being a mom

STFU Parents: Who’s More Annoying In Restaurants: Babies, Or Their Parents?

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This week, a significant amount of media attention was paid to the story about the couple that brought their baby to a high-end restaurant after their sitter canceled. The restaurant, Alinea, is fish-heads-on-a-platter upscale dining and requires pre-purchasing tickets that cost $470 for two. If you ask me, that already sounds like it could be a recipe for “dining with assholes,” which might explain why the parents opted to bring along their baby rather than cancel the reservation and potentially forego the $470. When you’re spending close to $500 on food before figuring in alcohol, tax, and tip, you’re already a calibre of person who may or may not think the world is his oyster. Or fish head, or whatever. Speaking as someone who could, perhaps, be enticed by a $235 meal, I’m not suggesting that every single person who eats at a restaurant with Michelin stars is self-centered or insanely wealthy. But I am saying that restaurants of this nature anticipate a level of sophistication from patrons that some of today’s foodies may not possess.

It’s common sense that parents shouldn’t bring a baby to a Michelin-starred restaurant, particularly when the restaurant doesn’t offer a kids menu. It’s also common sense to take the baby outside if he gets upset. When the Alinea couple didn’t do that, and the chef took to Twitter, a debate ensued that didn’t even exist for parents of a previous generation. Back then, for example, signs like this weren’t commonly seen in sports bars:

1. restaurant sign to parents.jpg



















Yeesh. Good-natured signs about giving unattended children free kittens and espresso are officially a thing of the past. We’ve entered the era where sports bars and fine dining restaurants like Alinea now need to spell out in stern terms for patrons, a few of whom they clearly detest, that their unsupervised or loud children are not welcome. This upsets the rest of the parent population, because exposing children to restaurants early on can be a good learning experience. Those parents get the stink eye when they take their kids out — even when their kids are being good, even when it’s 5:30pm and they’re at a family friendly restaurant — and think it’s unfair to hate on all children in all restaurants or relegate kids to fast food chains.

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    • Sara610

      January 17, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      So, I agree that there are some ridiculous baby names out there, but Ayelet has actually been around for a long time. It’s Hebrew, and it means “gazelle”.

    • AP

      January 17, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      I was going to say that, too. I had Israeli neighbors when I was a teenager and one of their kids was Ayelet.

      Though I fully admit, if you aren’t used to Hebrew names, they sound very weird.

    • Williwaw

      January 17, 2014 at 1:43 pm

      How do you pronounce it?

    • Sara610

      January 17, 2014 at 1:53 pm

      EYE-uh-let. The middle syllable is a schwa, but I don’t think there’s a symbol for that (it’s the thing that looks like an upside-down “e”) on my keyboard.

    • Williwaw

      January 17, 2014 at 1:56 pm

      Schwa! The sound of a fat Persian cat sliding across a gravy-covered kitchen floor.

    • meteor_echo

      January 17, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      Though I have a feeling that this one is more of a “schwee”.

    • Sara610

      January 17, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      Rochelle’s comment above reminded me that my original pronunciation was actually wrong……but still, cats sliding across floors are pretty funny. 🙂

    • Eremophila

      January 17, 2014 at 6:17 pm

      I don’t have any Jewish ancestry or connections, but I actually think Ayelet is kind of pretty, in an exotic way.

    • EmmaFromÉire

      January 17, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      Legit thought it said Omelet for a second. Which honestly is as bad as Ayelet.

    • Eve Vawter

      January 17, 2014 at 1:16 pm


    • CMJ

      January 17, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      Put an umlaut over the O….Kthxbai

    • Eve Vawter

      January 17, 2014 at 1:18 pm


    • EmmaFromÉire

      January 17, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      ”And this is my daughter, Omelet fromage-frais Éclair.”

    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      You know, if you’re going to name your kid something stupid, at least pick something delicious. Like Apple. It’s a dumb name for a kid but at least apples are tasty and fresh and sweet.

    • Williwaw

      January 18, 2014 at 11:19 pm

      I don’t know, I’d feel kind of mean naming my kid Cilantro.

    • Frances Locke

      January 17, 2014 at 8:02 pm

      I’m renaming mine souffle, omelet and breadstick.

    • Shug

      January 17, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      At least Omelets are delicious

    • Sara

      January 17, 2014 at 1:29 pm

      Before I looked the name up I thought it was a “yoonique” spelling of eyelet. The little thingy on your shoelaces

    • Zettai

      January 17, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      ME TOO!

    • CMJ

      January 17, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      I had to look it up too….and the weird thing is, I know so many people with Hebrew names and grew up in an area that has one of the highest Jewish populations (density-wise) and I have never heard this name.

    • Sara

      January 17, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      The funny thing is my first name is Hebrew, but I’ve never met a Jewish person! And I don’t understand how to say Ayelet so I feel like a jerk lol

    • lpag

      January 17, 2014 at 3:40 pm

      A few have already responded, but I can’t let this go (and I hope STFU is listening too): Ayelet is a fairly common Jewish name. My husband’s sister is Ayelet, I had 2 Ayelets in my high school class, and a number of friends with kids named Ayelet. It is pronounced Ah-yell-et. Look, I hate the oooh, we’re so trendy we named our kid Brooklyn crowd, but cultural/religious names are NOT fair game. Something tells me were this a Muslim name, no one would dare poke fun, because, racism!

    • CMJ

      January 17, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      Sigh, I wasn’t poking fun because it was a Jewish name. I didn’t know. I honestly thought it was pronounced “eyelet.”

      If anything, call me ignorant. Don’t call me racist.

    • Sara610

      January 18, 2014 at 6:04 am

      I don’t think you’re racist–there ARE so many legitimately ridiculous names out there and so many parents whose sole criterion in choosing their children’s names is apparently “how edgy and different can I be?” It can be genuinely hard to tell sometimes, and even among the Jewish community Ayelet isn’t incredibly common. You see it, but it’s not like Daniel or Shoshana or Hannah (my own daughter’s name) or David.

      I think some people tend to be sensitive to it because any time you’re not in the cultural majority and your name/clothing/diet reflects that, you DO have to field a certain number of annoying questions like “What kind of name is THAT?” or “What is that rag on your head?” or “What the hell are you eating?!” In an online forum, it can be really hard to read a person’s true intent. This sounds like a situation where you wanted to make a funny joke and didn’t realize that the name you were making fun of is an actual, real name. No serious harm done, in my view.

    • Sara

      January 17, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      I haven’t been exposed to a lot Muslim and Hebrew names so that’s why I looked it up. I wasn’t trying to be rude I was just poking fun at myself and I think that’s what the others were doing too

    • Himani

      January 19, 2014 at 9:10 am

      I grew up living next the Brooklyn Hasidic community, had a ton of Jewish friends, worked in Jewish companies, I hang out at the park with Hasidic moms and have never heard that name. The kids in ODS’ pre-k prep (Which was in a Jewish school), none of them or their siblings had that name. The Hebrew school I enrolled ODS in? Haven’t seen or heard that name. It’s not THAT common, at least not among the Jewish folks living in NYC.
      I don’t think not knowing a name is Jewish is enough to call ‘OMG RACISM!!!!!’

    • AtomicRosa

      January 21, 2014 at 5:27 pm

      Writers Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon are a married couple, so the name wasn’t new to me. I never knew quite how to pronounce it, though.

  1. EmmaFromÉire

    January 17, 2014 at 1:05 pm

  2. Eve Vawter

    January 17, 2014 at 1:05 pm


  3. Anony-Mom

    January 17, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Here’s the thing: I have toddlers and have been in toddler friendly restaurants and still have to put up with craptastic parents. We’re talking “hey, let’s ignore Junior and Junior the II while we sit across from them and they stand on the banquet and scream and throw crap while we discuss Bravo TV.” Meanwhile, my three year old watched them in wide-eyed wonder at how on earth they were getting away with such things.

    • JLH1986

      January 17, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      For me that’s what it comes down to. If your kid is showing his ass and you are stepping in I’m going to be pissed. But ever since I saw a woman change her kids shitty diaper on the table, in the middle of her food as MY food passed by with the server I’m gun shy about kids and restaurants.

    • Anony-Mom

      January 17, 2014 at 1:21 pm

      Gaaah, Do Not Want. I never understand the underlying mindset that thinks this is ok. You know, I understand being frustrated if there’s not a changing table. But there’s things called “your car” or “a changing pad” or hell “your jacket”. And there’s another old saying: DO NOT SHIT WHERE YOU EAT.

    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      I agree. The world doesn’t have to present you with changing tables every 3 feet. You can do it on the floor if you need to, just about anywhere.

    • Sara610

      January 17, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      I’ve changed my daughter on more floors than I can count. We bring a little changing pad with us most places we go, and if we don’t have that, a blanket or towel does just fine.

    • Pixx

      January 17, 2014 at 5:21 pm

      If the kid is old enough to stand and the diaper isn’t too runny, you can also do it while they stand up. I work at a daycare, and I rarely even use the available changing table. It’s much faster/easier on my back to just have them stand and hold up their shirt while I quickly change their diaper and toss it in the bin. Done.

      Obviously this doesn’t work in all situations or with kids under a year old, but it’s possible for a lot of kids in a lot of places. You can make do without changing tables.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      January 18, 2014 at 7:15 am

      why do more people not change the nappy standing?? i always found it so much easier plus the babba usually finds it funny to hold their shirt in their mouth lol i used to make it into a game

    • Elise Elyz

      January 22, 2014 at 12:35 am

      I did it in “emergency” conditions but I’m afraid it doesn’t allow you to clean the child well enough if it’s a girl

    • Pixx

      January 22, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      I don’t do it for messy diapers. For wet diapers, it works great. And if I had to do it for a messy diaper in a pinch, I could probably manage. As you say, for a young child, there are several other options.

      Options, is my point. I can think of many ways to change a diaper without a changing table without resorting to using a restaurant table.

    • Fluffy_1

      January 19, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      My mum was a childminder a long long long time ago. Back in her day, *gasp!* there were hardly any places that had changing tables, cept public loos and no-one with sense would use those icky things. So my mum did this weird thing called buying a changing mat then putting baby on it whenever circumstances demanded. Seriously, I’m childfree and I wouldn’t want to put my hands on one of those gross changing tables, let alone a helpless infant. O_o

    • Alicia Kiner

      January 17, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      oh ew. I’ve seen people change diapers on the benches of booths, but never on a table. Yuck.

