This is taboo. I should not complain about the strangers that complain about my kids – I know that. The thing is… I THINK that in this situation, I’m OK. They were REALLY DUMB strangers, you see.
My husband and I went out to a restaurant with the kids. I know, gasp choke cough and all that, but here’s the thing, we LIKE to go out to eat sometimes. With Gavin, he was tough but we managed because he was also an only child so we had both of us to watch him all the time. With Jessie she was honestly easier to go out into public with than Kris (the husband) is most times. There was an incident at Kahns with some noodles and the floor when she was very young but since I didn’t have to clean the floor I found that mostly entertaining. Asher… he is a menace and while he does fine in most public places, going out to a restaurant with him is darn near impossible. He doesn’t sit still, he has practically no appetite so he doesn’t stay interested in his food, and the child has no concept at all of stranger danger. Strangers, and more importantly, their food and belongings, are put on this planet for his amusement. It is impossible for him to be so close to all those interesting people and things and not allowed to meet and greet (and taste and touch) the room. Every 3-4 months, however, I start to forget what special kind of hell it is to bring Asher out to a restaurant and I say to my husband: Let’s go out to eat tonight!
This night in particular, however, was Tuesday. Tuesday has the special clause of being “Kids Eat Free” night at a local restaurant. To my way of thinking, a restaurant that has a HUGE (as in, visible from space HUGE) sign outside their establishment advertising “Kids eat free on Tuesdays”, should probably be understood to have actual children IN it on Tuesday nights. Children that are, in fact, eating, or at least hovering near a plate of food that they could eat if they so chose to, completely for free. If you are going to be bothered by the antics of children at a restaurant, and it is a Tuesday night, I have no sympathy at all, folks, if you opt to walk into the restaurant offering FREE food to all tots that dine at said restaurant that very same night.
So, now that my background is built, let’s get on with the story. We head out to this restaurant with kids in tow at about 5:30. (Gavin is with Grandma so it is just Ash and Jessie.) We don’t have to wait at all and the waitress, bless her heart, is GREAT with the kids. I can only imagine that is because she is working at a place that probably has a lot of them on every Tuesday night. She takes the kids’ orders first while we are still browsing the menu looking for our own meals. We are seated at a booth which is good because then the parents can sit on the outside and the kids get trapped inside, but they can still get their wiggles out by moving about in the booth. There is a wall with a small opening on the inside and the booth where Asher and I are sitting has another booth right at its back. Right behind Asher and I are two couples, neither of which have any kids. Ash is standing on the booth seat as he normally does because if he were seated, he would look like that drawing of a little head just barely peeping over the ledge. Also, he is standing because if he were seated, his head might actually explode out of antsiness. Jessie is seated and quietly coloring and does so through pretty much the whole meal. As the night goes on, Ash stands up, sits down, stands up, sits down, crawls under the table, climbs back up, etc. He also wants to say hi to the people behind us. I do not allow this to the best of my ability, however being 2, he is magic and manages to get by me from time to time. He is also intrigued by the space in the wall by him that goes to another booth on the other side. He takes an empty juice bottle that the waitress had brought us (it was full when she brought it, we just emptied it into Ash’s juice cup) and is just holding it being relatively well behaved so that I can take a bite or two from my food. While doing this, he jumps up and tosses said plastic bottle through the hole. Instantaneous, people. Thankfully, there was no one sitting at the booth on the other side, but the people behind us saw this.
The people behind us, apparently, were quite certain that it was rude to bring kids to a restaurant. At 5:30. On the night that the restaurant offers free food for kids. They spent the night complaining loudly about the horrid parents that would allow their child to stand in the booth and throw the bottle at the booth on the other side. They were so very offended by my son’s friendly, albeit uninvited and fairly messy, attempts to say hello. They were even, it seems, dissheartened by my gall at allowing my 2 year old to eat his mac’n’cheese with his spoon while spilling some on the floor and picking some up with his fingers from the table. When my quiet little 4 year old had to go to the bathroom and walked while holding my hand to the restroom with me, they all clearly watched her, not us but HER, as we walked past their table as if they were expecting her to jump up and yell ‘run froggies, run for your lives!’ while tossing small amphibians into everyone’s food. My shy little girl so totally does NOT need anyone glaring at her like that and I felt like I needed to shield her from them as we walked by.
Well, the meal ended without any actual engagements between us and them, which was a good thing. Despite his general antsiness, Asher was really quite reserved and did not actually do anything to them. I just left feeling very irritated that I made the effort to make sure that we were going to a family friendly place at a family friendly time, and while the restaurant was PERFECT in the family friendly goal, our neighbors were very critical of me. Hey, losers, suck it up and be charmed by my children like you are supposed to be because in case you didn’t notice, kids are not actually short adults. They are going to act like kids no matter how well parented they are. If you want to dine child-free, use your brains next time when you decide on where you are going to meet.
That concludes my whining about the childfree people at the next table. Yell at me if you want. It is my blog and I’m going to whine about what I want.
Filed under: Those crazy kids | 12 Comments »