Yep, that’s me with my “tantrum-ing toddler” in the story below. Never have I dreamt of making the international news because of a not-so-glowing incident with one of my children. Heroically saving a litter of puppies out of a burning building? Yes, that’d be more like it. Instead, I was hitting the airwaves because of a category 5 embarrassing moment as a mother. I was on vacation with my husband and three babes a few weeks ago and while out to dinner, my two year old, Ian, decided to have a massive meltdown. My husband and I tag-teamed to take him out of the restaurant so as not to bother the other patrons. Because of that simple act, mixed with a tad bit of sympathy, a stranger paid for our meal. I was so blown away by this simple act of kindness that I posted about it on a local mom’s Facebook page. A news station caught hold of the story, and well, you can see how it was portrayed in the article below.
The reason I thought it was “news-worthy” was because of the random generosity of a stranger. The news, however, thought it was because of how my husband and I handled our child vs. how the parents in Maine who did not take their screaming child outside. Mom vs. Mom. Parent vs. Parent. Our story went crazy-viral. Blogs and news sites as far as Ireland and Denmark carried it. All the opinions were pretty great about my family so that was pretty cool, but it still amazed me how the spin was on comparing us to other parents and not on that cool man who paid our tab. We as a society have become so obsessed with juicy stories that we tend to overlook the good, simple points. Kindness, generosity, overall goodness.
I thought of this blog idea several months ago when I realized that I had to mute or turn the TV off when the news was on to protect the innocent ears of my children from hearing the atrocities occurring around the world. I cannot watch the news even for a few minutes with them in the room. Heck, just now I searched every major news outlet’s websites to look for good stories. Nada. Instead: “Wildfires Raging!”, “Death Tolls Rising!”, “Lion Killing!”, “Political Name-Calling!”. The only good news of the day is that Dr. Dre is coming out with his first new album in 16 years. I mean, that’s awesome news (you can’t “beat” a good Dr. Dre song ~ Get it? Beat?) but there’s got to be more goodness out there, right?
My plan is to talk about all the good news happening both locally in my homestate of North Carolina and around the world. Stories that don’t always catch the eye of the news, yet stories that we should know about! Good deeds performed by others, fun activities that we’d actually want to take our kids to, great recipes…You name it! If it’s good, I want to talk about it!
So follow me on my quest for goodness. Let’s show our children that there’s great people out there!
**This is the article (below) written by Susanna Kim at abcnews.com.
Days after a parenting debate erupted on social media about a diner owner in Maine yelling at a crying toddler, a very different scenario unfolded in North Carolina.
“What my child did was not abnormal,” Melissa Wistehuff, of Raleigh, North Carolina, told ABC News. “What the other person did was abnormal. Number one, it was really awesome that somebody showed compassion. Number two, I always assume as a mom someone is judging us. When actually, those ‘nasty looks’ are people feeling sorry for us. Don’t assume the bad in people. Just know there are good people out there.”
Wistehuff, 36, and her husband were faced with a tantrum from their 2-year-old toddler Ian while eating at Sammy’s Seafood House in Morehead City. Wistehuff said Ian was being particularly loud this past Monday after a long day vacationing on the coast.
“He was not happy to say the least. He is normally a very well-behaved child in a restaurant,” she said. “And I guess he was just exhausted from playing on the beach all day and very hungry and he let it show.”
Mom of Child Yelled at by Maine Diner Owner Explains What Happened
Diner Owner Defends Yelling at 2-Year-Old to Stop Crying
“Our three children had never thrown a tantrum like that,” she said.
On Saturday in Maine, a diner owner yelled at another toddler for crying, followed by the mother’s Facebook post, which led to millions of comments about whether the parents or the owner were in the right.
Wistehuff called her situation “a major category 5 meltdown tantrum” in a Facebook post that caught the attention of ABC’s Raleigh-Durham station WTVD-TV.
Wistehuff took Ian out of his high chair and calmed him down outside.
“It was very crowded,” she said to describe the restaurant. “They had a line out the door that night. When we were taking him out, it was all we could do to keep him from kicking other people.”
When they rejoined her husband and two other children, ages 7 and 5, he restarted his meltdown. This time, Wistehuff’s husband brought him outside while she asked for the check.
“My husband was already in the car,” she said. “It was just myself and the two older children left at the table. I was so flustered trying to get out as fast as I could.”
That’s when the waiter told her someone had paid the $86 bill.
“The waiter said, ‘Someone admired how you took care of the situation and felt bad for you.’ I said, ‘What? What do you mean?’ Will you tell me, who?'” Wistehuff explained.
But the waiter refused.
“I felt so rotten and assumed that everyone was looking at me like I’m a terrible person. Right there the waiter told me what happened. I’m not an emotional person but I had a tear in my eye,” she said.
Wistehuff said she then realized she didn’t have cash to leave an additional tip on top of the gratuity that the stranger left. The table behind her told her they would leave an extra cash tip.
“Another table said, ‘You handled the situation so well.’ It was a restaurant full of kind people showing compassion that night,” she said.
Wistehuff said she hadn’t yet heard of the similar situation in the diner in Maine that became a viral social media firestorm. She said she can’t say who’s more in the wrong in that instance.
“If someone yelled at my child, I can’t say how I would react. There’s no right for someone to yell at another’s child, but she certainly had the right to ask them to leave,” she said.