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

  • Christina

    Although I can’t agree with shouting at a child, I can understand her frustration with dealing with a screaming kid for that amount of time, regardless of why the kid was screaming in the first place the situation could have been handled better the parents are not innocent victims and neither is the owner, they all had parts to play in this and rather then sitting there pointing fingers perhaps they should look at this as something to learn from.

    • Carol

      It has been said the child was only crying for three minutes as another patron stepped forward and admitted the owner was out of line. She has had conversation with another person and said other nasty things as well especially children and if you go there with a child expect spit in your food. I found this info on Facebook. It just doesn’t sound very professional to me. And if your going to run a diner you should have more than one grill.

  • Terri

    My 2 year old started screaming at the restaurant just the other night. Yes, sometimes this happens with most kids. I let it go for a couple minutes and he calmed down when he realized I wasn’t going to let him run around. All the new situations and places are very stimulating to kids. But if he would have continued his fit I would have taken him out, to the bathroom or outside until he calmed down. There is no way I could have listened to it for any length of time, let alone making someone else endure it also.

  • Klover

    First off, I can see both sides! The owner could have used a better choice of words, and the parents should have been more attentive to their own child. They should have taken the child outside or to the restroom and calmed the child down. If that didn’t work, then leave the diner with to go food. I have been in many a places trying to enjoy a peaceful meal, and when a child starts acting up by screaming, jumping up in down, throwing things etc, and watched the parent sit there and do nothing. Then I have seen a parent, lean over say something and get up and take the child out. As a person who suffered a head trauma, it is very hard to take screaming, as it triggers severe headaches and some times seizures due to the high pitch. Should I not be able to go out and enjoy a meal because of this, or because a child might be having issues? NO, just like the parent has a right to take their children with them for a meal. But they should be considerate of the other patrons.

  • prettygirl

    Someone ever came near my child and yelled shut up would get punched in the in the face especially a two year old which by the way doesn’t mean bc they cry you can’t control them it’s bc they are TWO and you can’t tape your kids mouth shut and hold them Down. what is wrong with that and thank god she doesn’t have kids they’d be suffering by her bad parenting

  • Gram Who Knows

    If a family has a child with social behavior issues then maybe that family should eat at take out only restaurants ? why should other patrons be disturbed over one child and a family who cannot control the situation ? IF the child is being unruly and obviously not wanting to settle down, then time to leave ! Period !! In time as the child gets older and matures they will be able to dine out. Parenting isn’t easy by a long shot , however, the welfare of the child is most important . Being this was a 2 year old toddler, I am sure the child was either tired, low blood sugar from needing to eat or not feeling well? As for the comments posted from the diner’s owner, you should eliminate the foul language…only makes you look bad professionally. Not easy under the circumstances but learn to keep your cool too.

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