Dinner and a movie

illustration by mark stivers

Dear Parents I saw at Pho Bac Hoa Viet,

I understand bringing a portable DVD player to a restaurant to keep your kid amused. You want to be sure he behaves; I get it.

I do not, however, want to listen to his movie while I try to have a conversation over my bowl of pho.

Also, if I ask you to please turn down the volume, you shouldn’t ask if I’d rather have to listen to him yell.

What? I have to make a choice?

Your skills as parents are reprehensible. Do you see that couple over there, across the restaurant, engaging their child, teaching her manners and how to appreciate new tastes? Be that kind of parent. Or hire a sitter.

I understand that even the most well-behaved children have their moments, and sure, you might have just needed a night out.

But so did I. And I don’t want to spend it with The Land Before Time XIII blaring at me. (Plus, everyone knows that only the first TLBT was any good.)

Thanks so much,