Arrrgh! Sometimes I think parents should be licensed. The other night we were out to dinner at a Japanese restaurant, the kind with-the hibachi where everyone sits together. Another family was seated nearby and we could hear and see everything that was going on. The chef made his big volcano flame and a little boy, about 3, started screaming and crying, "Fire!" (which, with-a little kid, sounds more like "Fie-oo!" His mom held him and he took a few min. to quiet down but ... he had a brother, and that brother was really screaming and crying. I thought he was affected by the pyrotechnics, too, but it turned out that he and his dad had just returned from the men's restroom, where he had been unable to "go." (The host of our party had just been in the restroom and told us this.) The dad had yelled at him and said, "If you don't go right this second, I'll leave you here and a stranger will take you away." Aaaargh! I can't type what I want to here because it will be deleted. Parent rule #1: Kids are slow. Except when they want to run around like maniacs. They dawdle, they splash, they stare in the mirror, they wander off. They do not behave like adults in adult situations so you shouldn't expect them to, just because YOU want to get back to your table. Parent rule #2: If you can't do something properly, ask for help. (Eg., get someone else at the table to take the kid to the bathroom.) Parent rule #3: Use some imagination. Maybe the reason the kid said he had to "go" was because the chef pulled up his cart and whipped out matches, and the kid, being a bit older that his brother, knew what was going to happen and wanted to get the *#%#%&&* out of there. IOW, it was an excuse, and he really didn't have to go, but sitting on the pot and swinging his legs was preferable and safer. Parent Theory of relativity: If you treat your child like this in public, people will assume you treat him even worse in private. And finally, if you treat your child like this on a consistent basis, expect that you will create a monster and you will be clueless as to how he got that way. I can think of few exceptions, author Amy Tan being one. Her mom, bless her heart, was a Piece of Work. And instead of ending up in the ER, Amy wrote a bunch of books and a autobiography/biography about herself and her mother that is as hilarious as it is poignant.