Monday, June 18, 2012

A Question

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?


  1. I think you're right in that you want parents to control their children, as they should. However, in this situation, it seems like it became pretty clear that these parents had no intention of controlling their kids, and at that point, yes, it would have been totally appropriate to speak to an usher. At least in cases that I've seen, that's not the type of behavior that is tolerated at major events.

    Sorry you had such a crappy experience! And for next time--definitely don't hesitate to bring in an usher, especially if you've tried unsuccessfully to have the parents take accountability.

    Re: having it feel like you were at a Giants home game--I know that feeling! When the Cubs play the Brewers, there are always a TON of fans who come up from Chicago. I don't generally go to Cubs-Brewers games anymore because it got to be so annoying, haha. :)

    1. Yeah, the number of Giants fans was truly insane! I get how that can happen other places, but I've really never seen it like that before. Definitely understand why you wouldn't want to subject yourself to that type of game either! And I think your point is well taken that clearly the parent had no interest in controlling their kids, and so at that point outside intervention might be needed.

  2. I would hesitate to call an usher too...until I heard mom/grandma/whoever ENCOURAGE the kids to do things that interfere with other's enjoyment of the game. It's not your problem if they're taught to be rude but it's entirely another issue if the kids are actively impeding your enjoyment. That's not kids just being kids. That's just people being annoying.

    1. Yeah, I think you're exactly right. And it wasn't like we were trying to make the kids feel bad or anything - just not shriek in our ears! Definitely more annoyed with the parents at the whole situation.

  3. I would have been so pissed if I was you :-/ and also would have found an usher... or wished I'd found an usher. You can bet if the situation was reversed those people would have been causing a scene to get you to the people behind them to stop.
    Whenever I'm in a situation where children are well behaved or I can see their parents making an effort to keep people around them in mind I thank them. I hope this isn't weird, but I do.
    As for the Giants fans, that part doesn't surprise me, my bestie & I went to a Dodger Giants game (at ATT Park) several years ago & had 2 grown men try to pick a fight with us. Luckily to larger Dodger fans came around the corner and stood up for us.

  4. Yep, at that point, I would have called an usher. The parent's comment was over the line.

    It reminds me of something that happened at Disneyland ... when you get off the elevators for Haunted Mansion, there is a long hallway everyone just wanders down ... no formal queue. One little girl (Maybe 8 years old? Definitely old enough to know better.)started shoving people out of her way (or body slamming them, if they didn't move). I looked at her, smiled, got out of her way and said "There's no need to push."

    The child's MOTHER then grabbed my bag to get my attention and started yelling at me, in the vein of who the hell did I think I was etc. I ignored her, she kept screaming. I finally walked up to one of the Disney employees (with the screaming woman following) and told them the woman was harassing me. They threw her out of the ride. THANK GOD.

    I do not understand these people that encourage their children to bad behavior. Seriously, is it that they're so depraved, or that we're better mannered than the majority? Scary thoughts.

  5. Sadly, children and parents of this sort exist. :( And your power to influence them in a "public space" is extremely limited. As a paying patron, I would have contacted the usher and seen what could be done.
    But yes... it's one of those "are you freaking kidding me children and parents?!?" moments that you wish you didn't have to experience. :(


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