Diner Owner Taking Heat (And Praise) After Screaming at Crying Toddler, Calling 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.

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

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

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.

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 back down, saying, “you are lucky I didn’t get really f***** nuts because being physical is not something I cower from.”

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

“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.”

78 comments

  • Alison

    awesome! good for the worker!! i cant stand kids that are unruly and the parents who dont care!!! i raised my child to have respect and behave in public!! and if youre kid acts up, you excuse yourself and try to calm them down and return, or if that doesn’t work then for the love of god, and respect for other patrons….leave!! go to check e cheese where its ok to be loud!!!

  • Julie

    I totally agree that some people should not have children due to poor or lack of parenting skills. I have no issue in that the owner said something but the manner in which she handled it was distasteful. To say “rotten kid” in her post was a bit much. That child is a product of two very ignorant parents. Their fault, not the child’s.

    • misterpl

      This lunatic said far worse than “rotten kid.” She referred to her as “a f••king child” and a “f••king screaming kid.”

      Let’s try to remember who the real victim here is: The 2-year-old.

  • Valfreyja

    It’s a pit we live in a society where parenting has been defato outsourced to the community at large, but if that’s the way it must be then fine. Good on the diner owner. Children deserve some special consideration in society, no doubt. But society does not need to bend over backwards for them. Part of taking kids out in public is teaching them that they’re not the only human being with wants and needs. 75 other diners did not pay to listen to your spawn scream. Silence them or leave. Why is that so hard?

    ” It’s the parents’ fault! Have you ever tried simply turning off the TV, sitting down with your children, and hitting them?” -Bender Bending Rodriguez

  • Brenda

    First of all, she’s obviously horrible at running a diner if it takes her 40 minutes to make “3 full-size pancakes”. Secondly, she should not be running a business and dealing with the public. Screaming at little kids, posting vulgar messages on Facebook, threatening physical fights with people. She’s unstable and doesn’t belong around people. It was completely unprofessional and I hope she goes out of business because anyone with any sense at all would never go there again. If she doesn’t want people to get cranky, she should learn how to cook. If she can’t keep up when it’s busy, she’s in the wrong business!

    • Valfreyja

      What, are you kidding? I’m thinking of taking a trip up there myself just to patron her diner. It’s about time society stop tolerating every dumb little thing poor parents and out of control kids do based solely on “they’re just children”. I’m not some hard hearted “children should be seen and not heard” monster, but all things have their limits. An hour of screaming and several warnings is WAY above and beyond as far as I’m concerned.

    • Lizzie

      THANK YOU, Brenda. I agree 100%! She sounds like the typical arrogant New Englander (coming from someone born and raised in MA who was lucky enough to get out!). Seriously! 40 mins to make THREE pancakes?!?! It takes me 20 minutes to make about 18-24 pancakes!! And I’m “just” a housewife! Unstable is a huge understatement! I hope she gets the professional help she clearly needs. Is it any wonder why she’s single with no children? She’s a complete b*tch/psycho!

  • Chrissy

    As a parent of a one yr old I could understand the frustration of all involved. Noone can judge either side because we don’t know them. But I will say there are children who are uncontrollable. I am sure the parents didn’t just sit there and allow the child to scream. If the child was hungry perhaps the pancakes were too hot and they were waiting for them to cool. Think of things from all ends. One should never call a child a demon and screaming at them gets you nowhere ppl. Perhaps someone has anger issues.

      • Chrissy

        Maybe I should have used the term we shouldn’t… But also we r only judging actions or behavior ..do we know them personally?.. I know I don’t.

    • BZ22

      In an article on another site, the mother admits the child was “fussy” but it was raining so they couldn’t take her outside! She also said they were brought to go boxes, asked to leave, etc., but, again, it was raining.

  • Bill

    This is crazy. If the child was hungry and the parents arent feeding her, then blame the parents. Like the diner owner, I dont have any children either. But when a child is 2 years old and hungry and the parent does not feed her, how else would one expect that child to behave? Given the facts stated in this article, in no way was the diner owner justified in yelling at the child. She is a bully, plain and simple and anyone with any reasonable mind would not go to that establishment again. Now the parents… Thats another story and I would have thrown them out of my place too and asked them to never come back! I dont see anyone talking about the cruelty of putting food on a table next to a hungry child and not bothering to feed her!