    • JLH1986

      January 17, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      Yea I was like I’m done you can take that food back. “Why?” Um you walked it past feces. I’m out.

    • Basketcase

      January 17, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      Yeah, a table is beyond gross. And a booth bench is an absolute last-ditch-emergency, only when there is no food in the immediate vicinity option.

    • Ptownsteveschick

      January 17, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      I know not everyone has the luxury of their own vehicle, but my last ditch emergency has always been someone take the kid outside to the car, change them on the seat, and throw the diaper in the nearest public garbage can that is already probably filthy anyway. I will never ever understand people who change diapers at tables.

    • Basketcase

      January 17, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      I’ve done it once. Dire circumstances – baby too big for my lap in the car, weather too awful to do it with us hanging half out of the car, bathroom had concrete floor and floor-level ventilation (so was bitterly cold even for my feet in shoes and woollen socks), and no change table available. We weren’t thrilled about it, but it was the only cafe open in the small town we were in, and the place was basically empty as it was the end of the day.
      We santisited the hell out of the seat and table before we left as well – asked the staff for cleaning material to do it properly rather than leaving them to it.

    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      Still gross! God! You don’t shit on someone’s dinner table because the toilet seat is too cold or the powder room is too cramped, do you?! I’m glad you cleaned up after yourself but good lord, carry a little changing pad with you and just do it on the bathroom floor. Your kid will survive a 30-second draft. Builds character.

    • Basketcase

      January 17, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      We had a change mat. He had bronchiolitis, and we were on our way to hospital with him. Cold floor = not ideal.

    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      Still. GROSS. A minute on a mat on the floor, exposed to air circulation, would not have aggravated his condition.

      You could have easily used your body to shield most of the draft, and the mat would have insulated him from the cold floor for the amount of time it took to change him.

      You could also have cleared the back seat of your car and changed him that way with the heat on and using your bodies, or a blanket or something, to block the cold air from entering the car.

      You could also have waited till you got to the hospital to change him (depending on how much farther you had to go, I suppose), or have found a church, police station, fire station or gas station with less drafty facilities.

      Exposing feces on surfaces where people eat food is not OK, ever, and should not even be considered as a last resort. No one should have to explain this to you!

    • Momma425

      January 17, 2014 at 9:34 pm

      This makes no sense. Your kid was so sick that he couldn’t survive a 30second diaper change on a changing mat because it was cold, and you were on the way to the hospital, but stopped at a cafe?

    • katzenmama

      January 17, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      Why, oh why would you stop to eat at a cafe if your child had bronchitis and were on the way to the hospital? Two basic reasons you absolutely should not have been in that cafe, let alone changing his diaper on a TABLE:
      1. Bronchitis is contagious. You subjected other diners and the restaurant staff to a contagious illness.

      2. If the child was ill enough to require being taken care of in a hospital, it would stand to reason that you would take him directly there rather than stopping to eat first.

    • hopefullysoon

      January 19, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      Well, OF COURSE, their special snowflake lunch was much more important than the health and welfare of literally every other person who came into contact with their germ machine.

    • Anthony Davis F/C

      January 21, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      CNN Fail

    • Elise Elyz

      January 22, 2014 at 12:45 am

      Cold floor inside is not that cold! It is a fast provess and you usually don’t need to take off all of his clothes. At last you can use a seat instead of a table…

    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      I saw someone change their kid on a table at Subway once. Worst is – they had a VAN, with ample room to change the baby in the van. I pointed it out to an employee (so they could clean the table), who gave that the woman the WORST death stare I’ve ever seen.

    • meteor_echo

      January 17, 2014 at 1:41 pm

      GAH. I’d have upended my plate of food on the bitch’s head. This is absolutely disgusting.

    • JLH1986

      January 17, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      When the restaurant refused to tell her that was inappropriate I wanted to. Needless to say I have never been back and don’t eat out much now because of it. That dirty dish rag isn’t getting baby poop off a table.

    • TattooedLittleMiss

      January 17, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      I would have. My favorite sports bar doesn’t usually have a ton of kids in it and when it does, we just sit in the bar area and avoid them all together. But there have been times when we’re in the dining room and kids have been running around, screaming, throwing food, and interrupting other diners (including stealing food off of strangers plates!) and their parents were ignoring them/laughing. i have never had any compunction about walking up to them and telling them that their children are being little beasts, putting other people at risk, and making it impossible for other diners to enjoy their meals. They don’t appreciate it, but there’s always the hope that next time, they’ll think twice before taking their monsters out to eat.

    • Sara

      January 17, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      If only someone had had the foresight to invite special room for excrement! Oh wait…

    • Momma425

      January 17, 2014 at 9:26 pm

      The worst thing diaper related- women (as in multiple women) would stand in the pool while I life guarded, grab their kid, and stand on the edge of the pool to change diapers/pull-ups. They would take off their kid’s pull-ups full of crap, leave them ON THE SIDE OF THE POOL for someone else to clean up, shove their kid in a new pull-up, and plop him/her right back in the water. Barf.

    • katzenmama

      January 17, 2014 at 10:04 pm

      Ew gross!! I gave you un up arrow, but I “down arrow” those women’s behavior.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      January 18, 2014 at 7:20 am

      I volunteered at a local pool to help small kids learn basic swimming. I am in no means qualified but I’m known around my area for childminding, plus one of the parents asked me to come along to give a hand.

      Now, as a foreword, I am more than comfortable with poop. I am very comfortable with poop, vomit, blood and even had the joy of amniotic fluid all over me.
      As far as I’m concerned, I can be washed, so I don’t really care about human fluid. (over 10 years of childminding will numb you to “ewww” moments)

      This woman removed her toddler’s swimming pull ups and LET HIM POOP IN THE POOL! She then put the pull ups back on the child!
      When I told her she’d have to clean it and that it was seriously unhygienic, she laughed and said, it’s only a little bit of crap, can’t you deal with it?

      Um., yeah..crap that other kids are swimming around..crap that I will have to clean.
      Crap that resulted in the pool being closed for a day to clean the filtration.
      Needless to say this woman has been banned from the pool.

    • Rebecca R

      January 20, 2014 at 11:14 am

      I was a lifeguard at Schlitterbahn for 2 years, and the worst was finding dirty diapers in the parking lot after a long day of baking.

    • Anony-Mom

      January 17, 2014 at 1:19 pm

      This is to say: you get all kinds. Some kids act fantastically in any situation. Some kids don’t. I actually think 9 times out of 10 the fault actually lies with the parents. If you have parents who are afraid to, you know, parent their kids? You’re going to run into problems.

    • amanda b

      January 17, 2014 at 1:56 pm

      This has actually been an area of serious anxiety for me. My first kid was always amazing in restaurants, so much so that we’ve twice had our meal paid for by strangers who wanted to “thank” us. However, put him on an airplane (as i had to do more times than id like to remember) and he was miserable! It was all i could do to keep from hiding with my kid in the lav for the whole 5 hour flight.

      My second kid, is the complete opposite. He did fabulously on the plane, but even thinking of bringing him into another restaurant gives me the shakes. He’s been to ONE restaurant three times in his life, all in the last three months (hes almost 3- my husband is a truck driver, and we pick him up at a truck stop diner when he gets his home time). Each time has left me in the fetal position under the diner booth chewing on xanex. Not really- but fuck- you know what im getting at.

      Its been my experience that most people are extremely understanding and helpful, as most people have had to be that parent at least once, and feel terrible for you. That said, i would NEVER bring my child to an upscale restaurant. Parents who do- should know whats expected of their child. They should have been asked to leave- period. People dont pay $500 for a meal so they can listen to your baby cry. Truth is, they probably paid a lot more at home for a babysitter- so they could have a nice QUIET evening away from their own kids.

    • Anony-Mom

      January 17, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      Oh, I definitely feel for you. But I think that’s the thing – you clearly realize the situation, and acknowledge it. That makes a world of difference. It is the parents who ignore the whole situation that get my goat, so to speak.

    • Pixx

      January 17, 2014 at 5:27 pm

      I think planes are a totally different situation. I was on a plane with a toddler once. I felt bad for him, because his parents hadn’t even brought him any toys–they gave him the empty snack wrappers to play with (seriously?). It was a 9 hour flight from Germany to Chicago, too, and the kid was probably only one. So in a situation like that, I have a lot of sympathy and patience. It might be annoying, but there’s literally nothing you can do about the fact that it’s a long, stressful day, you’re stuck on a plane after being stuck in an airport and traveling to another airport, your kid is bored and his ears probably hurt and he’s too young to understand what’s going on, and there’s absolutely nowhere to take him to calm down if he gets fussy. That’s just one of those “that’s life” situations, and to berate a parent or the child would be the insensitive dick move in that case.

    • Anony-Mom

      January 17, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      Those are shitastic parents right there. I mean, you don’t go on an 9 hour flight YOURSELF with nothing to do. Why would you do that to a toddler? Jackasses.

    • Pixx

      January 18, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      Oh, totally. I felt bad for him. But he was pretty well-behaved on the whole, and I don’t think all the toys in the world would have kept him from getting fussy when he did. He wasn’t old enough to talk–no kid that age is going to be silent and happy throughout a 12+ day in airports/planes. That’s just unrealistic to expect.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      January 18, 2014 at 7:32 am

      lol my mother used to make flying fun for us when we were small.
      we had a little backpack each and she would hint for weeks at the surprises that would eb in it, but only for kids who were good and quiet on a plane.
      wonder of wonders, when we opened our backpacks we would be faced with colouring books, a lollipop, colours, stickerbooks and the new Horrid Henry book/Harry Potter, etc.

    • Guest

      January 17, 2014 at 9:32 pm

      I’m interested in this problem. My two younger brothers were terrors. Like, the youngest was Denis the menace all the time, the middle one was always pissed at everyone, especially the Denis. I cannot begin to describe it adequately. I was occasionally drawn in as well. I can’t imagine what it was like for my aloof but fairly stern, very German mother. I know what it was like for my careless alcoholic father – he used yelling and the belt whenever he deigned to actually parent. So everything fell on my mother. She had to drag the 3 of us everywhere to get anything like grocery shopping done, with at least 2 of us acting up almost at all times. She was not careless or oblivious, and we were certainly not her snowflakes. We did not eat out. She was always angry, exhausted and sometimes so beaten down by it I’m sure it came across as apathy, but then she would make up for that with some tyranny. So I really don’t know what to think. Was our situation just different because of the dysfunction, that 1 time out of 10? Or could she have done things differently (by herself, because that part was never going to change) and parented in a way that minimized us acting out? I know no one can answer, but its something I think about with columns like this and as I considered whether I want to risk putting more terrors from my gene pool into the world. I’d pray only to have girls, to my overbearing husband’s chargin!

