Diner owner taking heat (and praise) after she screamed at crying toddler, called her a ‘monster’

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PORTLAND, Maine — The owner of a diner in Maine is getting national attention after an apparent altercation involving a family and their 2-year-old child.

Tara Carson’s original post on the Marcy’s Diner Facebook page. The post has since been deleted.

Darla Neugebauer, the owner of Marcy’s Diner, apparently screamed at the child last week when the family was eating at the restaurant.

Neugebauer told WCSH the child’s parents ordered three pancakes and then didn’t feed them to the girl, causing the child to cry loudly.

After multiple attempts to get the family to leave or to take the girl outside, the diner owner said she slammed her hands down on the counter and told the girl to be quiet.

The toddler’s mother, Tara Carson, wrote about the incident on the diner’s Facebook page.

Editor’s note: Screenshots of the Facebook posts have been included in this story. The posts include graphic language.

Marcy’s Diner responded on Facebook to the customer’s original post.

Dozens of people responded to the post, some defending the diner owner and others demanding the diner apologize.

The post, which includes some graphic language, has since been deleted.

Neugebauer responded on Facebook and refused to backdown, saying, ” you are lucky I didn’t get really f***** nuts because being physical is not something I cower from.”

Despite the backlash on social media, Neugebauer is not backing down.

“Life’s full of choices and you’ve got to live with all of them. I chose to yell at a kid, it made her shut-up, which made me happy, it made my staff happy, it made the 75 other people dining here happy, and they left, they may never come back, other people may not come in. Their loss really,” she told WCSH.

A follow-up post from Marcy’s Diner in response to the backlash.

As the story has received nationwide attention, more people have come to the defense of Neugebauer and to proclaim their frustration with screaming children in restaurants.

One customer posted a comment on the diner’s Facebook page asking, “Why did you remove that post?! Kudos to the managers for setting that mom in place. So sick of parents not parenting.”

The couple, who was on vacation in the area, told WCSH they were upset with the entire situation.

“I turned to my daughter and I was like ‘Listen, this is how I’m raising you not to be as an adult. Like, you will never be like this when you get older,'” Tara Carson said. “I felt helpless as a mom that, you know, I couldn’t do anything to help her, because I can’t explain why there’s crazy people in this world that behave like that.”


  • jane

    I totally agree with owner, and parents need to go for counciling if they think what they did was parenting of any kind..and yes I have raised four kid.we use to leave a event or store if my kids didn’t behave. They didn’t get to go home and cry about it either.it would be pick up toys time or look at books if to young. Let’s just say my kids knew if they didn’t behave in public it was home time.

  • not_yours

    Pathetic, the US that we live in and the interaction that has drove people to this behavior.
    Our society would rather spend their entire days and nights wrapped up in a “social media” site, then get involved in the REAL issues with this USofA. Vote come election time, get involved and make a REAL change!
    But then again, here I am posting on a news media “social” site. LOL
    However I am involved and do vote. I do not care what you are affiliated with, or what “side” you choose. Just do not vote for the incumbents. We need different politicians that listen and speak for the public, not a lifetime politician that saves face every election season then chases the money!

  • Taylor

    How about you feed the child first? She was obviously hungry. Any good parent would have made sure the child was fed before themselves. I understand children can be a handful but they are CHILDREN. On the other hand, if someone yelled at my child like that, there would be a problem but I wouldn’t let it come to that. I would have been respectful of everyone else trying to eat and got my food to go.

    • Joan k

      I agree totally. I can’t blame the child for crying but I can blame the parents. How could they, in good conscience , not feed that hungry child!! If the owner of the diner had looked into it a little more she would have seen why the child was crying. I am thinking those parents are abuse ing the child by not feeding and they are the ones who should be in trouble. I am a 75 year old great grandmother. We have 6 children and many times my husband and I ate less so those children could have what they needed. When we were able to take our children out to eat p== ope would “one over to us and say what a well behaved family you have.
      There is something wrong when parents are eating and children are not and that should be investigated. Something is wrong.

  • Kasey

    I had the pleasure of raising a “demon”. My husband and I didn’t go anywhere with him for the first 1 to 2 years. We did not want him to disrupt and annoy other patrons so we stayed home and had dinner there! We went out a couple of times and regretted it immediately and had to leave shortly after arriving. We are both very hands on parents and he kept us both busy 24/7. Even with two tentative parents, there was no way he could act like a human being in public. :) We resigned to that fact and chose to not allow our spirited child to taint other peoples enjoyment. Thankfully, we now have a very well adjusted child. Whew! We weren’t sure we were going to make it out alive! So, I agree with the owner. There is no excuse to allow a child to scream for long periods of time and ignoring the child on top of it. Take your child out of the establishment if you can’t get control. Box up your food and go! It’s a simple solution. You are the parent.. act like it! That family is lucky that’s all the owner did. I might have grabbed the kid and taken him out myself.. and give him a really annoying toy to take home. Karma!

