Apr 22, 2011

Child Noise and Joy

My boyfriend and I spent three nights at Panama. We are actually on our last night tonight, and well, in a way I'm happy we are getting the heck out of here. Don't get me wrong, I like Panama really much, and the city is adorable, but the hotel, well, It wasn't the best decision I've made. Now, let's not go over the fact that this site that I made the reservation on (a certain "Despegar.com", much advertized in Latin America, seems quite shady as a lot of things included in the description of the hotel proved not to be right - such as the safe included, or airport shuffle included, or the checking hours, not to mention the difficulty the hotel seems to have with finding our reservation...), now shall we go on the matter of the multiple inefficiencies of the hotel - that I'm reserving for the evaluation of the place - but the families lodged at the hotel.

I read a time ago - in one of those childfree, pro-child arguments - how some people talked about the sound of children as a "source of joy". If I recall correctly, it was a matter of having children at a wedding, and how they playing and laugher made the whole event much more enjoyable. Yep, sure. When I read the article I imagined that person lived in a Jane Austen world with melodic laugher, or a "Little House in the Praire", surrounded by Ingalls or something of the sort. Certainly, if you like children, the idea of children sounds and laugher may appear - theoretically - as something heartwarming. (If you've recently seen the movie "The Orphanage", it does not!), but still, for me it's like people saying that music from the 80's makes them happier: yes, it does the trick for them, but it doesn't do it for me.

I'm honestly happier with peace and quiet, or certain selected noises, such as a techno party, a sports bar in the middle of a Superbowl game, or the noise of trains. Some noisy movies also get to me, such as Fast and Furious, but kids are not my favored flavor in noises. A party is far more enjoyable with soothing jazz music and good conversation, than with children running around while you are looking out to make sure one of them are not distroying your property (car, coat, purse, home), or with your interlocutor paying you only half attention because they are looking our for the kids. Now, of course, it's always better a parent that keeps an eye on the kids, that one that detaches from it and leave the mess to the rest of the crew, but still, when kids are around adults are always somewhat in the edge. It's even worse than having an uncomfortable veggan friend in the party for whom you gara get out of the way to keep pleased and not "hurt sensitivities" - like not serving a big, juicy BBQ baby ribs because the scent of meat offends them.

Anyway, theoretically might be nice and romantic, but in the real life, in the practice, it's UNBEARABLE! Sure, I guess people who really want children find it lovely, just like hard metal rock lovers awe at the regurgitating and vomiting sounds of their singers, but for the regular folk, the sond of children may not be so pleasant. At the hotel a family was lodged, and whenever they were in the diner, you couldn't wait to bust the joint. The children weren't even running around and annoying directly the rest of the customers, but their shrieking voices, their demanding, their dumb playing were everywhere. It was so harsh, so high pitched, it worked like a poisoned needle piercing into your brain and interrupting your thoughts. Holding a conversation over their whining was just as hard.

The kids played even in the pool - a shallow, small, unsuitable pool - and the sight was disgusting. Maybe it was only those children, but there was a boy around 7 or 8 constantly trying to hump a 2-3 year old girl's butt, while the parents watched unfazed, and a 1-2 year old tried to mount the 8 year old. Their playing sounds weren't any more pleasing, with lots of "now me" and "lets do this" all over the place. No volume control. As I watched them rather disgusted (my boyfriend noticed I was looking at them as if I were staring at crap in a box), I wondered who would want those noises or maybe similar scenes anywhere else? Nowadays you can't count on parents to control their kids, because they don't, but rather expect all others to endure their trespassing. For instance, how many times have you actually heard of parents paying for the damage their kids do on someone else's property? Mostly they expect to be let off the hook because "they are kids". At a mass, if kids are allowed in, you are expected to endure their loud shrieking and crying, even at movies (I have been at movies where the irresponsable parents wouldn't leave the theatre when their children cried because "they payed the movie and have the right to be there")

An acquintance of mine, who has a child - a real monster - once told us about the time the kid made a scene at a public place, and they were so out of it, so fed up with the kid's temper tantrum, that they decided not to do a thing as the kid rolled on the floor and kicked and bothered other people, even when requested by others to control the child. That's modern parenting to you. Often parents also decide to let the kid throw temper tantrums and not attend them, since "paying attention and reacting to them will only make things worse", but then the rest of the people suffer from the teaching. Do those of us who haven't had a say on the birth of that particular child should suffer it? I'd say no. So joyful? Ummm... not.

Yes, children are the future and we've all been children, but please, don't come up with shit like "children bring joy" and that their sounds make everything "happier". No, it doesn't. It might work for you, but not for all of us, and yes, some of us actually like to hear what we have to think. Some of us do like to relax and have people around us who are relaxed, doing what they like, and not getting in the way with us.

Live and let live, or rather "live and let enjoy".

No comments: