Re: “Owner of Portland defends yelling at screaming child” (July 19):

First, I love Marcy’s. It has great food and a funky atmosphere. It’s a cash-only institution on Free Street in Portland. But it is small and noisy as a rule when full of patrons.

Is it OK to yell at a kid? Not really – but the child was not the issue. The parents were. They made the decision to wait 30 minutes for a table and 40 minutes for their food.

If you are a parent of a little one, you had better be prepared to deal with the eventual crankiness of your child.

When my children were that age, my husband and I thought carefully about the consequences of having our young children wait 70 minutes before eating.

If that was our plan, we came prepared with snacks, books and toys to help our children manage their hunger and their behavior. We also took turns leaving the restaurant and walking around outside with our children.

It is only fair to think globally: Our children and their pleasure, other patrons and their pleasure, and our pleasure at stepping out and enjoying our city or someone else’s city as tourists.

I do not feel badly for the parents, but I do for their child, who did not enjoy herself, who was stressed out and who was not, apparently, getting any help from her parents.

Rita Alfonso LaBarbera

Portland