    • Elise Elyz

      January 22, 2014 at 12:57 am

      Girls are not intrinsically well-mannered!

    • Fluffy_1

      January 27, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      Yes we are… to show up our brothers! xD

      Seriously, I was a horrible brat as a child, but if my brothers were misbehaving, there I’d be acting uber polite and well mannered in a “look at me, parentals, I’m the GOOD one!” sort of way.

    • Alicia Kiner

      January 17, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      I HATE this. My kids are pretty well-behaved over all, and usually do quite well in restaurants. That being said, almost every time we take them out to eat there is a family with at least one child who is acting like a monster. And the parents just ignore it. This is another one of those situations were parents need to PARENT their children, and quit forcing their monsters on the world.

    • Anony-Mom

      January 17, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      Exactly. I like to leave it open that you may have that one day that someone’s usually fine kid is having an off day for some g-dforsaken reason, but … it is almost never ever that. And you can tell, actually, in the restaurants if it is that – in my example: those parents? I don’t think they ever would have parented their kids. They were very obviously used to acting like that. Parents who parent their kids? Are embarrassed as all get-out when their kids misbehave.

    • Alicia Kiner

      January 17, 2014 at 1:33 pm

      I just love when my kids say something, because whispering is not a skill they’ve mastered. My daughter will be like, why are those kids acting like that, mommy? Don’t they know they’re in public? And she says it with this scandalized look on her face. I have a sanctidaughter, lol!

    • TattooedLittleMiss

      January 17, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      And usually those are the parents that bolt out the door with their kid and come back to settle the bill when everyone’s calmed down. I’m an only child and learned pretty young to entertain myself and was never really prone to tantrums to begin with. But when I just wouldn’t behave, I was usually outside so fast, my head was spinning.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      January 18, 2014 at 7:22 am

      seriously, a bag of coloured paper and some pencils/crayons is more than enough to entertain a small child.
      Speaking from experience, my father never brought us out as small babies unless we had something to occupy us lol

    • Jayamama

      January 18, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      Exactly! My diaper bag is mostly filled with board books, a coloring book and crayons, and little toys like plastic horses, etc, for my daughter to play with if she’s bored. It’s not hard to bring some entertainment for your child.

    • SarahJesness

      January 19, 2014 at 1:24 am

      And even for kids who can’t entertain themselves, would it kill for parents of misbehaving kids to bring some coloring books or something? When I was a kid going out to eat, I’d usually bring a GameBoy or a book when going to a restaurant that didn’t have a play area. Granted, I wasn’t really prone to acting up, and I did bring those things on my own, but still. If a kid is prone to getting crazy in restaurants, isn’t it common sense to bring stuff for them to do? A lot of that craziness stems from boredom.

    • Karen Milton

      January 21, 2014 at 10:22 am

      I was in Boston Pizza with my family a few years ago. My son was nine and I was 49 months pregnant. On one of my treks to the ladies’ I was walking when out of fucking nowhere this kid somewhere around my son’s age emerges from underneath a table, complete with small sibling on his back and horse noises. I nearly fell on the kid, who then decided that the place to be a horse was in the middle of everything. I couldn’t help but shoot the dad a dirty look, who responded by pointing at my belly and saying “that’s kids for you. You’ll find out soon enough!” in a tone that suggested he found the entire thing endearing. I just said “I’m having a baby, not a barn animal. Also, do you see that kid over there using his napkin and knowing how to operate a knife and fork? That’s my kid.”

      I would like to say that I flounced indignantly back to my own table, but it was more like a waddle. A waddle is not dignified.

    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      Haha, sometimes I wonder if the backlash against spoiled kids with shitty parents is because we’re all just jealous that WE didn’t get away with that crap when we were little!

    • Sara610

      January 17, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      I don’t think so. I have a bunch of cousins who were coddled beyond belief as small children, and a lot of them are having a really hard time now that they’re out in the real world and they’re just now realizing that everyone doesn’t see them as the special snowflakes that their parents do. I’m not jealous of them, I feel sorry for them–and I’m really grateful that my own parents taught us how to behave, even though it was harder for them in the short run.

    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      I know, it was just a funny thought 🙂

      Although I do remember hating on my cousins who were allowed to do whatever they wanted, when we were all young! They did have a hard time transitioning into adulthood though, due to their lax childhood.

    • Anna

      January 18, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      I understand the idea of not giving in to them when they cry ie not rewarding bad behavior. The thing is this isn’t the kitchen table at your house. There are other people who didn’t plan on dinner with your kid.

      I am childless and I go out of my way to try to say something to parents of well behaved kids. Especially in the situation you describe where another parent is allowing their kid to act up.

      I don’t expect no children when I go out. I expect well behaved children and parents that understand there are other people at the restaurant.

      I think it is a general issue with this/my generation not thinking how their actions impact others. It is kind of similar with the whole wedding industry craziness.

  4. Sara610

    January 17, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Why can’t everyone just calm down?

    Some small children are perfectly capable of eating in nice restaurants without causing a disruption, and they should be just as welcome as anyone else. Some small children–and some adults, for that matter–don’t yet have the manners to eat in a nice restaurant without ruining other peoples’ meals, and they should be asked to leave.

    Why do we need blanket policies? We just need restaurant owners and managers to be better at enforcing a basic standard of behavior–loud cell phone conversations, kids running around/yelling/throwing food/dismantling the centerpieces, or anything else that causes others diners to want to stab themselves in the eye with a fork is grounds for being asked to leave. The whole issue is so fraught with tension because there are ridiculous extremes on both sides: the adults who think that children should never be brought out of the house except under heavy sedation, and the parents who think that kids should just be allowed to do whatever they want “because he’s expressing himself!” and everyone else should just deal with it.

    What about everyone just exercising a little common sense and consideration for others?

    • Sara

      January 17, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      Because some parents don’t have common sense 🙁 but I like the way you think!

    • JewelEyedGamerGirl

      January 17, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      Why do we need blanket policies? Because people refuse to be responsible parents. And because there is zero reason why a baby needs to be in a restaurant that costs two weeks pay just to eat there. And because it becomes “Everybody’s a baby hater, I’m going to sue” if you try to tell people that they have to take their poorly disciplined children and their own lazy, irresponsible asses and get out of your establishment.

    • Shug

      January 17, 2014 at 1:27 pm

      And everyone thinks they should be the exception to the rule. sigh.

    • LiteBrite

      January 17, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      I actually just wrote a similar thing in my comment. Everyone wants to be treated fairly until they are. Then they want to be the exception.

    • EX

      January 17, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      But a restaurant has the right to refuse service to anyone if they have a reason, like, for example, they are being loud and disruptive. You don’t have to have a “no kids” policy to kick out a family with a disruptive child, just like you don’t have to have a “no loud obnoxious drunks” policy to kick out the wasted guy. Sure, people can threaten to sue, but unless there was no justification for kicking them out, they have no case. And they can sue just the same wether you have a policy or not. For the record, I take my toddler to appropriate restaurants at appropriate times but I also don’t have a problem with fancy restaurants having a “no kid” policy. I am just pointing out that policies aren’t necessary for restaurants to enforce standards of decorum.

      ETA: I was also a server and bartender for many years.

    • SarahJesness

      January 19, 2014 at 1:54 am

      A policy just makes it faster and easier. It’s easier to tell patrons up-front that kids aren’t allowed, rather than confronting them if the kids start to behave poorly. You can’t guarantee that they’re going to leave or quiet the kids, and they’re much more likely to raise a fuss.

    • Sara610

      January 17, 2014 at 1:56 pm

      I agree with you that there’s no reason a baby needs to be in a restaurant where a meal costs $500. I can’t understand why these parents wouldn’t have arranged for a backup babysitter.

    • EX

      January 17, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      Definitely agree with that and thought the same thing when I first heard that story. If I had shelled out that kind of money for a non-refundable meal I would’ve had babysitting plans A, B and C lined up.

    • SarahJesness

      January 19, 2014 at 1:52 am

      Agreed. I’m imagining that Alinea didn’t have any official no-kids policy in the first place because the owners probably didn’t imagine that people would even think to bring kids there. The blanket policies exist because a lot of parents don’t have common sense. Babies and little kids, even well-behaved ones, are prone to meltdowns and tantrums from time to time. Nobody paying hundreds of dollars for a meal wants the environment ruined by a crying baby, and you can’t always count on parents taking the kid out of there quickly. An up-front policy is better because then the restaurant doesn’t have to deal with parents going in with little kids, having the kids cause a ruckus, and then the parents protesting when they’re asked to leave because they’ve also spent a lot of money.

    • CMJ

      January 17, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      The blanket policies are needed because people, unfortunately, do not have common sense and consideration.

      I mean – STFU Parents is proof of that.

    • EmmaFromÉire

      January 17, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      Because every asshole with an offspring thinks they’re impervious to criticism. I get that not all kids are gonna be shrieking monsters, but if i’m shelling out for a nice dinner I don’t want to have a soundtrack of smooth jazz overlain with MOM MOM MOM MOMMY MOMMY MOOOOOOOMMMMMM MOMMY MOM. mom.

    • Eve Vawter

      January 17, 2014 at 1:33 pm

      brb, preordering your latest album off iTunes

    • Mel

      January 17, 2014 at 1:27 pm

      We need blanket policies because it shouldn’t be the responsibility of an underpaid, overworked server to stand up to (sometimes) arrogant and combative parents? Rules exist because not everyone can be trusted to be considerate of others.

      You answered your own question by the way: the reason we need blanket policies is: “The whole issue is so fraught with tension because there are ridiculous extremes on both sides”

    • Sara610

      January 17, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      I agree that it shouldn’t be the waitstaff’s job, but what about the owner or manager of the restaurant? It IS that person’s job to deal with any patron–child or adult–who’s being inconsiderate and ruining someone else’s meal/movie/whatever.

      And if you’re that family who’s asked to leave because your children are behaving like hellions, then you should take them home and use the opportunity to reflect on your parenting skills.

