Last Saturday, an unpleasant scene erupted at Marcy’s Diner in downtown Portland when the owner of the restaurant scolded a 2-year-old child for screaming.
That Saturday morning started off busy for Darla Neugebaueron, the diner’s owner, as she was faced with a full restaurant. She said that neither her restaurant or grill are very big, which made it difficult to get even the easiest orders out quickly.
While Neugebaueron is used to busy Saturdays, she was not used to non-stop screaming. After 40 minutes of crying from a young child at table five, Neugebaueron lost her patience.
Neugebaueron recounted to ABC affiliate WMTW:
“I turned around, slammed both hands on the counter, and then pointed at the child and said, ‘This has got to stop.’ Oh, and then the mother screamed at me because I was yelling at her child. You know what lady, you should have taken the kid outside.”
Tara Carson, the mother of the child, reportedly said:
“Did you just yell at a child?”
“Yup! Sure did! Shut her up too! Why is it OK for that kid to disrupt the experience for 75 people when mommy and daddy could have taken it outside?”
According to Neugebaueron’s Facebook page, she had previously asked the parents to either take the child outside or to leave, but they refused to listen. She said that even after the child’s pancakes were brought to the table, the parents continued to talk and eat in spite of their screaming daughter, who couldn’t reach her food.
Neugebaueron said that she was justified in her actions because after she screamed at the child, the crying stopped.
Tara Carson was naturally appalled by the incident and posted some words on Darcy’s Diner’s Facebook page. Neugebaueron responded with some words of her own, which has now sparked a national debate.
Carson is in disbelief over the insanity of Neugebaueron looking for support from other mothers, saying:
“Anyone with a toddler knows when you wait for more than 40 minutes for food your child runs out of patience so crying is normal.”
Neugebaueron said she refuses to host screaming babies and absent-minded parents in her restaurant. She said:
“We all have our opinions. I think maybe mom and dad should have taken the kid out and nipped it right in the bud. I’m not a parent. I don’t know 100 percent. I know after 40 minutes of screaming, I had had enough.
“I may have crossed the line. It’s my line to cross though.”
On Monday, a reporter from WCSH-TV caught up with Neugebaueron and asked her if she was sorry for the way she acted. Neugebauer said:
“Life is full of choices and you’ve got to live with all of them. I don’t know if sorry would be the proper word. I might have used poor judgment.”