Comedian Jen Kirkman complains about being bothered by a kid in public and Twitter has feelings
Comedian and author Jen Kirkman was out for coffee this weekend, when a random child kept crawling under her table and bugging her.
“Trying to have a quick coffee at a place. But someone keeps slapped [sic] my feet,” she tweeted. “I don’t know this child. His mother is doing nothing.” My god, parents. This is why we can’t have nice things.
Trying to have a quick coffee at a place. But someone keeps slapped my feet. I don't know this child. His mother is doing nothing. pic.twitter.com/YT9DVI4Lql
— JEN KIRKMAN (@JenKirkman) June 24, 2017
Kirkman doesn’t want kids of her own — and that’s no big secret. She wrote a book in 2013 entitled, I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales from a Happy Life Without Kids. It’s a book about being happily childfree in an age when so many link being a woman with motherhood — and cannot accept it when a woman veers off that path. But this incident has nothing to do with being childfree, liking kids, or having empathy for parents. It’s about parents understanding boundaries — especially in public places.
And it’s clear by the responses that people are very torn about how things like this should be handled. On the one hand, there were a ton of people sarcastically dismissing her, apparently thinking she was overreacting:
Did you try phoning the Police?!? Unacceptable!!— Neil Before Zod (@NeBnns) June 25, 2017
Look, clearly it’s not the end of the world, but come on. Isn’t it common knowledge that no one thinks your kid is as cute as you do? That’s just a fact. Refusing to reel in a child who is bothering other people in public is just… not cool. Yes, you may be exhausted. Yes, you may just be happy your child is actually being quiet. But it’s still just not cool. And it’s not just the childfree who don’t want to be bothered by errant kids in public.
I had two beings sliced from my womb – whom I love more than anything else on the planet. If I actually get to escape from them for a few minutes for a solo cup of coffee, you can sure as shit be assured that I don’t want to fill my time up entertaining your toddler. Or trying to get them to stop slapping my feet. Or pretending I don’t see them — or whatever else some on Twitter suggest:
Mom should be doing something, but I think you can gently lead kid out from under and say “Excuse me, but you are in my space.”— Sarah Orsborn (@erniebufflo) June 24, 2017
Nope. Shouldn’t have to parent someone else’s kids. Ever.
I always pour on the sugar, "Hi Sweetie, whatcha doin? Why you doin' that, that's MY foot!" Saccharine sweet. Toothache sweet.— Lidabit Persists & Resists (@Tigrrl) June 24, 2017
No. Now kid thinks you’re playing and gets even more annoying.
It's called playing. Feel free to ask him nicely to stop. Signed: a mom— 12 Russians in a trench coat (@HorridHenryVIII) June 24, 2017
What? Who lets their kids play with other people’s feet in public? No.
Generally, the Twitter consensus seems to be — keep your kids off other humans when you’re in public. And honestly, that is a reasonable request.
I'm a parent; I don't let my children touch other people without their consent. That's common sense.— Ovaries Before Brovaries🥀 (@Carolinamidwife) June 25, 2017
I'm a teacher, I spend 8 hours a day putting other people's children first. I'm not about to do it in my (child-free) private life!— Shay (@shaynadi) June 24, 2017
Last time I checked it was a more-than-reasonable to expect parents will keep their children out of a stranger's personal space in public.— BernBabyBern (@lge23) June 25, 2017
Mom of 3. My default position is that no one else wants to deal w my kids in their space. It's just common courtesy. This mom sucks.— Amanda O (@IsThisThingOn31) June 24, 2017
Look, we can’t always keep our kids quiet in public, for a variety of reasons. But we can damn sure keep them off other humans. That is just Parenting 101.