    • Mel

      January 17, 2014 at 2:23 pm

      Right, but since we can’t reasonably expect the owner to be there all day every day, it’s fair for them to put up a sign. This policy shouldn’t be treated any differently than other policies. Nobody gets mad that there’s a sign saying “No Personal Checks” or “Shirt and Shoes Required.”

      If you don’t have a blanket policy about important things like this, you’re just opening the door to subjective and unfair decisions and discrimination. Sitting around talking about how people “should” behave may be fun, but it’s not exactly productive. If people all believed the same thing, and everyone did what they “should” then we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    • mom21

      January 17, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      Because out of control kids running underfoot are a liability. I have personally witnessed a server get very badly burned trying to stop a hot skillet from landing on a two year old who tripped her. The parents actually had the balls to ask for a refund!

      The poor server practically had a nervous break down thinking that she could have harmed a child and was more concerned than the idiot parents (who were, of course, blind drunk).

      Let’s not go into the number of people who drink and drive with their kids after several pitchers of mai tais. Simple fact is that I should not be more responsible for your kids than you are.

    • Sara610

      January 17, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      Right, so the family of an out of control kid who’s running around should be asked to leave, for the safety and consideration of the servers and other patrons.

    • Aldonza

      January 17, 2014 at 2:08 pm

      I also have found that the majority of places that have a blanket policy did not start off that way. They were forced to adopt the policy because of too many incidents.

    • LiteBrite

      January 17, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      I agree with you in theory. The problem is that in practice it’s a whole different ballgame because restaurant management is often run by corporate offices who don’t allow restaurant management to enforce basic consideration on a case-by-case basis.

      A friend of mine is in restaurant management and ran into this situation several years ago. He was the manager of a small cafe and coffee shop (not Starbucks). There were two women eating there with their kids. After everyone had finished their meals, the two women decided to let their children run wild while they sat and chatted. Several patrons complained, and my friend asked the women to control their kids. The women got pissy, left, and lodged a complaint against him with the corporate office. He was then in trouble with HIS manager for being rude to customers. He explained the situation, and basically corporate’s response was “They were paying customers too.” Which is true, but…..

      So, blanket policies are needed so that no one feels butthurt when they are not being treated like the special snowflakes they believe they are. (Although my experience in dealing with the public during my retail days has taught me that everyone wants to be treated fairly until they are. Then they want to be the exception.)

    • Sara610

      January 17, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      Hmmmm, that actually makes a lot of sense. So in this case, the manager might not actually have the autonomy to kick ill-behaved customers out, even if he wants to and every other diner in the restaurant wants him to. That sucks.

    • Williwaw

      January 17, 2014 at 3:11 pm

      I think if I were the manager, I would politely ask the women to not let the kids run around, as I was concerned that they might get injured by a falling hot coffee or whatever, or might trip a customer and cause them to be hurt…and I would have a coworker covertly film the entire scene on their camera phone. Then I would have proof of me making a reasonable safety request, and a record that I wasn’t actually “rude” (in case the women later claimed it). Of course, I don’t know if this would actually work, but it might be worth a shot. I think a lot of people recount things with a slant in their own favour, so it would be lovely to have hard evidence they they were lying/exaggerating…

    • LiteBrite

      January 17, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      My friend was polite about it, and said something similar to what you suggested (being concerned about injury, etc), but I know from my own retail days that you can be the paragon of politeness and some people will still get bent out of shape because they’re the customer and the customer is ALWAYS RIGHT.

      By the way, my friend’s boss agreed with my friend’s side of the story, but unfortunately he was bound by corporate policy to write up a warning to my friend.

    • Sara610

      January 17, 2014 at 4:00 pm

      So, I edited my original comment because in view of your enlightening contribution, I do think there are some places where blanket “this isn’t a kids’ restaurant” policies are appropriate. Obviously not Applebee’s, but in some places (barring common sense on the part of parents) apparently a policy is necessary.

      Although I have to say, this whole conversation really leaves me wondering–where do we go from here? Are typical parents really so incapable of parenting and consideration for others that we have to divide restaurants into “no children allowed at all” and “bring your hellions here, where there are no behavior standards and they can do whatever the eff they want!”

      I’d like to believe that at some point, common sense and basic consideration will win out and parents will take their kids out to eat, at kid-appropriate restaurants and while enforcing appropriate behavior expectations, AND they’ll be able to do so without getting the judgey stink-eye.

    • LiteBrite

      January 17, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      “Are typical parents really so incapable of parenting and consideration for others that we have to divide restaurants into “no children allowed at all” and “bring your hellions here, where there are no behavior standards and they can do whatever the eff they want!”

      My experience says no, they’re not. I think there are a lot of parents who are just like “Fuck it. My kids can do whatever they want”, but I think MOST parents are probably more like the commenters here: we try to be considerate of others but are pretty sure we screw up once in awhile. (Like the time a hostess at a local chain restaurant told me my kid had to use the bathroom. He was being whiny, and I told her that was the problem, only to have her point out that he had his “thing” out of his pants. Nice! I was horribly embarrassed and got the kid to the bathroom stat. In retrospect that was a bad day. We probably should’ve just stayed home and ordered a pizza.)

      We eat out fairly often, and there have only been a handful of times that I’ve seen really horribly out-of-control children and the parents seemingly not giving a damn. Most of the time, the kids seem reasonably well-behaved and the parents are on top of it. But you know what they say about bad apples spoiling the bunch, so I have a feeling we’ll see more of these policies cropping up.

  5. keelhaulrose

    January 17, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Hey, parents, your kid’s shit, in fact, stinks.
    Even the most well behaved kid has bad moments. Occasionally in public. When someone is paying good money not to have to cook or clean they’re going to remember a poorly behaved kid, and want to avoid a repeat performance.

  6. Alexandra

    January 17, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a sign personally (as a former server, bartender and restaurant manager) it is helpful when dealing with A-hole parents. It gives the manager and servers the word that the ownership of the restaurant is not going to let the little snowflakes smear their ketchup all over the walls and seats and basically run around like wild dogs.
    Notice, this is 100% the parents fault, and kids should never garner the stink-eye on their own account.
    Also, as a parent, I know when my kids can and can’t handle a restaurant. are we approaching melt-down city? then we need to go to the car.
    Why ruin everyone else’s night, they may have a limited budget to enjoy on dining out and a screaming kid ruins that. Also, the waitstaff, owners and managers at restaurants shouldn’t be responsible for keeping your child out of the freaking kitchen.

  7. kay

    January 17, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    They know us at our neighborhood brewery (like, when I was pregnant they saw me on a walk and were like “why haven’t you been in lately?… oh!”) We get amazing service there. We also bring the baby when she’s in a good mood, when it’s not busy, and we’re very aware of leaving BEFORE she cries.

    As a result we get free beers all the time.

    Don’t suck parents, and instead of judging, you get beer. #lifelessons

    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 3:16 pm

      DO suck, parents. Might save the rest of us a lot of irritation. Hah.

  8. mom21

    January 17, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Letting your children run around a restaurant is DANGEROUS!!! Servers carry so many oven hot plates and won’t see a two foot tall child running under foot. They could be badly burned or god forbid a tray of drinks and glass fell on them! Servers aren’t being bitter assholes. They don’t want to be sued when your little nightmare is killed by a falling fajita skillet.

    Babysitters are cheaper than skin grafts. Fact.

    • mom21

      January 17, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      Other than that I was always very tolerant of children in my section. I totally understood that it was a night out and never begrudge things like messy floors or spilled drinks. That’s what I got tipped for and my attitude meant I was usually tipped well.

    • EmmaFromÉire

      January 17, 2014 at 1:27 pm

      Put that last line on a sign and stick it over the door.

    • Kay_Sue

      January 17, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      This all the damn day.

      There was a friend of my mother’s whose child ran across the kitchen just as she was turning with a boiling saucepan of water. You can fill in the blanks on the rest. It’s a fear in my own kitchen that leads to the kids being banned unless they are specifically helping with something, and no way do I want to expose anyone else to that potential guilt and no way do I want to expose my kids to the danger itself.

    • JLH1986

      January 17, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      we ban our dogs from the kitchen for these reasons. Small humans will for sure be banned.

    • lea

      January 20, 2014 at 9:20 am

      I’m Über clumsy, so my dog banned herself (she actually will not enter the kitchen, even for food on the floor, until I leave the kitchen). I’m hoping the kid will follow the dog’s lead when he’s finally mobile.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      January 17, 2014 at 9:00 pm

      This happened to my niece. She had some burn scars on her forehead and arm. When she was little they seemed so huge….

    • Kay_Sue

      January 17, 2014 at 9:37 pm

      I was a preteen when it happened, and I remember them being huge on him. It drives me nuts when we are at my mother’s and my grandmother is cooking, because she doesn’t care. I’m like, “If you just remind them, they really will stay the eff out of the kitchen because they are well trained…”

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      January 17, 2014 at 10:20 pm

      Yeah. You can. My niece and her brothers were not supposed to be running in the kitchen and they knew it. They broke the rule at the worst possible moment (as kids tend to do). She will have the scars for the rest of her life. Although she’s a grown ass woman now so it didn’t destroy her life or anything.

    • Syd

      January 17, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      UGH. THIS. Or, my personal favorite in my waitressing days, the people that would bring their infant to a restaurant, insist on sitting in a booth, and then place the high chair at the head of the table…otherwise known as my only opening to deposit food and drinks. I would then spend a fun-filled hour getting the stink eye and snide comments as I had to try and set food on the table without taking out the kid. You don’t like this steaming plate bowl of soup being held over your kids head? Yeah, me either.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      January 18, 2014 at 7:13 am

      Saw a fantastic waitress at my local GBK, there was a woman and her son who was probably around 8. I know the son has severe autism as I serve his mother every week in the shop I work in. she is also part of our local outreach programme for kids with learning disabilities and takes a group of young kids out ever week.

      He got very worked up over something and started crying and screaming.
      A man sat in the booth next to me turned and said- there should be a special section for retards.
      Before I could say anything, a waitress came over with the man’s bill, told him it had been paid and that he would be required to leave. He hadn’t gotten his food yet. The waitress has paid for his food just so he could leave.

      When the ,man protested that he came for a quiet lunch, I said to him so did this mother and her child. He is obviously distressed and I would rather have lunch with him than a p**ck like you.

      He left, grumbling and cursing the whole time.
      The mother finally managed to calm the young lad and not only asked me and my stepdaughters to join them for lunch, but tipped the waitress an insane amount.

      From talking to her, this is common, she has given up trying to educate people on etiquette for special needs kids.