  • Ruby

    The problem here, was the fact that it went on for at least 10-15 minutes. Most parents will take their squalling turd outside and get things to go. These “parents” decided to ignore the little beast and inflict her brattiness on the rest of the people…I’m sorry it escalated like it did, but COME ON! I have 5 kids, and YES, I have had to drop everything and leave stores, restaurants, etc…it’s called, teaching your spawn to not be entitled, spoiled thugs!

  • jstieber1@cox.net

    I am a mother of two and completely agree with the diner owner and staff. The parents were not “parenting” and left it up to others to discipline their child. No common sense on the part of the parents

  • Kristina Nuber

    Why would you call a child who is crying because it is hungry a monster it is not the child’s fault that I can’t get to its food. Yell at the parents not the child it is the only innocent party in this entire ordeal.

  • Missy Stembridge

    I agree with he store owner to an extent. It would have not come to this in the first place if the parents did right thing and the respectful thing for everyone involved by correcting the problem or removing the problem by getting your food to go and leaving. I personally find it very annoying and disrespectful for parents to let their children do this in public. You are definitely NOT teaching your children respect or manners if you are letting them do whatever they please whenever they please. There’s a place and time to let them work through and or express their emotions but it’s not in a diner full of other patrons and by the way, the saying, “It takes a village”… Bull! It only takes committed and responsible human beings to raise your children and I emphasize “YOUR CHILDREN”. Quit expecting everyone else to do it for you and don’t expect everyone else to put up with their annoying behavior just because you do.

  • bob

    I’m a parent. I never assumed that my screaming kid was other peoples’ problem. Kids do that, but it’s a parent’s responsibility to sooth them or, if that fails, remove them from the public setting.

    Had the owner screamed at the child after two minutes it would be a different story, but I’ve seen parents acting like these ones apparently did and there is no excuse for it.

    It’s called “common courtesy.”

  • Jill Rice

    If you don’t discipline your kids, the rest of the world will and you won’t like it. Looks like all three of them at that table learned a lesson that day.

  • Tammy guffey

    I am surprised that most of the comments have been about the 21 month old baby-well actually in reality about her parents 😓 the facts are unclear as I have heard that the baby was crying for 4 minutes on another site– but facts aside Let us all stop and have a moment of silence for the innocence that has been lost …a grown woman business owner yells at a child- and over 90% of the comments applaud her, commend her, recommend her. What is the world coming to? Is anyone else worried !? The young innocent children are being called “annoying” “inconvenient” “stay at home with them” –their mothers who are probably most likely (if the child is not yet two) that means she hasn’t had a good nights sleep in probably over two years -she is given all she can and all she is to this child and Is supposed to raise them in this world- who is pointing a finger at her on every corner–“control your kid” “teach your kid f***ing respect”(really) ” you’re lazy” ” you’re entitled” “keep your snotty kids away from us” BUT the moment the mom snaps and hurts her child YOU are the one saying “we’re taking that child away from you ” YOU are the one saying ” you don’t deserve to be a mom” “if you don’t discipline your child then we will and you’re not going to like it” OR the mom gives up completely and leaves the child with someone who can give them more than she has AND THEN what do you say?? “that is the most selfish thing she could do” “what a selfish b****” “how could she leave her own children” we live in a society where less and less people are having kids and more and more people are having opinions and judgements and criticism about the few who can and still and do have kids. So I have an idea–most likely if you don’t have kids of your own you should probably limit your comments and judgements and critiques to things like your dog, or your play station or your business or whatever else you have decided is more important than KelEEpiNg the world going- by having kids and bringing new life into this world– and If my two year old acting like a two year old bothers you– then you stay home and make memories with your flat screen and your wine and your over abundance of sleep and other things that come along with your life choices. I will NO LOnGeR leave church because my two year old is acting like she is two– I will no longer apologize for my 3 year old acting like a 3 year old– for the past 3 years I have stayed home going out ONLY when there was no other option— because it is so HARD– not only do you have yourself to deal with and all the insecurities is STILL HAVING A BABY BELLY– and being asked if I am pregnant (nope it’s just fat she’s 2 1/2 thanks for making my day though) and then on top of that a 3 year old who is learning independence and wants to do everything herself and a 2 year old who fights me every step of the way !! AND THEN TO TOP IT OFF — I have all of the 15-60 year olds in the world who NEVER had kids! -rolling their eyes at me and making RuDE comments and telling me what I should and should not do–and even saying stay home so we don’t BOTHER you!! And then there are all those OTHeR PEOPLe who did have kids who have forgotten how hard it is to be sleep deprived and starving (because by the time you feed everyone else who has time to eat!) –okay people– so where are those people asking if they can help- or holding a door or picking up something that fell from the cart or saying something positive like ” you’re doing okay- you’re ok– you’re going to make it– it gets better? Anything a glimmer of hope that you too remember what it was like– AnD if you don’t have that – if you can’t find it in you to help someone who is clearly clearly deserving of a kind word– then please for the love of baseball and all that is holy keep your comments to yourself HELLLO WORLD – As A Mom we Already feel like failures– If you’re not a mom you can’t understand – (and no- being an aunt is not the same ) because all we want is to give our children the best life and teach them well and have them grow up to be successful and kind..we already KNOW that these kids need more skills than we can teach them– we already KNOW that it’s not pleasant or convenient or fun to Listen to them whine and cry and throw fits — so coming full circle here my point is if you can’t say anything nice then at least fake a smile and be greatful that we chose to do it and you don’t have to–You’re welcome! pointing fingers about who is right and who is wrong will no longer carry is forward- but kindness will. Try it out it might not hurt. And it might even come back to you someday when you are less than perfect –

