PORTLAND, Maine– A mother is speaking out, days after a diner owner reprimanded her 2-year-old daughter, who was crying at the restaurant.
According to WCSH-TV Darla Neugebauer owns Marcy’s Diner, and posted to Facebook that she spoke loudly to the child, saying, “That needs to stop.” She said the little girl had been crying and screaming and she claimed that was disrupting other diners’ experiences.
The child’s mother, Tara Carson, responded in a letter to the Washington Post, stating that she doesn’t think her child acted out as much as Neugebauer is claiming,
“We hadn’t seen this woman before and didn’t know who she was. She seemed so unprofessional that we didn’t take it seriously. Our waitress seemed embarrassed by the owner’s behavior too,” she writes.
Carson said she was ashamed at how angry the woman was.
“I’ll never forget the look of fear on my baby’s face,” Carson wrote in the letter. “It was then that I turned to my daughter and said calmly, ‘This is exactly how I’m raising you not to be.'”
In the letter to the Washington Post, Neugebauer wrote back that on a busy Saturday morning, it may take a while for an order to arrive, but that even after the pancakes were served, the parents ignored the child, who was still crying loudly. That’s when she walked over to their table and told them to “shut her up.”
As Neugebauer put it to the Portland Press Herald, “Why is it OK for that kid to disrupt the experience for 75 people when mommy and daddy could have taken it outside?”
At the end of her letter, Carson defends that her daughter is just a normal toddler and she knows that babies do cry and act out at times.
“I want to raise my daughter to be good on airplanes and in restaurants and other public places. She is a normal toddler who is funny and curious and well-behaved. Is she perfect? No. Am I a perfect parent? Certainly not. But I do know that these things happen. Babies cry and sometimes moms make the call between a tantrum in the loud diner or going out into the rain. As parents, we sometimes rely on the kindness and empathy of strangers, who know we’re doing the best we can,” Carson wrote.