      This little boy was so upset and so unable to comprehend what was wrong, and then this moron comes along and not only thinks he is being clever but says something so horrible in front of other small kids.

      There need to be more waitresses like this one, absolute angel!

    • G.S.

      February 25, 2014 at 10:12 pm

      My jaw literally dropped when I read that man’s comment. What a douchecanoe. That waitress should be Employee of the YEAR.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      February 26, 2014 at 5:33 am

      I know, I couldn’t believe it.
      People can be monsters.

    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 2:44 pm

      Not in Canada with our free health care! Run wild, little ones!

    • Guest

      January 21, 2014 at 2:10 am

      I really hope this is a bad attempt at sarcasm.

    • Smishsmash

      January 20, 2014 at 1:40 am

      I recently went out to dinner with my brother in Laws family. Now I am trying to raise kids who are polite and respectful of others so I in no way let my kids run around a restaurant. My bil on the other hand, has a clear belief that part of childhood should be getting into rambunctious hijinks. Anyway, so we take them to a fav local place of ours and not only does their two year old run around, he actually manages to get into the kitchen and TURN OFF THE LIGHTS!!!! And me and my husband were the only people who didn’t think this was just hilarious. I mean he turned off the lights on a bunch of people frying things on hot oil!! It was horrifying. I told my husband I need a break from dining out with them before we all wind up getting sued for negligence or something. And now we also can’t go back to our fav local place because we are the assholes in the group with the kid who turned off the lights in the kitchen.

    • Elizabeth

      January 21, 2014 at 2:13 am

      I would not be able to take that. Seriously, I don’t know how you stand it.

    • whiteroses

      February 6, 2014 at 7:57 pm

      It’s gonna be a lot less “cute” when they do that stuff and they’re 17.

    • Rebecca R

      January 20, 2014 at 11:09 am

      Exactly. I once waited nearly 30 minutes on a busy Friday night for my food to come out, only to watch a child run into my waiter and see my plate crash to the floor.

    • Tilla

      January 20, 2014 at 7:04 pm

      This!!I used to serve in a Bar/Restaurant where we would explicitly ask parents to keep their children with them at all times as we did not have a separate dinning room. As in their children were in a BAR with drunk people.

      When I would have to remind parents of this this or ask children directly to go back to their tables I would get the shitty-est looks and comments (from the parents) about how I couldn’t tell their kids what to do.

  9. Kay_Sue

    January 17, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    It’s all about common sense, and I wish these parents had some. Also, quit wasting a good throat-punch threat.

    • K

      January 17, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      I agree. Hyper violent comments over the small stuff is ridiculous. If that lady punched the elderly woman, she would look like the douche, no matter what came out of her mouth.

    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      She looks like a douche anyway.

  10. Ptownsteveschick

    January 17, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    I like to go out to eat, so as I have said before, I have taken my now 2 yr old out for lunch once or twice a month ,when money allows it, since she was a baby. I take her to family friendly restaurants or cafes, I make sure she has had a nap, clean diaper/potty etc before we go. I get compliments on her behavior every time I take her somewhere. She does have the occasional meltdown(usually when Dad is there for some reason) and I have literally jumped up and ran out of a restaurant because I cannot stand screaming kids in public places.
    That being said, I would never be offended if someone asked to be moved away from us, and I would NEVER take her somewhere fancy where people expected a quiet atmosphere.
    I think the issue isn’t that being a parent makes you act like an entitled asshole, it is that too many entitled assholes are having precious little snowflake children and giving us regular people a bad reputation.

    • ted3553

      January 17, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      I am unable to like this a hundred times or I would. It’s a sane, rational view of eating out with a child and exactly the way I feel about mine. My little guy may let out a yell but I will then control him or take him outside. Other people can chill out for a second and realize i’m working on it but I don’t expect others to be thrilled when my guy has a meltdown or is just on a roll and I ignore him.

    • Sara610

      January 17, 2014 at 2:11 pm

      This is very well said. I tried to say something similar below, but I don’t think I put it nearly as well as you did.

    • CarolEme

      January 17, 2014 at 6:08 pm

      YEAH!!!! you said it MUCH better than I in a later post.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      January 17, 2014 at 8:59 pm

      I once had to take my then-toddler out of the same restaurant twice. It was embarrassing that it was my kid, but I refuse to let them act shitty in public like that. He doesn’t pull that crap anymore because he knows he’s going right out to the handy “time out” bench out in the front of the place. You’re right. Some people are already assholes and then just choose to have kids on top of it.

    • Jayamama

      January 18, 2014 at 2:23 am

      I was going to say basically the same thing, but you said it so much better. My daughter is also 2 years old, and we’ve been taking her out places since she was a baby, just like we are doing with her 2-month-old sister. I have two rules:
      1. She must be sitting down in her seat, not crawling under the table or standing up looking over the booth.
      2. She can’t yell or bang her silverware or otherwise be disruptive.
      I don’t care if she eats or colors the entire time. And if she starts to be unmanageable, one of us takes her outside for a little while. But the key is that we don’t take her out when she’s tired and likely to have a meltdown, and we don’t take her to certain restaurants. If they don’t have a kids’ menu or booster seats, then they obviously are not a family place, and I respect that. But when we take her to a Chili’s, etc, I think half the people there don’t even know that there’s a toddler in the next booth, she’s so well-behaved. We take the time before we leave, too, to pick up anything that’s dropped on the floor and to clean up the table a bit so our server is not left to deal with the aftermath.

      Also, I take offense at the commentary on #3. I see nothing wrong with a child examining what’s on the table, as long as the parents do their best to put it back like it was. Sure, if the kid’s leaving a mess I understand, but it didn’t sound like that. I think the waitress just leads a sad existence if those flowers were such a high priority in her life.

  11. Sara

    January 17, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    I can totally tolerate a meltdown because sometimes even an eighteen year old I have meltdowns so I can’t judge a baby for having a bad day. What gets is just general misbehavior and assholishness. I had one lady get pissed at me because I dared tell her child to remove her hands from my hair and to stop touching me thankyouverymuch.
    Meltdowns understandable. Misbehavior not so much.

    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      … you are of voting age, but still have public meltdowns? 😐

    • Sara

      January 17, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      I have an anxiety/panic disorder plus a sensory disorder plus fibromyalgia. So sometimes I get overwhelmed and cry. Then, I remove myself from the situation.

    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 4:11 pm

      Yikes! Crying is not sad. I was picturing an adult screaming on the floor like a kid having a tantrum.

    • Sara

      January 17, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      Oh, nope! I just cry and can’t handle somethings and sometimes people can be douchebags as I’m trying to leave the situation. I also feel for the babies that are overwhelmed ‘cuz I feel their pain.

    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      Oops – I meant “crying is not bad”. Just to clarify, because “sad” in that context makes no sense.

    • Sara

      January 17, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      Oh hahahah, I was like, I don’t think you understand how pathetic it is lol

    • Fluffy_1

      January 19, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      I can relate… I am autistic and in my thirties and still have meltdowns tho those are few and far between. I always remove myself from the situation and go someplace quiet to play Solitaire on my phone til I calm down.

  12. Sarah Hollowell

    January 17, 2014 at 1:42 pm


    By which I mean it took until you spelled it out for me.

    God I was like “is it a typo is it supposed to be bitch-hole that doesn’t even make sense WHAT ARE THEY TRYING TO SAY”

    • Eve Vawter

      January 17, 2014 at 1:43 pm

      It’s so fucking funny. It’s like the lamest profanity ever. I told Blair I am calling her B-hole from now on

    • Frances Locke

      January 17, 2014 at 8:05 pm

      Can I call you E-Hole?

    • Erin Murphy

      January 18, 2014 at 11:39 pm

      I was just telling my husband that butt hole is a drastically underused insult and we should bring it back.

    • oywiththepoodlesalready

      January 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      Right? I was about to look it up b/c I thought it was new.

    • Sara

      January 17, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      Bitch-hole just sounds you’re trying to call someone an angry vagina IMO

    • Williwaw

      January 17, 2014 at 3:12 pm

      That sounds like the name of a feminist death metal band: Angry Vagina.

    • Sara

      January 17, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      We should make it happen! Mommyishers unite!

    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      I thought it was like an asshole but not an a-list asshole.

  13. Fuzzy Coin Laundry

    January 17, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I mean, after some consideration, I understand strip clubs, but seriously, even children gotta eat

  14. Williwaw

    January 17, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    If I had a reservation for a $470 non-refundable dinner, I would probably arrange a backup babysitter, just in case….because there is no way I would ever take my baby to a five star restaurant. It’s just not fair to everyone else who paid $470 for their dinner too.

    • AmazingE

      January 17, 2014 at 3:03 pm

      Exactly. If it had been me and the sitter bailed, my husband would have told me to just go on my own because no way in hell would I spend that kind of money and not go, barring some highly contagious illness or other circumstance that would hinder my dining experience. Frankly, I’d have to be either dead or dying to pass up a chance like that, I love food way to much.

    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 3:03 pm

      Right? Or you say to your spouse “crap… sitter cancelled. Do you want to go with one of your friends and I’ll stay home with the kid?” Even if the sitter cancelled the last minute, I am sure they could have found SOME relative or friend to use one of the tickets while the other stayed home.

    • guest

      January 18, 2014 at 11:38 am

      This exactly. Taking the baby with me would be the latest of last resorts. Can you even imagine trying to enjoy a dinner that fancy while your baby is there? If II absolutely couldn’t find any sitter, then it’s time for daddy/baby bonding time at home while mommy gets to eat All The Fancy Foods by her own damn self.

  15. DaisyJupes

    January 17, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    I’ve actually complained loudly enough that the parent left with their child. The kid was SCREAMING, like auditioning for a horror movie screaming that went on and on. I loudly, because a normal talking voice was drowned out, told my dad that if that kid didn’t stop we needed to be reseated, because it was making my headache worse and my ears hurt. After a few minutes, they suddenly got up and left. This was at Red Robin.

    I can expect children in those restaurants and I expect noise (loud baby talk, the occasional shriek with flapping arms, a quick breakaway when mom’s not looking before they are secured into their seat for safety), but unless it is a kid’s place (like Chuck E Cheese or anywhere with a play place), your kid should not be having a tantrum, running, screaming, wandering, or touching other people. Those things make YOU a bad parent.

