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An Englishman In New York: Doting Parents And Selfish Kids

...I swear some of the kids are way (or is it weigh) too big to be sittiní and chilliní in these baby-buggies. Some of these kids should be walking already! Mom should get the burgeoning butterball out of the sidewalk stroller before they get a hernia pushing them around. Exercise, itís a good thing....

David Thomasesson is cheesed off by selfish moms and outsize baby buggies which litter the shops, elevators and sidewalks of New York City.

For more of David's trenchant and always-readable views please visit http://www.britoninnewyork.com/

Donít get me started on babies and their rides. You must have seen them, even before they leave the elevator, out comes the cell-phone; the parents that is. What do they find to talk about when theyíve just left home? Whatís so damned important all of a sudden? Then you realize they are coordinating the assembly point.

You turn the corner and all of a sudden thereís a wave of them barreling down the sidewalk. Now donít call me mean but please ladies, have a heart, New York side-walks may be wide but they really cannot accommodate even two side-by-side comfortably, never mind three. So please Indian file only, thank you.

Also have you noticed the latest trend in these little princess carriages. Itís the tandem version, whereby the youngest gets to sit behind and slightly below the front loader, not much of a view. Now, thatís all fine and dandy if youíre very young and not even awake. But you canít help wondering lying in the back there about your sibling up-front in the pilot seat. Has he been taking care of business or not? Will he wait until we get inside or wonít he. Thatís right whatever you do big fella up front, donít cut the cheese!

The baby carriages of today have come a long way since I was a nipper. I especially like the MACLAREN, the similarly named Formula 1 motor racing team and sports car manufacturer, but hey we can pretend right? Listen to young kids comparing notes at the park; which one are you in, oh the MACLAREN, whatís it like? Itís awesome dude, itís got a five point harness, foot-operated brakes, high performance aluminium (itís an English company), and adjustable seats. This is the ďQuest Sport Ė the lightweight sporty solution for mums.Ē Everything is a solution these days, have you noticed? But whatís the problem. ďWhatís it all about?Ē as Alfie would say.

And they are so big arenít they? And have you seen how much stuff they take along with them? You will come back alive; youíre going out for a walk, not an expedition to the South Pole. I swear some of the kids are way (or is it weigh) too big to be sittiní and chilliní in these baby-buggies. Some of these kids should be walking already! Mom should get the burgeoning butterball out of the sidewalk stroller before they get a hernia pushing them around. Exercise, itís a good thing.

If youíre going to go into the supermarkets, consider leaving the kids outside, perhaps tied up to the lamp-post, or something, along with the old ladies and their dogs. Unlike suburban big-box stores New York food emporia are not known for their spacious aisles. Iíve lost count of the number of parents or nannies, and there are plenty of those on the Upper East Side, who charge in with these space-hogging behemoths. I once saw a double-wide one of these monsters. A double-wide, have they no shame?

Then thereís the restaurant scene. What is it about little Jonny that he has to be imposed on the eating public after a reasonable hour, like 7.00pm at night. Feed him at home for goodness sakes. Do you really think that a restaurant is a suitable place for a 1-2 year old? Really, you do? How strange. They futz around when they come in, banging into chairs, tables, thereís baby sh...I mean kit everywhere, and it takes forever and a day to settle in. After the obligatory look-at-me cooing over the latest precious, they walk up and down trying to put him to sleep. Why bother? Are we supposed to go gaga just because heís yours? I donít think so. Heís not special at all to the rest of us so sit the hell down, and shut up.

And arenít todayís young people, and indeed their parents, quite self-centered. It is incredible to me to see the nerve with which young kids race into or dash out of elevators, without proper regard for good manners and their elders. No broughtupsy, as we say. And hereís the thing, their parents donít even bother to reproach them. I tell you, as I alight from the elevator car (what a vision that conjures up) Iím often tempted to give some of them a quick slap upside the head with a rolled up newspaper, or treat them to a gentle nudge in the ribs, or even a well-placed leg. Worse, are those young parents who think that we are all just as interested in little Ashley, outfitted in his Ralph Lauren mini-me Dadís preppy wear. Look at me; I look like a young dick version of my Dad. Got that right pal.

As the elevator door opens, come along they say, come along, as the little rug-rat races around the lobby, on his scooter. Now, they say, I mean NOW. Meanwhile yours truly and others patiently wait, rolling our eyes, as they hold open the door. The little tykes then bless us with their presence and the parents turn and smile wanly at us, as if to say, arenít they just adorable. No they bloody well are not, and thanks for nothing. I mean, if you canít teach them to behave at that age, they will grow up with that in-built, or is it in-bred, sense of entitlement which is very prevalent these days in certain young folk.







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