Because I'm in my child rearing years, I'm acutely aware of what it's like to be around young children. Therefore, when a more mature person writes about young children, their overly simplistic and sappy way they write their dialogue and antics sticks in my craw.
Take an event in this recent book, a 4 year old giggling over getting his face wiped after crying about not being able to take a phone call.
My sons have NEVER giggled getting their face wiped. They've grimaced, squirmed, cried, pushed, and demanded me to stop, but have never giggled. Occasionaly they just stand there and allow the job to be done. That goes for the x amount of children I've babysat, worked with in the nursery and daycare.
I mean, sure, somewhere there has been a child (or two or two thousand) that have or do giggle when getting their face wiped. But here's my point:
Children can be sweet but to portray that, we don't have to reach saccharine levels! They're often hilarious and hardly ever say what you expect them to. Adults often underestimate how aware they are and how much they comprehend.
I'm so tired of children being written as overemotional marshmallows at best or tyrant like brats at worst. Give me a break. Just leave them out for cripes sake, especially if they are really only in the story superficially.
In the overall scheme of this book, I'm sure the child interaction is infrequent, but this is something I notice from time to time that gets my panties in a bunch.