    • Williwaw

      January 17, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      I have had a movie ruined by someone with a screeching baby. Who takes an infant to a rated R film, anyway? And why didn’t they leave or go to the bathroom once the kid started shrieking? It screamed for the ENTIRE FILM. (Nowadays I would probably complain to the parent or the cinema manager, but I was younger and less assertive then.)

    • SarahJesness

      January 19, 2014 at 1:31 am

      When I went to see X-Men: First Class there was a couple with a baby/toddler (can’t remember which) who would cry whenever there was a loud, intense moment, and the parents didn’t take him out until the movie was almost over. I get taking kids to superhero films, even if they are PG-13, since kids usually enjoy them. But this kid was way too young to know what was going on in the film anyway, and it all clearly scared him. Bleh.

    • Fluffy_1

      January 19, 2014 at 9:23 pm

      When I went to see Fellowship Of The Ring, this idiot parent had two underfives with them. What, seriously? Anyway, it turned out that I didn’t have to go complain to the usher about the two kids flapping their gums nonstop thruout the film, as the second the Nazgul appeared onscreen they were so frightened, their dad had to take them out and all three never came back. What kind of moron thinks an over three hour bum number of a film, especially one with lots of hitting, fighting and scary things, is suitable for an underfive?

    • SarahJesness

      January 20, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      Because “kids like action and fantasy huuuur!”. I can definitely see a slightly older child enjoying the film if he’s a big fantasy fan, and I can understand why a lot of PG-13 fantasy and superhero movies tend to get kids in the audience. But geez, if you’re gonna take your kid to that kind of movie, you should at least make sure this specific kid enjoys it! Like with a large dog, some kids are going to love it while the others are gonna freak out and cry.

    • Fluffy_1

      January 21, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      When I went to see the first Hobbit film, there were two adorable ten year olds sitting in front of me who were good as gold. I’d say that ten is probably a good age to take a kid to see movies like that, but it does depend on the child. Clue: If your child flails about and screams when they see Maleficient, then it’s probably best not to subject them to Nazgul or Smaug.

    • Snipe

      January 20, 2014 at 4:25 am

      I saw Passion of the Christ in the theater and a family apparently thought it would be a good idea to bring a toddler. The kid screamed in terror almost the entire time. It’s people like that that inspire others to say, “There ought to be a rule/law….”

    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      Maybe they didn’t hear you, but decided to leave anyone because of their kid? That’s my hope, anyway…

    • SarahJesness

      January 19, 2014 at 1:29 am

      I have pretty sensitive hearing, so sitting next to a baby screaming with a high pitch is hell on me. But I don’t usually have to deal with it because I’m in college and I’m usually going out early in the day, when restaurants have fewer kids and such.

    • Laura

      January 20, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      I went to the aquarium once with my husband and two friends. We were in one small section when a family came in with their little banshee. I call him that because he was SCREAMING – purely because he was enjoying the sound of his shrieks reverberating off all of the glass! He shrieked and listened and laughed and then did it over and over again. I am very headache-prone and high-pitched noises aggravate it, so I was visibly in pain (hands over my ears, etc.) and said to my husband, “Is this necessary?” The kid’s father looked at me and laughed. Apparently my pain was hilarious. We left before I killed someone. I know it’s not a restaurant, but it’s the same sort of principle; if your kid is misbehaving in public, discipline them, don’t encourage them!

  16. Zettai

    January 17, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    I loved the “everyone who has met my 17 month old KNOWS she is super awesome special snowflake perfectly well-behaved”… as if someone would ever say, “hey lady, your kid SUCKS!”

    Just because someone isn’t rude enough (or honest enough?) to say to your face that your kid isn’t the nicest or most well-behaved doesn’t mean they are!

    • meteor_echo

      January 17, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      I’d pick “honest enough”. They’re just too afraid of the Mombiesaurus Rex to speak up.

    • katzenmama

      January 17, 2014 at 10:33 pm

      I’d pick brave enough.

    • Williwaw

      January 17, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      Everyone who has met my 2 year-old knows he is 2 years old. Which is to say, much as I adore him, sometimes he acts like the Tasmanian Devil. (Which is why we will hastily decamp to the Denny’s parking lot/bathroom if he gets obnoxious, and will not be attempting finer dining for awhile.)

      Also, I would think it a bit zombiesque if I met a 17 month old that was so well-behaved that she actually didn’t occasionally raise a ruckus in public.

    • PSG

      January 17, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      I had a flashback to my days as a server, and those sweet little bouquets on the table for lunch, and the lovely florist who would bring them in…there are several reason why snowflake-cupcake-most-precious-of-all shouldn’t be screwing with the flowers…because it isn’t a toy. Because it isn’t food. In some cases, the flowers are TOXIC. The water might be treated. The petals will begin to wilt and fall off from too much handling. Because the arrangement will look like crap after she’s done with it and you’ve ruined the view for any other patron at that table later on. Because those silly little flowers cost the restaurant a surprising amount of money to put there on all those tables.

      Yeah, that one made me twitch.

    • Ddaisy

      January 18, 2014 at 5:54 am

      That one I can definitely see both sides of. I understand why it’s such a big deal that the flowers not be messed with, but I can also understand how the parents wouldn’t have known that. It was reasonable for them to think that as long as they weren’t being actively destroyed, a little rearranging was no big deal.

      HOWEVER, if I were those parents, after being informed, I would have said, “Oh, I’m so sorry, I didn’t know,” and stopped my kid, not whined about how my precious snowflake wasn’t actually doing anything wrong.

    • Kathleen O'Malley

      January 17, 2014 at 7:11 pm

      She’s GIFTED! And she’s only 17 months! 😉

  17. Renee J

    January 17, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    There was a local BBQ place I wanted to try a while back. I called and asked if it was kid friendly and if they had kid menus. The man assured me it was and they did. So, we get there and it’s this nice, quiet place. We were they only ones with kids there except a couple with a baby (who ended up leaving early because the baby cried.) I asked the waiter for kid menus and he replied they didn’t have any. I spent the entire dinner making sure the kids didn’t make a peep. They were good and quiet, but it was stressful. This is why we usually stick with chains.

    • EX

      January 17, 2014 at 3:03 pm

      I had a similar situation when we made a reservation at a restaurant with other family members who were visiting from out of town. The place described itself as a “rustic bistro” and on the website had a little tag line about celebrating “the simple things in life” blah, blah “friends and family.” Now, true, I did not call to ask if it was child friendly but I guess my definitions of “rustic,” “bistro,” “simple” and “family” are different than theirs. It was a pretty stressful meal but we managed without (I hope) pissing anyone off.

  18. allisonjayne

    January 17, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    We go out to eat sometimes, and sometimes the kid comes with…we make a point to dine early, only go to places that seem appropriate (i.e. aren’t fancy, super quiet, tiny, etc) and make sure the kid behaves appropriately. We ask the server best place for us to sit. We clean up any messes. And, most importantly, if we’re dining with the kid, we tip really well!

    • amanda b

      January 17, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      Im a generous tipper on a normal day. If i have my kids with me, and the server hasn’t stabbed me with my own fork- they get double. Because damn kids are stressful- especially when they’re someone else’s

  19. TngldBlue

    January 17, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Ugh I just took my 4 year old to a steakhouse last weekend and now I’m totally afraid I will be in the next STFUP post.

    • Renee J

      January 17, 2014 at 2:08 pm

      I take my kids to Outback and Longhorn all the time. Chains don’t count. 🙂

    • Mel

      January 17, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      I gotta say, I’m not sure you and Daniel get to be the arbiters of what’s “okay” or “fine.” Yes, obviously if a kid’s menu is offered, then kids are allowed to eat there. BUT, as a citizen, I’m allowed to do lots of things that annoy the shit out of everyone and are really rude things to do. Am I allowed? You bet. Am I going to? No, because I think part of the social contract is that we do our best not to drive each other bonkers or make the others’ experiences unpleasant. Accidents happen. Good kids yell. Good parents make bad calls. That’s part of living in the world. But I still think making a concerted effort to think of others is the way to go.

    • Renee J

      January 17, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      I never said anything about being rude. Chain restaurants with kid menus like Outback and Longhorn are okay for kids. Now, when I say that, I don’t mean let the kids do whatever they want or scream or run around. I mean kids can go and eat there as long as they are well behaved. But, people shouldn’t expect to go there and not see kids.

    • Renee J

      January 17, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      And I do consider others. I make sure my kids aren’t bothering others. But, if they are upset by just the sight of a child, that’s on them. Just like if someone is bothered by a man with no arms eating with his feet doesn’t mean that man shouldn’t go out to eat.

    • Mel

      January 17, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      I agree that when you go to restaurants with kid menus you’re gonna see kids. I just had an early dinner out with my 8mo nephew tonight. I felt like his mom made some good decisions on keeping him from ruining everyone’s meals (as kids are wont to do). I didn’t mean to make it seem like I’m against all kids being in all restaurants. But, I’m not going to be the one who decides what’s okay for everyone. I just don’t like blanket statements like that.

    • Renee J

      January 17, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      I agree with you. I didn’t mean to make a blanket statement – it was supposed to be light hearted and more for what I would do myself.

    • Mel

      January 17, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      That makes sense. I’m with ya then 🙂

    • Sara610

      January 17, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      I think there’s a big difference between taking kids to Outback or Longhorn and taking them to a really nice restaurant, the kind of place where two people could easily pay $100 for dinner.

      I wouldn’t hesitate to take my two-year-old to one of the former. Yes, I’m going to keep on her about her behavior and if she starts to get fussy or behave in a way that’s a nuisance to others, we’re going to leave. But I think it would be unreasonable to go to a place like that and not expect to see any children at all, or get irritated if you do. Family restaurants are going to contain families.

      I wouldn’t take my two-year-old to one of the latter places, because a) there are some places that I just don’t think are ideal for children and b) if I’m going to spend an entire month’s “fun” budget on dinner, I want to enjoy it and not spend it policing my kid’s behavior.

    • Daniel Plotkin

      January 17, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      Longhorn, Outback or any one of the family chains is fine. In fact if the restaurant offers a kids menu, then it means they want kids to come. Mortons and Flemings don’t have a kids menu – that’s a hint.

    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      Did they have a kid’s menu?

    • TngldBlue

      January 17, 2014 at 3:53 pm


    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 3:54 pm

      Then I guess it depends on how well behaved they were, and whether you may any snide comments about the other patrons on Facebook afterwards!

