Monday, September 21, 2009

Where are the parents?

Yesterday, Fitz played at an outdoor festival. It was a gorgeous day, and the band was set up in a gazebo at the bottom of a large, sloping field surrounded by orchards. At one point in their set, I noticed a good number of small children climbing up into and around the gazebo, poking at, picking up and playing with anything within their reach. The harmonica player had a case of all of his harps set open in front of him... so that he could switch to different keys as needed. Some of these kids were actually grabbing spare harmonicas and playing them. Kids hanging on the side of the gazebo were jumping down and grabbing the sound system to get their balance. Running across in front of the musicians, they would occasionally knock a mike stand off kilter, requiring Fitz to adjust it in mid-song.

This wasn't new or unusual unfortunately. Whenever he does a family show where there are a lot of kids, there is always the stray kid 'getting into things'. But it does seem to be getting worse. A lot of the time, the parents are there, they are just to caught up in their own things to be paying attention to their children. But many times, the parents see this behavior and let it continue. They think their kids are just "so cute" and isn't it great that they "aren't shy at all". "Look at little Sammy... getting right up on stage!"

Trust me, it's not cute. It's not cute at all to see small children playing around with very expensive equipment. My guess is some of these parents think it's a family friendly show, and after all... the musicians aren't complaining or saying anything. The musicians are working. They can't very well stop the show to discipline someone else's kid. They also want to get booked for more shows, so of course they will smile at your adorable child who is pulling the strings off of their $4000 guitar.

Yesterday I honestly wanted to find some of these parents and ask them... "Hey, would it be okay if tomorrow I show up at your office with my 7 kids and let them climb on your desk and play with your computer while you work? Okay, that's be great."


Chapter Two Manmi said...

I see this often when out & about. Most recently in a pediatrician's waiting room when a toddler girlie bumped a toddler boy out of a seat so she could play with the wall-toy thing. The boy's mom looked shocked. The girl's mom smiled as if to say, "she's such a tom boy." I just don't get it. But it would be a far bigger annoyance if it was MY expensive equipment getting run over.

DotBlogger said...

And I'm reminded of this verse:

Proverbs 29:15b
...a child left to himself disgraces his mother.

No it's not cute to see the kids doing that. And my irritation does not go towards the goes towards the mother for LETTING her kids up there.

I'm glad your post is titled "Where are the parents?" instead of "Bratty kids."

This kind of stuff gets to me, too. Great post.

Laurel said...

Oh how frustrated I get with parents like that.

We have had multiple parents over the years say to us, "I should send my children to your house for boot camp." (to learn how to behave). I just smile. Um ... why can't these parents train their own children???

If I was on stage, I would seriously probably comment in between songs. How about, "Do the parents of this small child have $4,000 to pay for a new guitar if it gets broken?"

I love your response, though. Yes, let's go play in someone's office, and break their equipment.

mama of 13