I don’t hate children.  I like them.  And they like me.

My friends with kids know that I very much enjoy attending to, playing with and fawning over their children.  It makes them proud that someone else recognizes that their child is really something quite special, and it makes me happy to know that when the kid in question starts to cry or act up, I can just pass them back to Mommy or Daddy no questions asked.  And let me tell you, kids can turn from happy-go-lucky bundles of joy to devil-may-care whiners of discontent in two seconds flat.  I’ve seen it.

What gets me is the offspring of people I don’t know.  Strangers with children are all over Tokyo.  I’m not referring to the local kids.  They’re fairly easy to tune out–the Japanese are quiet from birth.  Somehow Japanese babies know it’s not ok to make any waves.  Plus, Japanese babies are always impeccably dressed so when I do happen to notice these fasionistas in training, I’m thinking more about how much their outfit costs relative to my own.

It’s these English-speaking expats with their kids that get on my nerves.  Their kids are inevitably louder and rowdier than the local stock.  And I can understand what they are saying.  Very bad.

So the little bugger speaks in an outside voice in a restaurant about his precious little crayon scratchings and instead of Dad telling him to use an inside voice because they’re at Homeworks in Hiroo, I hear Dad matching his kid in volume and outdoing him in gestures.  “What is that supposed to be, Derek!?  Is that from our recent vacation to Vietnam or the one we took last year to Thailand!!??”

The kid is five fucking years old.  They could have taken him to Disneyland and told him it was Cambodia for God’s sake.

These English-speaking little bastards complain, scream, cry, kick and abuse their parents in ways I’ve never seen before.  And instead of disciplining their little monsters, these parents are more likely to coo, laugh, smile, kiss and hug their little shits.  What is going on here?  If I had pulled that crap with my mom, I would have woken up in a hospital bed.  I have a feeling these kids get tucked in with a kiss after ordering dinner to be made to their liking.  It’s frightening.

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