  • E

    Thank you to whoever deleted my previous comments, that lets me know I hit my mark :) I find it amusing when women make their abuse so obvious. Why doesnt she just wear a sign around her neck saying she has is damaged goods lol. Battered women always talk tough, it’s hilarious. It’s as if they want to be a stereotype. Daddy issues anyone? She must originally be from Scranton. Ha ha ha! Hurry hurry delete delete ha ha ha!

  • R U Stoopid?

    What an ugly and ignorant low-life! She is actually boasting at bullying a 2 year old? She don’t back down? Gimmee two minutes alone with her and I will show her how bad-*ss she isn’t! Loser!

    • Valfreyja

      This is really the heart of the problem right here, isn’t it folks? We’re a generation of people who thinks discipline is bullying. What a pant load.

  • Del

    No, you don’t scream at a 2 year old child. You speak to the parents directly, tell them to leave if you have to, even call the authorities but you do NOT take your frustration out on the baby for doing what comes natural. Crying. The owner of this place is an uneducated, ignorant person in my humble opinion.

    • Valfreyja

      By definition children lack the brain capacity to understand basic social rules. You absolutely DO need to use a little force now and then to keep them in line. Parenting is not about making a friend, it’s about making a responsible human being.

      • Trish

        So if you understand that a child that age does not have the brain capacity to understand basic social rules why would think they have the brain capacity to understand why a complete stranger is screaming at them or even their own parents for that matter? Sorry but I think your lacking a little brain capacity we are talking about a 2yr old aren’t we?! Not twelve!

      • Del

        I think the point flew right over your head. This lady was frustrated, so her reaction was to scream at a child. That wasn’t her place, even if you think that’s what a child needs. Yes, they need discipline. Correct discipline. Not some ignorant blowhard screaming at them. Yes, the parents were wrong. I’m not condoning them. I’m simply commenting on the subject at hand, which is the owner. She was out of line. Period.

  • Mary Rowlands

    2 yo is still a baby. Not a miniature adult. Neglectful of your child’s needs is a surefire way to raise an unhappy child, But one wonders if it was really their child. One normally responds to their child’s cries.

  • bunman

    I’m for the manager, she did the right thing, nothing worse than a kid screaming when you are trying to enjoy your meal. for the love of god what is wrong with the parents for not taking her outside to shut her up.. parents sound like winners.

  • Cassandra Henderson

    I can see both sides to this as I’m a mother of two young children. My oldest (10yrs) is special needs (ADHD, ODD and has rage fits). Yes there are times where he is not “behaving” the respectful way in a restaurant where we do have to take him outside but there are times where he’s acting up on purpose just to get up from the table so we “ignore” him after telling him to stop because we will ignore the rude behavior. After a few minutes he’ll normally stop. We also inform the staff of how he can be and apologize for any inconvenience it causes.

    • And so it continues.......

      Ohhhh like an apology just solves everything. Aren’t you so kind and sweet? Leave your kid home if you can’t control it.

      • Trish

        “Control it” this person was talking about a child not an it!! So how long should we keep our children out of the public because I’m a little confused as to how we are supposed to teach our children how to act in public if no one thinks they should be there to teach them?! You guys cannot sit there and say you don’t know at least one toddler and acknowledge that they at times have tantrums and that it doesn’t mean they are tyrants or monsters or its!! At 2 years old that child is barley past being a baby they don’t understand that the world does not revolve around them yet that take time and good parenting what in the world are some of you thinking? It saddens me to think that ALOT of you all are blaming a toddler for the actions of this adult she took it way to far thank goodness there are some people out there that can see this for the rest of open your eyes because to me you are the ones who shouldn’t be in public unless your ready!!

      • And so it continues......

        I do know 2 year old children with meltdowns ; normal behavior at that age. Take them outside when it starts. Move uour fat , lazy legs and butts, pick them up, and have some respect for people. You lazy parents making excuses for crying kids should not have kids. So the whole world has to suffer while you let IT * he or she* all snotted up, screaming , demanding. And a fully outta control child learn how to act in public. Duh. A lot of have raised our kids . some of us want a somewhat quiet meal out. Have some respect. Do you know what that is??????

      • And so it continues......

        Btw, since it often takes a parentto raise a child…..here is some advice. You asked how a child is suppose to learn how to act out in the public. It doesn not take a rocket scientist that they learn by removing them to a quiet location during their meltdowns or spoiled rages, and tell them that that behavoir gets them removed from the public and is not acceptable. You do not be oxymoron and sit there , letting them rage it out unless you want them to learn their behavior is ok at 2 years old and 20. Some people should not breed.