  20. MerlePerle

    January 17, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Anybody who calls their 17 month old ‘bright’ is an idiot…you just know soon they will call their offspring gifted because the have managed to count to 3!

  21. val97

    January 17, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    I do not understand people who can let their kids scream or run around a restaurant. Do they not feel shame and embarrassment? I don’t know whether to hate them or be jealous. It’s like they are so self centered and entitled that they can’t feel the silent wrath of everyone around them. It’s kind of amazing if you think about it.
    I was always so worried about bringing my kids out when they were younger. The thought of just sitting there, eating and drinking, with my child crying, in a restaurant, is unfathomable.

    • amanda b

      January 17, 2014 at 2:20 pm


    • Amanda Rene Slinger

      January 17, 2014 at 4:00 pm

      How awful do you have to hate someone for being comfortable in their own skin just because you are not? Note: being one of those people who turns EVERY topic in to a discussion about weight makes you look like a shallow douche. I wouldn’t worry about your outside appearance, sounds like you would be a miserable person even if you looked like Giselle. A screaming child is not the same as someone who offends you by not cowering in shame. Do you hate confident “ugly” people too?

    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      Haha, come on now!

      First, please tell me where I said anything about hating anyone. You can be envious of someone without hating them for it.

      Second, please show me how I turn EVERY topic into a discussion about weight.

      Third, surely you have some grasp of the idea of a lose analogy or comparison, don’t you? Like how part of someone else’s statement can bring to mind something you’ve said or thought or experienced in your life, even though it’s not a perfect comparison?

      And last, your overly volatile, hostile and insulting reaction to an off-hand comment about being envious of people with good body confidence, says more about you than it does about me.

      Now, go have a glass of wine or something before you do yourself an injury!

    • Amanda Rene Slinger

      January 17, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      You made an analogy to a comment about how those parents should be embarrassed and ashamed and they don’t know if you should hate them or be jealous for ignoring societies wrath and applied it to fat people. Yeah your a douche.

    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      If that’s what you actually think I meant, despite the fact that I’ve explained CLEARLY that that’s NOT what I meant at all, then you’re just willfully misunderstanding me so you’ll have someone to vent your frustrations at and feel entitled doing so.

      I’m sorry for your problems, but I can’t help you with them. Maybe talk to someone about them because no one should carry that kind of anger around with them.

    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      I feel that way about really fat people who are super self confident. I’m jealous that they are more comfortable with being “fat” than I am with little paunch and bit butt.

    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      Hey, I am not being anti-fat here! Just saying that I’m envious of people who despite being “less attractive” by societal norms than me (not that I’m fancy – I’m pretty average in just about every way), are more self-confident. Ultimately I think that’s better than being skinny/beautiful, but being uncomfortable with yourself, isn’t it?

    • Bec

      January 20, 2014 at 11:46 pm

      I know. I don’t have kids of my own, but teach primary and am always hyper aware that people are looking at my group of 30 kids and judging me (and them) when I am on the train / in the museum / walking around (even though they are probably not) that I am ten times tougher on them regarding their behaviour than I probably am in the classroom. This also happens when we’re at a public event on school grounds. Those kids are a reflection of me and my expectations, so you better believe they are going to shine!

  22. Mel

    January 17, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    I’ve been laughing really hard b/c so many of the people posting here are parents who rush to say how they’re doing it right and how their kids aren’t the ones pissing everyone off. Sure, it’s probably true in most of the cases. It’s just funny that people are so inclined to judge someone for behaving badly, then explain why when they themselves do it (or something similar) it’s okay because x, y, and z. Sure, Mom X is terrible and rude b/c her baby yelled through someone’s dinner. But when MY baby yelled through dinner it was okay b/c he was sick/tired/usually an angel/I left a huge tip/insert explanation here. It’s human nature, and I totally get it. We’re all guilty. It’s just funny 🙂

    • EX

      January 17, 2014 at 2:38 pm

      I agree that it’s funny and was thinking the same thing, even though I pretty much did it myself in a comment I made. But I think maybe it’s a good sign that a lot of people (or at least a lot of mommyish readers) are at least trying to do it right?

    • Mel

      January 17, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      Yes! Knowing that this many parents are trying so hard to do it “right” makes me way less angry/frustrated when it doesn’t all go according to plan.

    • Williwaw

      January 17, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      If I let my toddler yell all through dinner in a restaurant, that would not be okay. If he makes loud noises that last more than a couple seconds, or are repeated, he gets removed to the bathroom or parking lot, and I don’t think him being sick or tired, or me leaving a large tip, is an excuse, and I think that a lot of the parents posting here are essentially saying the same thing. Yeah, every kid probably pisses people off on a regular basis because you can’t please everyone, but I don’t think all parents are guilty of being entitled jerks who think their kids’ obnoxiousness doesn’t count. There are lots of us who won’t sit back and ignore it while our kids are pissing off everyone in a fifty foot radius (except on airplanes, because what can you do? you can’t spend the entire flight in the bathroom with the baby).

  23. C.J.

    January 17, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Unfortunately the entitled parents give the rest of the parents a bad name. Entitled parents are not doing their children any favours either. Eventually those kids are going to find out they aren’t any more special than anyone else and they aren’t going to like it.

  24. Andy

    January 17, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    A few days ago, I had my three year old and four month old with me for lunch at Panera. Three year old ate her food, used her inside voice and was promised a trip to the mall play area as a reward for behaving, the four month old had a clean diaper, full tummy and spent lunchtime blowing spit bubbles and chewing his fingers. As a result a random stranger complimented me on my well behaved kids. The sad thing is, this is how the bulk of our meals out go because we started early with making our daughter behave, but most people assume the worst and give us the stink eye when we sit down (and for the record, we never go to fancy places with our kids. Outback is as fancy as it gets).

  25. CMP414

    January 17, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    My two year old is really good in restaurants (church is an entirely different story) but we never take her anywhere where there isnt a kids menu and a high chair. That’s not fair to other patrons and it’s not fair to her. If she acts out we take her out. Our kid, our responsibility not other people’s who deserve a meal out in peace.

    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 4:00 pm

      Well sure, restaurants are fun and delicious! Church is… not either of those things.

    • Fluffy_1

      January 19, 2014 at 9:17 pm

      I find church dull and hideous to sit thru, and I’m a grownup. I can’t imagine what it must be like for a hyperactive, wriggly toddler to have to sit thru a service. O_o

      Note: I’m an atheist, but I do get invited to christenings and weddings held in churches. I do try to sit still but it’s very hard cuz it’s just so boring. : (

  26. Angela

    January 17, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    I don’t really get the argument that people can’t teach kids table manners unless they take them to fancy restaurants. I teach my kids at home to sit in their chairs, use indoor voices, and to clean up their messes. It’s true that eating out has some unique challenges such as longer wait times but I really don’t see any reason why kids can’t be taught how to behave at any of the gazillion family-friendly restaurants that are available.

    • Sara610

      January 17, 2014 at 3:40 pm

      Yes, taking children out is a good way to teach them how to behave, but that only works IF YOU ACTUALLY TEACH THEM. My problem with parents who trot out the “I have to take them out, or they’ll never learn!” argument is that they’re often the ones who aren’t actually teaching their children how to behave, they’re just using it as a convenient excuse.

      Part of teaching your kids how to behave in restaurants, etc. is teaching them that going to places like that is a privilege and if you can’t behave in a considerate manner, you don’t get to stay.

    • Erin Murphy

      January 18, 2014 at 11:46 pm

      I agree. TAKING a child to a restaurant teaches nothing. They won’t learn through osmosis. Parents should correct impolite behaviors and reinforce standing rules such as don’t rearrange those flowers, they aren’t yours.

    • Bec

      January 20, 2014 at 11:39 pm

      I sometimes wonder if these parents are going to teach their children to drive by just expecting they’ll look around and see what everyone else is doing…

    • waffre

      January 19, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      Speaking of inside voices, I had the interesting experience recently of dining out next to a table with two young girls. The children were perfectly well-behaved (and one of them was barely into toddlerhood, so, pretty impressive), stayed at the table, used their indoor voices, and everything. I would have been very impressed… except for the fact that their mother was NOT using her indoor voice. She was speaking to them in that loud, sing-songy Mom voice that some people think is the way you should talk to young kids. Seriously, it’s a miracle those kids were talking so quietly, because they sure weren’t learning by example that night. Maybe they picked it up from their dad, who was speaking in the proper volume for an intimate dining venue.

    • Kelly S

      January 17, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      or learn manners at home first. training wheels. ;p

    • C.J.

      January 18, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      My mother is a chef, the last thing she wanted to do after work was go back to a restaurant. We rarely ate out as children. She rarely took us shopping because she just wanted to get in an out as fast as she could. We all still managed to learn proper table manners and how to behave in public. She has really strong opinions about children in restaurants having spent so many years working in them. We never acted up at restaurants when we did go because we knew we would never get to go back if we did.

  27. EozS

    January 17, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    I don’t know, I really don’t see why this is SO hard. If the place has a kid’s menu, you can bring your kids. If you don’t like kids, don’t go to a place with a kid’s menu, or avoid the times of day when kids are there – of course it may still happen, but it’ll be VERY seldom. If it does, ask to change seats or pay your bill and leave. It’s frustrating, but this is the real world and sometimes it’s not fair.

    If you find yourself making too many snide comments/dirty looks, maybe you are more irritated by the IDEA of children than ACTUAL children, and should consider how much you are actually bothered, and whether you can frequent a different restaurant and/or time of day to limit contact.

    If the place doesn’t have a kid’s menu, it’s not meant for kids so don’t bring them there. If your kid is out and has a tantrum, take the kid outside and if it can’t calm down, pay your bill and leave. If someone makes a snide comment, even if your kid is super good, it doesn’t hurt you in any way. Sometimes the world’s not fair.

    If you are getting snide comments regularly, your kid is probably more annoying than you realize. Take the hint and stick to very kid-friendly restaurants.

    • Bec

      January 21, 2014 at 12:46 am

      Even if there is a kids menu and even if it is McDonalds, there are still expectations on how to behave when you are eating out. I recently stopped at a McDonalds (doing a solo interstate drive and always feel safer using the toilets / picking up a coffee at macca’s than anywhere else, especially once it starts getting dark) and ended up with ketchup and mustard smeared all over my pants from the kid running around with a half eaten cheseburger in his hands while mum played on her phone.
      Eating out is eating out no matter where you are and things like sitting at the table and respecting those around you is something you need to learn whether you are at home, McDonalds, a café or a fancy restaurant. Plus, what would have been the parent’s reaction if I had spilled my fresh-from-the-barista coffee all over him when he ran into me? Lucky for him (and no so lucky for me!) I only sloshed a little on my own hands. I expect fast food restaurants to be full of kids and noisy, but there are playgrounds for playing in. The restaurant part is for eating in!

