A CHILD'S relentless, piercing crying in a Sydney cafe led a man to ask the youngster's parents to ''take their child for a walk or find another solution''. The parents and child left, but were not happy. They swore, raised a finger and described the man ''as a despicable human being''.
Told on smh.com.au on Tuesday, the story touched a raw nerve in Sydney's latte land.
It was written by the upset man's partner, Jodie Noyce, who said: ''A few Sunday mornings ago, when the Sydney summer had started to kick in, my partner and I headed to our local cafe for breakfast. It was hot and we were hungry - we'd just spent the morning at the Christening of a good friend's first born.
''The cafe was full and we snared one of the last free tables. As we began reading the menu, the atmosphere suddenly changed.
''Every single person in the cafe, including the staff, seemed to notice the screeching sound.
''After around 10 minutes of continuous crying, my partner had clearly had enough.
'''It's one thing for a baby to cry but this is ridiculous.' Thinking that he wanted to leave without eating, I began to gather my things. But he had other ideas. 'No one has said anything to them, so I am.'''
His actions attracted comments from more than 1000 Herald website readers, the vast majority supporting his move.
Mother-of-two Cressida Beale has a little sympathy for parents. She takes her two children, Campbell, 3, and 10-month-old Monty, to the local cafe every morning but said it isn't always much fun for children.
"They have to sit still, they're normally really bored. But sometimes you are so desperate to have a coffee.
"I've left a restaurant once because someone came over and asked me to keep Campbell quiet. He wasn't even making that much noise. We felt so uncomfortable, we left. You're made to feel really small," she said.
Danielle Hutchison, co-owner of Sideways Cafe in Dulwich Hill, said the solution is to make cafes more child-friendly. "If they start crying it's usually because they're a little bit bored," she said. "When a child comes in, before they've started to cry … we give them colouring-in and toys."