife and I look at each other, and shake our heads.
This was not teaching or loving, but something else and it wasn't normal or nice.
I say, "Perhaps, when a child is abused this way--day after day, year after year--this is why they grow up and then do horrible and hateful things."
It's amazing how adults take out their issues on children--and they think it's legit--but deep down you can see it really isn't--and the children and society pays for the sins of the adults. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)