The Anti-Mommy: Screaming Child in Restaurant

Written for, and first appearing on

Problem: Child screaming and generally being loud in a restaurant.

First, if you are having this problem in a Chuck E. Cheese or an establishment that advertises that they are “kid-friendly,” then please – let them scream away, because I can guarantee you Anti-Mommy is nowhere in the vicinity. However, if you’ve selfishly smuggled your hybrid bundle of joy/fire siren into an typically adult establishment, here are some tips I think you’ll find useful.

Obviously, the first thing that will come to mind is the last episode of M*A*S*H (no Hawkeye, that wasn’t a crying chicken she smothered to prevent enemy detection, you crazy bastard). But thanks to today’s stringent child-smothering laws, that probably won’t be your go-to move.

Next, scoop up the child and walk them out of the restaurant. Walk them directly to the car. Drive them directly home. Stay there. You are both grounded. You’re the one who decided to have a kid, now you never get to eat a peaceful meal in a restaurant again. I’m sorry, I don’t make the rules.

But wait! Would you like to be able to have the occasional beef Welly in peace?

Get yourself a dog shock collar.

No, no – of course I am not suggesting you use a dog shock collar on your child in the restaurant!  You use it at home. Just practice at home, even on a relatively low wattage level, until darling little he or she understands that talking or screaming with the collar on is inadvisable at best. Then, the next time you’re in a restaurant and the little angel starts to demand cake at the 1000 decibel level, you can just smile, lean in, stroke their velvet like hair, and whisper sweetly in their ear: “Do you want the collar?”

That kid will shut up like a witness at a gang shooting, and you will look like a child rearing genius.

Just remember to let a sufficient time elapse between training and your first restaurant experience so the two little prong marks will have faded from the child’s neck. If your kid tries to spill the beans to horrified restaurant staff, it is a lot harder to laugh over his “wild imagination” if he’s got electrode prong marks on his neck.

You’ll thank me later,


Amy Vansant
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