The mother of a child who was yelled at by the owner of a Maine diner over the weekend says she'll "never forget the look of fear on my baby’s face" during the exchange that sparked a national media firestorm.
In an article recapping the events in Wednesday's Washington Post, Tara Carson recounted her side of what happened when Marcy's Diner owner Darla Neugebauer yelled at her fussing child.
"Making national news was the last thing we expected on our quiet summer getaway to Maine this week," wrote Carson, a marketing manager who lives in New York. She said that after a 30-minute wait at the diner on Saturday, her daughter was getting a bit fussy by the time her pancakes arrived.
"When the food came, my daughter was still fussing. My husband and I decided that we would eat our food quickly then leave," Carson said. "Out of nowhere, Marcy's Diner owner Darla Neugebauer threw to-go containers at my husband and yelled, 'Either she goes or you go!'"
Minutes later, Carson said Neugebauer yelled at the child from behind the grill, telling her to shut up.
They then paid the bill, tipped the waitress 25 percent and left. Carson later left a message on the diner's Facebook page about her experience, which prompted Neugebauer to post a profanity-filled response. The story got picked up by news outlets around the country, with some people siding with the parents and others with the diner owner.
Neugebauer posted a new message on the Marcy's Diner Facebook page on Wednesday in which she said she stands by her actions.
"MY DINER....MY RULES. The only thing I am sorry for is that child has to grow up with such terrible parents" she wrote.
Carson, meanwhile, defended her parenting and said she hopes her experience inspires others to be compassionate toward parents trying their best with small children. She recalled telling her young daughter "this is exactly how I’m raising you not to be" after the owner's outburst.
"What got lost is that it’s never okay to yell at a baby, especially if you own a restaurant. You should care about providing good service to their patrons," she wrote. "Neugebauer could have come over politely and told us our baby was disruptive. She should not have thrown things or yelled or cursed."