Thursday, December 11, 2008

Children Should Not Be Heard or Seen

When my husband and I take our children out to eat we are always very careful to pick restaurants that are kid friendly, a little noisy, and get the food out fairly quickly. We're both always really cognizant of other diners and make sure our children behave appropriately, which 99.9 percent of the time they do. On the rare occassions they do act up (they = our son) we take them out immediately. I realize not all parents are this considerate or aware and I realize that many diners have little to no patience for children, period.

Tonight after my daughter's dance class we went out to eat with my sister, brother-in-law, their four children, and another friend and her four children. So, there were 5 adults total and 10 children. We were a large group. We went to a very casual, kid-friendly restaurant and sat in a large table away from other patrons. All of the children were great. They sat in their chairs, weren't running around the restaurant or being loud, noisy, or generally inappropriate. However, any group of 15 is going to make some noise in just normal conversation. It was shocking to me the disgust and intolerance that one older couple very visibly and repeatedly displayed.

Throughout the entire time we were waiting for our food, which was not long and during the entire time we ate, which for the most part was silence since there was food in everyone's mouth, they just glared at us, shaking their heads, acting mortified that we would dare take our children in public and not keep them locked in the cages they apparently felt we should have kept them in.

I have very little tolerance or patience with that type of rudeness and on many occassions I find myself either starting back until they break eye contact or saying something to them. Tonight I did the former on more than one occassion. I don't know when people got so snooty about having children in kid-friendly environments. It would be one thing if we were taking them to fine dining. It would also be an issue if the children were actually misbehaving. It's quite another when we went to the equivalent of sit-down fast food and all ten of the kids were in a seat, quiet, and eating. Apparently our offense was that we dared to take our children out in public.

It's those types of people that I really would love to just curse at, but because I am with my children when we have these types of incidents I refrain. Has anyone else experienced this?


Robyn said...

I think I'm overly sensitive about other diners when we're out to eat. I get so stressed or nervous when I think Bear is acting up. Then I look around and realize no one even notices.

I haven't had that experience -- we too choose kid-friendly places. More often than not, I see older people looking at Bear and smiling.

Joanne said...

I haven't really experienced this, but your best bet is probably to rise above it and ignore the starers. Nothing you could do or say will lighten them up, they'd probably find something wrong in any situation. And nothing irks them more than to see you going on your merry way enjoying yourselves!!

Moxymama said...

Robyn, you are right. Mostly we have people thrilled to see little kids. It's always just that one person in a blue moon that ticks me off and it only seems to be when we are in a larger group. I think oftentimes the assumption is if there is a ton of people they will certainly be loud. We usually don't get the stares when it is just me, my hubby, and our kids.
Joanne, that's good advice. I should just ignore them and go along my "merry way". That would irk them more than a stare down.

jodifur said...

I hate those people. Michael is always well behaved in restaurants but there is normally someone who is like, how could you take a child out to eat at RED ROBIN or some such nonsense. Don't go to a family restaurant at 6:00 at night.

Emerald said...

My sane self would just smile everytime "the stare" reared it's ugly head. But my sarcastic self would go up to them and politely ask them to keep the noise down.