Conversation heard at the restaurant last night...
Waiter: "Will this table be OK for you?"
Mom (to 3 or 4 year old child): "Stevie, do you like this table?"
Stevie: "I wanna sit in a booth!!!" (face screws up pre-tantrum style)
Mom to Waiter: "We're gonna need a booth, Stevie likes to sit in a booth"
Waiter: ...incredulous silence...
Mom: "Maybe we could have that booth over there, the one that seats 14 people...even though it's clearly busy here tonight and it's also clearly far too big a table for three people"
Waiter: "Uhhhh...let me see if there's anyone waiting for that table"
Waiter comes back (looking homicidal) and seats Mom, Dad and Stevie at a table large enough for my entire small section: "Is this OK?"
Stevie: "I want to color"
Mom to Waiter: "Do you have crayons...?"
Waiter picks up Stevie and breaks him in half over his knee.
Seriously, not only did my parents never ask if the table at a restaurant was to my liking, they didn't ask me if the college I was told I WOULD go to was to my liking. I cannot imagine a reality in which my father would not only have solicited my opinion on something like this, but would have given a poor waiter heartburn to make it happen. In my family the conversation would never even have happened...my dad's favorite saying growing up was that it was a benevolent dictatorship but it could get ugly at any moment. I HATE to see another entitled little brat being created right before my eyes*...I just want to pull the parents aside and be like "everyone who ever meets Stevie is going to think he is a pretentious little asshole" but I know that either (a) they already know that and have decided to parent him this way anyway, (b) they don't know but would probably do the same thing even if they did, or (c) they don't care and think he's cute.
Anyway, kind of an interesting exchange that prompted a dinner-long conversation between my roommate and I on how our parents wouldn't have taken that crap for two seconds.
*I caveat all of this by admitting that I have no children of my own and can only fall back on my recurring mantra..."no one is the boss of me, no one is the boss of me," which definitely includes children, even those that might spring from my own loins.