The pitter-patter of little feet. Joyful peals of laughter. The sweet, quiet, steady breath of your child sleeping as he snuggles against you and falls asleep at your breast.
None of these sounds--not one--compares to the sweet sound of someone else's child throwing an enormous temper tantrum in public.
Hear me out.
If you're a parent, witnessing someone else's child throwing a temper tantrum instantly elicits a euphoric mix of schadenfreude and sympathy. You know what I'm talking about, and don't pretend for one second you don't.
That's not my kid, but it could be, you say silently to yourself. But they don't know that. Because MY currently calm and tranquil child is looking oddly at the other parent's tantrumming child as though she were an exotic zoo animal. The look on MY child's face says, "I have never before witnessed such boorish behavior from a peer! Much less ENGAGED in it! For SHAME."
You know this is a bald faced lie, but ONLY you know this. Well, you and your child who apparently forgot that he was flailing on the floor over the wrong color plate not two hours earlier. For all the other parent knows, your child has never, ever done this.
But even if your child remembers the tantrum he himself just threw, it will be your little secret. Yeah, yeah. I know. We don't keep "secrets" because "secrets" are "bad," unless those secrets make us seem more well-adjusted than the next person.
Then secrets are totally awesome!
It's true: There is no sound sweeter than another person's child throwing an enormous temper tantrum in public.