      • Trish

        You shouldn’t breed and if you did poor kids!! I don’t know who you are calling lazy but I sure as heck know who I’m calling an a**h***!! And so it continues more idiots pretending they are better parents. I never once said stay and let you child act like that not once but so many of you are being ridiculous calling people’s kids names because you happened to be at a restaurant when a child was throwing a fit how do you know they are spoiled or little tyrants? There’s a few of us trying to stick up for that toddler and the rest of you are acting worse then she did We are the adults sure as heck can’t tell by ready your comments though

      • And so it continues......

        Blah blah blah. You just want an excuse to be able to let your child “act in public settings” regardless his or her attitude. I removed my crying kid from the restaurant 2 times in his entire life. Do you know why? Because I am a respectful parent and removed him as soon as he was 20 seconds in. And you can bet I would have done the same in the grocery store or any PUBLIC setting. Arguing with you and trying to get a point across is not happening. Keep raising cry babies that the entire surrounding people have to deal with because you do not know how to properly deal.

      • And so it continues......

        And uhhh Trish, in my previous posts I did not call a child a name. However, I see you resorted to name calling so here is some cheeze for that “Whine” of yours from one A hole to another. Have a wonderful carefree day out and about with your crying kids. It is all about you afterall

      • Trish

        you just have the answers to everything don’t you? Im not really sure why you think I don’t parent my children my kids are well behaved kids ya have a great day too

  • Joe

    As a parent of special needs children, I know how difficult it can be to deal with certain situations. Why were the parents not feeding pancakes to the child? Is it because she had to eat something else first? Were they trying to teach her some responsibility to feed herself? Whatever the reason, sometimes the best way to handle a screaming child looking for attention is to not give them that attention. It’s called planned ignoring, and it works.

    The owner has every right to do whatever he or she wants in the restaurant, and kick out anyone they want regardless of age, sex, race, religion, or opinion on screaming children. (And YES, I made that comparison) But just like throwing someone out of a bakery because they’re ordering a cake for a gay wedding, throwing a patron out of your business because their child is screaming because “it offends some people”, or even getting in their face about it, is “bad for business”.

    The owner says she doesn’t care. That’s OK. Some people like being broke and on welfare.

    • Jimmy Muraco

      As another parent of three “special needs” children, I can tell you that there are these wonderful tools called “Common Sense” and “Responsibility”. If one of our children had a fit, one of us would take the child to the car to console him/her then return to the restaurant. We were always respectful of other diners and instilled that into our children (an archaic rarely-used form of conduct called “manners”). Our children, frequently, received compliments, from other customers and staff, on their exemplary behavior. It’s not difficult to do, it just requires some effort, some patience and knowing that there are other people in the world other than yourself.

      • Valfreyja

        Raising a special needs child is a whole other level of difficult. On behalf of all of society, thank you for being one of the good ones. I’ve got a good feeling your children are going to grow up to be fine people.

    • BZ22

      This child was two years old, nothing was mentioned about special needs and those important lessons should be taught at home so chldren will behave in public. It only took a look or stare from us and our kids got the message! They did not want to leave! If they happen to misbehave, be considerate and respectful of others by removing your chld and dealing with him/her outside.

  • Kelly Miller

    My husband and I had a similiar situation completely ruin our dinner the other night. We were on the road for over ten hours and had to listen to not one but two screaming children while the parents did nothing about it. One kid kept coming to our table and staring at us and even at one point helped herself to my plate. Parents did nothing but say sorry. Didn’t correct their child though. Hey if the parents drop the ball on teaching manners and discipline to the point where a stranger had to step in, so be it. I wish this woman was there to save our dinner from being ruined. Pat on the back from me!

  • tammy

    I gave worked in the restaurant business for 30 years.it isn’t a place for your children to run a round or scream.if they eat at a certain time dont expect them to be behaved if you change their routine. And if you aren’t going to parent your children and teach them how to behave in public stay home

    • Trish

      Yes because teaching happens over night. I applaud parents who take there children out in public restaurants It’s probably one of the most difficult things to do with your children expecting them to sit still and behave at a young age is very hard I know but what makes it even harder is people staring and making rude comments if your child happens to act like a child if certain people don’t like seeing a child being a child then go home and I’m not sticking up for the older children that do know better I’m sticking for the little one who don’t

      • Chrissy

        In response to comments below about keeping children out of public..when I had my son baptised there were two other babies being baptised the same day..One was very colicky… I’m guessing we should have kicked them out lmao omg you ppl r ridiculous if adults can’t deal with a crying child or baby then your not meant to b parents…there r worse things in this world..get a grip!.. Peace to all!

