The Respect She Deserves – December 23, 2005
Whenever I go to a store in this lead-up to Christmas, I see impatient
parents and whiny kids. So it was a treat today to see a mother and
daughter in a café that I frequent at the end of my regular morning walk.
Mom, dressed for the office, stopped in for a quick take-out coffee on
the way to dropping her toddler off at daycare. Daughter, however,
wasn’t in a hurry. While her mother lined up, the little one made
the rounds of the tables, carefully observing what we were eating and
drinking. Then she ambled up to her mother and asked for a muffin. Mom
said, “No, you have to go to school and I have to go to work.”
Firmly but without whining, Daughter repeated her desire for a muffin.
She was ignored. Mom, coffee in hand, was making her way out the door
when Daughter climbed up onto a chair. She sat there with her hands in
her lap, looked seriously at her mother and asked again for a muffin.
We collectively braced for the scene that was sure to follow. However,
Mom thought for a minute, looked at her watch, switched gears and
smiled. She said, “So we are going to sit here and have breakfast,
are we?” Pulling out her cell phone to call the office, she returned
to the line-up, ordered a muffin and returned to the table where the
little girl ate, smiled and chatted with her relaxed mother for five
or so minutes. When Daughter was finished, she climbed down from the
chair, began to put on her coat and told Mom that she was ready to go,
that they’d better hurry or they’d be late. Little time was lost
in Mom’s busy schedule, a young child received the respect she
deserves, and everyone in the café learned a lesson. Nice way to
start the day.