So a side-effect of almost four months of baby sitting, despite the fact that "my" kids remain reasonably manageable:
I can't stand kids.
Now, it's no secret that I've never really liked kids, but seriously, I can't stand the sight or sound of them now. I suspect it's not kids per se, but the fact that from what I see, parenting has basically become about doing handsprings to mollify/assuage your child and respond to its every whim in a constant attempt to please it, and when kids misbehave, the rest of us have to be held hostage to the New Leniency, because it's no longer considered bad manners to let your child's behavior ruin everyone's good time.
It's bad. At a party I went to last weekend, one child, five going on six, had a meltdown because he couldn't keep a bottle of beer he'd opened (his dad had allowed him to open beer for people, since the kid enjoyed using the mounted opener). We're talking full-blown kicking, screaming tantrum. The dad just kind of smiled and laughed and held the kid still while he went nuts. Where I was sitting, about twenty feet away, people near me made "poor thing" noises.
I said, "There is no reason for a child that age to behave that way unless he is mentally retarded."
One woman began telling me that no, kids that age...
"And if he does," I continued, "the dad should immediately take him into the apartment, away from the rest of the guests (because guess what Dad - listening to your kid scream is NOT FUN), into a back room, and he should get in his face and tell him he has five seconds to stop or he's going home. And make good on that promise."
And people look at me as though this is some draconian expectation. Good freaking grief.