    • Liz

      I raised 4 children. My kids were never allowed to act that way. At that age, if I knew the child couldn’t handle a sit down restaurant, we didn’t go. The parents were absolutely horrible for ignoring that child to the point that a business owner lost control. These spoiled brat parents owe the restaurant (and their poor child) an apology

      • Eden

        I love people like you. .. my kids never acted like that! My kids were sent from heaven and perfect as could be. BS !!!! Climb down of your better then thou high horse and get your head out of the clouds. All children throw tantrums and act like…. well children!

    • Liz

      And I’m sorry, but you’re part of this problem. Children learn by how we react to them. If you allow your two-year-old to scream and cry in church, you’re teaching him or her that others don’t matter – only what the child wants. This is why we have spoiled, entitled, rude young people. I hope you become a better parent. Blessings !

    • miles (dave)

      to a point i understand where your coming from, especially if you are a single mom then its even more understandable. i do believe there are parents who are doing the best job they know how and its still unreasonably tough. and your right when you say that some compassion is in order. but a little persistent discipline goes a long way.

      i recommend if there are two parents then when one child acts up then one parent takes the child out to the car (maybe a spanking is in order or just being forced to sit in the car till he or she calms down is enough) persistent is the key do it every time without question and eventually the child knows its coming if he or she acts up so they make different choices

    • CJ

      You are so full of it. You had those kids and no one made you. Take care of them and raise them right or someone IS going to tell you how to do it. Maybe you should listen to them. Seems like you are having a hard time with them. Take some much needed advice.

    • Carla

      Sorry Tammy, you are wrong. I am a mother and don’t feel like a failure at all. People come up to me all the time and tell me what well behaved children I have. You know why? Because they know they would get their butts handed to them if they threw a tantrum in public or at home. Why? Because that kind of behavior isn’t tolerated. Yes, you can discipline your children. Yes, you can make them behave! Yes, you can keep them at home if they misbehave. Why on earth would you want to bring your kids in public acting that way? Do you have some kind of sick mentality that you want to annoy EVERYONE around you? Are you that kind of “I don’t care about anyone but myself” person. Obviously!

    • Mom

      Sounds like Tammy is in over her head. Your mistake, not everyone else’s. Sorry you didn’t know what you were getting yourself into, but YOU are the one who has to deal with it. Not society. Quit complaining about your fat belly and teach your kids. If not you, who else will?

  • Theresa

    Full support for the diner owner. I do not support rewarding children’s screaming with attention because it encourages it through positive feedback, but at the same time, respect the fact that you’re in a public place. If you can’t stop your kid from crying and screaming, take them out to the car until they stop. If you know they are likely to do it, order your food to go and eat in the car, hotel, or the freaking park! Be respectful of the people who have to be around you who did not want to have a screaming toddler be a part of their dining experience. Just because you decided to procreate and deal with the consequences doesn’t mean the rest of us did.

  • Eden

    Only half of the story is here. Nowhere in the story does it say why the food was in the middle of the table. We only get the owners side here, really. And it doesn’t sound like she flat out said to them “please leave”. Not everyone knows restaurant lingo. How many times does the waitress bring boxes or ask if you want boxes before you are finished with your food? Good customer service is not yelling at a baby!

  • Nancy Wesson Mendez

    The mother is saying that there was nothing that she could do to help her own child in this situation. That is just sad…the mother should have picked her baby up, walked with her outside for a minute or two, hugged her and reassured her. Instead, the mother and father allowed the baby to scream and cry to the point that the owner became so frustrated that things got really ugly. Your baby never cries just to cry…there is a reason your baby was crying. Maybe she wanted to hold one of those pancakes in her little hands, maybe her diaper was wet, maybe she was getting sick, or maybe she just wanted your full attention ~ whatever the reason it is the parent/guardian/caregiver’s responsibility to calm the baby down. Next time this happens the mother needs to take charge of the situation with her baby, so that it does not escalate to the point of outside interference!

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