  • Kat

    I am the parent of 3 grown children. I would never have thought to subject other people to have to put up with my child’s tantrums, crying or bad behavior. We made plenty of trips out to the car mid-dinner when my children were young. I have sat many times in a restaurant where children have been allowed to “carry on” for 15-20 minutes while the rest of us have had to put up with it. If this is the way you want to parent—by not giving attention to bad behavior, fine–just don’t expect the rest of us to put up with it. That’s just plain RUDE! Do I think that it was right for the owner to shout at the child and use explicit language? Definitely not. But did she have every right to ask them to leave? DEFINATELY!

  • Johnson

    Sounds like crumbling society from all sides. This lady is obviously trash. Sure crying kids are annoying but they’re kids no matter if they’re spoiled or not. It’s none of your business to discipline their child and I doubt she has any herself. Besides all of that what an intelligent way to represent your business I must say. Who would want to go there after reading this press and her two bit classless response. She was obviously pissed about the kid ordering adult size pancakes to begin with which is pathetic.

    • R U Stoopid?

      Isn’t it despicable? We read all the stories in the news of how terrible children are treated by adults who are supposed to love them and look out for them. Yes kids act out, but I would put up with 100 kids acting out than one adult like this nasty piece of work! And that goes for Kelly Miller too! So selfish and self-absorbed! What were you people born outta snake eggs? You make me sick to my stomach!

      • BZ22

        Do you really let a stranger’s child take food off your plate in a restaurant? NO parent should think that’s proper behavior and tolerated by others! Running around and acting up is bad enough. Whatever happened to making a child sit and behave in public?

    • Trish

      Thank you thank you!!! She’s a class act that one is. I’m assuming they paid for the pancakes sooo isn’t that money in her pocket?!

  • unbelievable

    I would be furious if someone was calling an innocent two year old that expecially minwe say something about the parents not the kid

    • BZ22

      She gave the parents plenty of hints and invitations to leave in an hour of the child’s screaming which they ignored. Yes, she yelled, but not at the child personally. If the parents had been respectful of others and decent to begin with, all of this could have been avoided!

      • Trish

        Actually she did yell at the child she admitted so On Facebook in fact she even added that she pointed and the beast as she was yelling she’s a real winner and someone to really stick up for. She’s obviously very civilized we could all learn a thing or two from her!! No actually she disgusting!!

      • BZ22

        TRISH – Read Darla’s FB post one more time in context within the quotation marks. Darla said, “either you all need to go or just her” and then she referred to the child as a beast in her FB post, not in their faces in the diner. This was after 40 – 60 mins. of crying, the parents ignoring her, the hints to leave, even refusing to after even being handed “to go” boxes for the food they hadn’t bothered to eat after all that time. It was raining outside (according to the mother on another news site), they didn’t want to get wet and apparently didn’t care who had to listen to their “fussy” child for that hour! Rude, selfish, inconsiderate and definitely not class acts at all.

      • Trish

        BZ22-Umm ya I didn’t say she called the child a beast to her face now did I? Nope!! I said she admitted to yelling at the child and even added the beast in her comment on the Facebook page I just commented on the fact that she called the child a beast on her post because it disgusted me!! This story is about a POS that screamed at a toddler for crying and then said some horrible things about her it’s disgusting! I have no idea what the reasoning was for the parents letting this go on for so long but they weren’t screaming and calling names were they? So rude, inconsiderate , and trash sums her up!!

  • marcyi

    I give the owners 10 thumbs up , 5 high fives 4 fist bumps and a smile from ear to ear! My child is 8 he was full of respect at 2. I’m a young mom doing it the old school way!! Stupid people everywhere!!!! Bravo lady

    • Trish

      Hahaha I really couldn’t help but laugh at that statement “full of respect at 2” ya ok!! Doing it the old school way and please tell what that way is because I must be doing something wrong I mean I don’t give my 2 yr permission to scream in a
      Restaurant But she sure as heck does it anyways I think we are pretty dang good parents too not doing it the old way but doing it our way because it’s what we see fit not because we’re afraid of the people sitting next to me think because I know at the end of the day my child is well behaved but sometimes she has a bad day or just a bad outing. We all do don’t we?

