May 15, 2011
After a long week I live to go out for dinner. I usually go out with my fiancée every other Friday. It’s our way of winding down an enjoying one another. We usually laugh, joke and talk about our work week. As parents we like to go to nice quiet fancy restaurants where kids are not likely to be. Unfortunately all that changes once we get there and see that other parents hadn’t taken that into consideration. So although my fiancée and I go to get away from the children atmosphere we find ourselves in the commotion of children running wild at the restaurant.
I never understood why parents would take their small children to fancy restaurants. Especially if they knew they children were likely to misbehave. My fiancée and I were talking and eating the hot cheddar biscuits that Red Lobster is very famous for. All of a sudden a little boy about the age of four starts yelling. His parents try to get him to quiet down but that seemed to give him more ammunition.
“I don’t want to eat these vegetables!” The little boy screamed out pushing the plate further away from him.
“Well you’re going to eat them or you will not get any dessert!” The father yelled back to the little boy. So not only was the little boy yelling but so was the father. It kind of defeated the point of spending our hard earned money on a quiet evening.
My salmon, loaded baked potatoes and house salad slowly started to lose its great flavor. I became rather focused in the harsh behavior of the little boy.
“Sit down right now Johnny and that’s the last time I will tell you!” The father seemed furious but nothing he said got through to the little boy. Poor mom looked like she had had enough. I almost felt myself feeling sorry for this lady but I quickly snapped out of it. I wondered why she would be embarrassed now. I was sure that Johnny acted the same way at home if not worse. Other diners began whispering and pointing to the table. Many of them looked over in disgust. Some looked over in pure disbelief. Johnny was misbehaving far worse than I had ever seen any other child. Johnny jumped up from his seat and began charging for the front door. A little part of me worried because I had remembered how packed the parking lot was when we came in that evening. I hoped that mom or dad would catch up to him but he was quite the runner. Almost as if reading my mind, mom ran a little faster and caught Johnny before he made it to the glass doors. I couldn’t hear what she was saying to him but I saw her clearly when she gave him three hits to his bottom. I could see the steam coming from my fiancées ears. He had little patience for children that were rude and misbehaved. He feels that parent should not bring their children to fancy restaurants. He is definitely good at practicing what he preaches. If we plan a night out to go to dinner we must have a babysitter in place or we’ll get to-go meals. I think it’s just respectful to the other diners. “How is your meal?” The sweet adolescent waitress asked. I knew the poor girl would get an ear full if my fiancée answered that honestly. “The food was great, can we have two boxes please and thank you.” I knew the best thing for me to do was cut in before he mustered up his thoughts. Some people should understand that people pay their hard earned money to dine out. Friends go out to catch up. Couples go out to keep some spontaneity in their relationships. Parents go out to escape the hectic world that they also call home. Now as a mother I realize that taking a child to a fancy restaurant may not be the best decision. They do have family friendly restaurants where parents should consider if they want to give their children dining experiences. Hopefully parents start to realize that and dining out will become a lot less stressful.