So to preface this post, I am not a parent, so I recognize that this situation may be different for me coming from that perspective, rather than for those of you who are parents.
Something happened this weekend that I'm still having a difficult time really understanding how there are actually parents (or grandparents?) like this out there.
For Father's Day we decided that it would be a lot of fun to go to the Mariners game - we love going to baseball games. This was an afternoon game when it was supposed to be nice in Seattle (ie not raining and freezing), and they were playing the San Francisco Giants. Sign me up. After a great lunch with my parents and husband, the four of us met my brother at the ballpark. We usually sit up in the upper levels behind home plate - nice view and cheaper seats. I'll take it!
Now, I should mention that the vibe in Safeco Field that day already seemed a bit weird as there were more visiting fans at the game than I've ever seen at a Mariners game before. No idea why exactly, but there were so many people wearing orange and black and cheering LOUDLY for the Giants. I understand that you'll definitely get some visitor fans wherever you're playing, but seriously people? This was a Mariners home game and it felt like we were in San Francisco. Very strange.
But, the part that I'm writing about in particular is the behavior of the children who sat in the row behind us. There were at least 3-4 little kids (ranging from probably 3-7?), and several adults and older teenagers with them. Probably about 9-10 people altogether (and in that many seats). The entire game the kids were either kicking the backs of our seats (or our shoulders or head) or walking between people (and therefore bumping into us). Ok, fine, I get that you want to move around, but still, when asked by strangers to stop kicking seats, it's nice to acknowledge that and you know, make sure that your kids stop kicking the seats!
But STILL! The kicker (ha!) of the game was that about halfway through a couple of the kids decided that cheering actually meant shrieking for as long as they could at the absolute top of their lungs. Now. I'm all for cheering. That's what you're supposed to do at a game. But shrieking? Long and sustained and directly in the ears of those sitting in front of you? And then when asked to stop (and this was after turning around multiple times), I overheard the mom (or grandma? Honestly not sure) say very clearly to the children, "You shriek and yell as loud as you want to, don't you worry about people turning around and making you feel bad. You keep shrieking." And so they did. For the rest of the game.
Seriously? This is ok behavior? To not only condone (by not stopping) your kids' shrieking their heads off, but then to encourage them to continue to do so after it's made abundantly clear that they're being an incredible nuisance to those around you? Just because you're in an outdoor stadium doesn't exactly give you the right to cause others to go deaf.
I was talking with my mom about it afterwards and she and I were really at a loss with the whole situation. I mean, what do you do? We decided that we probably should have spoken to an usher about it, as maybe they could have said something, but I don't expect an usher to control kids at a game. I expect a parent (or grandparent) to control their kids. Yes, I totally would have expected loud and boisterous noise at a baseball game (especially when the M's won in the bottom of the 9th!). But my ears were ringing and I had a massive headache for a good portion of the night because of those kids. And because they were directly told that their behavior was acceptable. Is that really ok behavior these days? I can't imagine my parents tolerating that when we were growing up, and I cannot imagine letting that behavior happen when I have kids.
(And one other thing I should note is that they spilled a sno-cone on my brother's bag and then acted like they hadn't done anything when the usher pointed it out and we asked for napkins while my brother ran to get more napkins to clean off the bag. They also got upset that we "accused" them of spilling the sno-cone. Uh, where else did it come from then? These were clearly the type of fans every one wants to sit in front of at a game, let me tell you.)
So were we just super lucky to have sat in front of kids like this, or is this just how kids (and parents) are these days? Any ideas for what to do in this type of a situation?