We Don’t Want to Be THAT Family
Disclaimer: I’ll bet this little girl is a smiling charmer most days.
When my brother and I were small–ages 4 and 6, at the most–our parents took us to a nice restaurant and explained that because we were wearing our dress-up clothes, we were going to use our dress-up manners. Very conscious of what was expected of us, we tried to behave properly. A few tables over, another pair of children were running in circles and whooping. My brother leaned over to me and said, very seriously, “Those children don’t have dress-up manners.”
Flash forward a few decades.
One evening, before we had Baguette, Mr. Sandwich’s sister and her husband came to town. We met up with one of her friends, and we all went to dinner at a neighborhood restaurant. Now, this was a nice little local place, with a slightly creative menu, but a perfectly appropriate venue for children.
Except not for the child at the next table, who spent 45 minutes screaming at the top of his lungs.
Now, I get it. Restaurants are not necessarily fun for kids. But no one at that table even said, “Shh.” No one took the child outside for a change of scene. None of them tried anything. (Why did none of us say anything to our server? Because we didn’t want to be those people without kids.)
Mr. Sandwich and I have a horror of being those parents, which is why as soon as Baguette was born, we came up with this plan:
1) Come prepared with snacks and entertainment.
2) Correct her behavior as soon as it starts.
3) Take her outside, trading off so that every adult gets to eat.
4) When none of this works, pay and leave.
We haven’t gotten to #4 yet, although I’m sure we will. Early days, and all that. (We don’t think we’re magical parents, after all.) But apparently a lot of people haven’t bothered with this plan, based on this Consumerist.com post about a Georgia pizzeria’s new policy.
Seriously, folks. This should not be necessary. We all share the world.
Photo by Turkinator, via Flickr.