  • Suzie

    I agree who wants to hear a crying child! But for a restauranteer to lack professionalism whether in a diner or other establishment is not impressive. It is obvious from her rant and foul expletive’s she has a short fuse and cant handle the STRESS! What would have happened if you just cleared the table and said breakfast is on us would you please leave before we have you escorted out. It was obviously more important to make sure they get their check! Who cares what people order regardless if it is a child or not……it is non of your business. Did you have Cherrios in your diner …… you could have kindly provided them free of charge. Compassion vs. Ignorance!

  • Brooke

    I think the restaurant owner was a little out of line by the names she was calling a poor innocent 2 year old who just wanted some attention…..

  • Terry Henning

    Finally someone is telling it like it is. At least she’s being real. Good for the owner!

  • sherry fry

    I used to work at Lowe’s Hardware. One Saturday you could hear this child crying, crying, crying………..kinda like a verbal tracking devise. After about 10 minutes of listening to these ppl push the shopping cart through the back of the store with this screaming child, I yelled GIVE THAT KID HIS SIPPY CUP! Geesh, how fkng stupid are parents?

  • Use your heads, if they aren't up your rear

    My dad, would “Have gave me something to Cry about” in my day!

  • Steph

    I praise the restaurant owner. Too many parents lack ambition to practice proper parenting. They have no common courtesy for staff or customers. They let them run rampant in places of business. It was a common practice to remove our kids & take them outside until their “tantrum” subsided. Accept the responsibility of being a parent or don’t have kids!!!

  • Sherrie

    This whole thing is ridiculous. The owner did nothing wrong. She tried giving them a hint to leave and they were too dense to get it. The other patrons should not have to suffer because someone can’t control their child. Why you would bring a child if you’re just going to ignore her is beyond me. …or why you’d have a child at all for that matter.

  • BZ22

    Never understood how parents can be so oblivious to their child’s crying and/or tantrum and think the rest of us should enjoy listening to it. All children do it but it’s the parents’ responsibility to try to stop it, especially in a public setting.

    • Jennabenna

      Totally agree! All of you defending these crappy parents must be crappy parents yourselves! My kid was swiftly removed from situations where he was creating havoc – and he learned pretty quickly he couldn’t get away with it. What has happened to discipline these days? My mom tells me the first discipline I got was at age 1 when I stuck my hand in the butter and she smacked my hand! I never did it again!

      For all you that think we should have to put up with your screaming kids anywhere and anytime, I hope every meal you eat out, there’s a kid screaming at the next table.

      • Trish

        I really haven’t seen anyone defending the parents I see people defending this toddler because that POS called her some horrible names and instead of taking out her frustration on the parents she chose to do it on a toddler not an older child a toddler there’s no excuse in the world for her have said those nasty things about a two year old!!

      • Chrissy

        Ppl r funny to think parents can just wave a magic wand and say no crying or screaming while were out …even with proper parenting it still happens..if your old and don’t remember what its like have one and see for yourself

      • Trish

        Chrissy- I’m glad someone here lives in the real world. The next comment will be we’re lazy, rude parents and that our spawn are spoiled brats. Oh and that we shouldn’t breed!! I’m so glad I’m the parent that I am love my spawn to death even when they are being little tyrant monsters!!

      • Chrissy

        Trish…exactly… I know when I’m out with my child whether it b for a walk which is not in a building or restaurant which is in a building everyone says how cute he is and I’m going to tell you since day one he never made a peep but since he’s gotten older he can get a little noisy ..Ok so I give him snacks his sippy cup etc and when that doesn’t work the waitress or OWNER of the restaurant will help by giving him something whether it b just a hello n talk to him or a empty box he can play with but never once did anyone ever scream at him or call him names as a matter of fact he has some future wives ahead of him lol …so now I’m saying this and hopefully you’ll agree when they r that age they do not or not sure how to act and r only doing what comes natural..like I was saying before this two yr old could even have a problem being afraid of public places and its hard for them to deal with it..they could b autistic as well that is yet undetermined.. Ppl r just assuming n being very judgemental on here..I have a friend who has two autistic kids and if anyone talked to her children the way this Lady did I’m sure she would give them a piece of her mind …just because we learned to adjust to our environment in a normal way doesn’t make us lazy or bad parents ..evidentally there r some ppl on here that have social issues themselves ..maybe they didn’t get enough love when they were this age

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