    • EozS

      January 21, 2014 at 9:19 am

      Oh I totally agree, but I have a much higher tolerance for kids being noisy and boisterous at McDonald’s than I do at the Keg or whatever. I am talking within the realm of “kids being kids”, of course, and not “kids being huge douchemonsters ignored by their parents”.

    • rrlo

      January 21, 2014 at 3:22 pm

      The Keg has a kids menu, no? Plus its always so loud and dark in there and it’s full of kids!

    • EozS

      January 21, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      Is it? Around here it’s pretty “upper scale”, expensive, reservation-only type of place. It could have a kid’s menu I suppose, it was just the first “fancy place that others might have heard of” that came to mind.

    • EozS

      January 21, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      Just checked and they do have a kid’s menu. Shows what I know! Now I am also hungry…

  28. SusannahJoy

    January 17, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    I’m actually on Meg’s side. As long as the kid wasn’t like, eating or ripping the flowers, who the heck cares? If it was your job to arrange them and all, shouldn’t you realize that they will get moved around?

    • Paul White

      January 17, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      Yeah I thought that was weird too. I mean it isn’t exactly desirable behavior but if she’s not making a mess, just moving some flowers around in their vase…I can’t see the harm.

    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      My GUESS is that the kid was being more rough with the flowers than the mom thinks. That always seems to be the case when people say that sort of thing (“I don’t get why that guy freaked out, all I did was gently bump his car with my car door, there was BARELY a mark, and it’s not like his car was in great condition to begin with!”) That said, I do think the lady was too harsh because seriously… they are flowers.

    • K

      January 17, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      I think you’re underestimating flower arrangements. Flower arrangements are not effing cheap. Plus, the woman is being paid to make them a particular way (and has knowledge, training, and expertise that this mom nor anyone else who doesn’t work in a horticulture field has) and doesn’t want to see her work ruined. Like you don’t let kids touch the art that is hanging on other people’s walls. Also flowers are sensitive to the grease on our fingers, so excessive touching causes them to wilt faster.

    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      I agree and disagree. The flowers are going to die in a few days whether kid touches them or not (unlike wall art). I totally agree with the lady being miffed, and I suspect that she was nicer in person than how she was portrayed by the mom. However, this is life, and sometimes kids touch stuff. There are polite, reasonable ways to react – and if she reacted as described, I do think she was a bit too harsh. We can’t forget that other people are also people, and it would have been possible to save the flowers without hurting the kid’s feelings or upsetting her.

    • Gangle

      January 18, 2014 at 11:49 pm

      To me it shouldn’t matter how long the flowers were going to last. It is about respect. Flowers are extremely expensive to buy and time-consuming to arrange. Happily messing about with them shows a lack of respect for someone else’s property and work, and while a small child wouldn’t understand that, her mother should have. It is why you don’t go an pick a flower from someone else’s beautiful rose garden without permission just because ‘the flowers were going to die soon anyway’. That isn’t the point.

    • EozS

      January 19, 2014 at 2:08 am

      I do understand all that, but this is the real world and we have to acknowledge that flowers on a table are only a small, temporary luxury. If you are inclined to think in a black-and-white way then I can see how the idea of someone upsetting a child over disrespect, but I always think it’s best to try to be kind and reasonable, especially when no one was hurt or put out in any significant way.

    • Gangle

      January 19, 2014 at 2:45 am

      I think if you pander to a child who gets upset because you told them no, they cannot mess with something that does not belong to them, then you are doing a disservice to your child. I love my wee nephews and nieces, but if they start messing with my crystal or my expensive flower arrangement that I spent lots of money and time putting together, I will move it out of their reach. They are free to cry about it, and obviously I will try to distract them onto something else, but I don’t see how just letting them have their way just to protect them from having a tantrum is the kind thing to do.

    • EozS

      January 19, 2014 at 1:43 pm

      WHERE did I say anything about not telling the girl no, or letting kids have their way? I actually disagreed with the OP of this thread who said “who cares”. All I said was that if the daughter and the woman acted exactly as the mother described (which I ALSO said I doubted), that I thought her reaction was harsher than warranted by the circumstances (you know, you can say no in a mean way, or in a respectful way).

      God, all I did was give them an ounce of understanding (skeptical understanding at that!). Why is it that you see that and automatically assume that I want to let kids run wild without boundaries or ever hearing the word no?

    • Renee J

      January 17, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      I was impressed the restaurant had a designated flower arranger. And real flowers.

    • JLH1986

      January 17, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      That leads me to believe that perhaps it’s a little more upscale and children perhaps aren’t common. Hence the freak out.

    • Renee J

      January 17, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      I agree.

    • Kathleen O'Malley

      January 17, 2014 at 7:08 pm

      They still weren’t the kid’s flowers. I also highly doubt that the kid put them back just as they were, even if she didn’t damage the flowers themselves

    • Gangle

      January 18, 2014 at 11:43 pm

      No. I wouldn’t expect someone to mess or play with a flower arrangement at a table. Who does that?? Kids shouldn’t be doing it and an adult most definitely shouldn’t be doing it… if as an adult you have an urge to fiddle with flower arrangements, candles or other centrepieces at a dinner table then I highly suggest you get yourself to a deportment school asap because you are lacking in social skills.

    • SusannahJoy

      January 19, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      Of course I don’t. Because I’m an adult. But I think this is such a minor thing that making a kid cry about it is just, well, mean. They’re just flowers. They’re going to die and be replaced probably that night anyway. I worked as a server for years. 90% of the time we had to rearrange the centerpieces back to how they were after a table left, because almost everyone touches them.

    • Williwaw

      January 19, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      I think the flower-arranger who got upset may have made a bigger fuss than was necessary (although maybe all she did was nicely ask the mother to not let the child mess them up, who knows? and I’m sure that flowers that are handled gently by twenty customers do last less long than those not touched at all), but I also think that children should be taught what they can and cannot touch in public.

      If my toddler started messing with a flower arrangement, I would gently tell him “No, we don’t touch the flowers because they are there to make the table look nice and we might damage them” (or something like that) and then move the flowers out of his reach and distract him with something else. If he went into a tantrum, I would whisk him off to the restroom or quickly pay and leave. Toddlers hear “no” all the time (or they should), because they are still learning the boundaries of what they should and shouldn’t do, and sometimes it makes them cry or melt down, and that’s part of raising a kid. No big deal.

  29. Paul White

    January 17, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Does it have a kids menu? If so, don’t bitch about seeing kids there. If not, don’t take them there.

    Exceptions made if a kid’s being actually obnoxious–screaming fits, running around underfoot–feel free to bitch about THOSE regardless of if it’s family friendly. But yeah, if you go to a place that’s family friendly expect to see families. Including kids.

  30. Rochelle

    January 17, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    I don’t know… I’m getting sick of this anti kid culture that’s being cultivated. Kids should only go to restaurants that have kids menus? There are plenty of laid back places that do not have kids menus that I feel comfortable taking my children. And to be perfectly honest, most kids menus are terribly, overpriced, tasteless or unhealthy food.

    Obviously you should avoid taking your kids to fancy places that people go to for special occasions, that’s common sense. But my kids are people and I’m not going to strew out about bringing them out in public. I expect they behave properly and if they won’t we leave. Kids are a part of society, I think it’s pretty sad that people think they should be relegated to very specific establishments only.

    • Rochelle

      January 17, 2014 at 3:37 pm


    • EozS

      January 17, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      This “anti kid culture” – it is not a “push”, but a “push BACK”. I agree with you that some people act like there are screaming kids at EVERY high end restaurant, every time they go out – when in reality it only happens occasionally. But frankly, the re-earning of respect has to start with the parents.

      Personally, I don’t see why anyone would bring a kid to a restaurant that doesn’t have kid’s menu, when there are so many that do. Even the start of a tantrum is enough to disturb others, even if you leave. I am sure you are using your discretion when you choose to where to go and pick kid-friendly places that for whatever reason don’t have kids menus.

      Also – most menus PERIOD are “terribly, overpriced, tasteless or unhealthy food.” (Also, you don’t have to order off them, it’s just a indicator of “is this place appropriate for my kids or not”)

      That said, I don’t think the answer is banning anyone from anywhere because we live in the first world and we are talking about kids, here, not criminals.

    • Paul White

      January 17, 2014 at 4:23 pm

      I don’t order off the kids menu for him, but I figure it’s a good quick check if a place is really family friendly. I mean, I’m *not* going spend hours researching a place before I eat out, but if they have a kid menu I should be able to assume they’re at least OK with families.

  31. Bailey

    January 17, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Honestly, when one of my kids is being loud at a restaurant (usually the baby) and my husband takes them out, I feel the same as the old lady. “Finally, peace and quiet.” I’d probably agree if someone said that to me about one of my kids, not have violent fantasies about the person.

    • Fluffy_1

      January 19, 2014 at 9:12 pm

      I’d feel the same whether it was a noisy toddler or a noisy teenager, lol.

  32. cherryblossomz

    January 17, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    When I was a kid I ALWAYS spilled my drink.
    Sadly, I still consistently spill drinks to this day.
    Sorry, servers. I always clean it up and apologize profusely.

    No point to this except that sometimes messy kids grow up to be messy adults.

    • Renee J

      January 17, 2014 at 5:02 pm

      I spilled a drink at a restaurant and told the server it was me and not my kids. Very embarrassing.

    • MellyG

      January 18, 2014 at 8:59 pm

      My grandfather makes more of a mess than a toddler. I’m also a messy adult eater – must be genetic. Last night was dinner out for grandma, i didn’t make it 10 minutes in without dropping my knife, covered in sauce, on the floor. Unlike a toddler, i DID clean it up, and apologize, lol. Also, as an ex server………we’re not bothered by the messy adults, we’re bothered by the parents that seem oblivious to the fact that the kid just left a tornado in their wake!

  33. G.E. Phillips

    January 17, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    No shit, I’m afraid if my mother had known about the name Ayelet, one of us would have been saddled with it for sure, as my mother has an obsession with both weird names and fabric with small holes with embroidered edges.

  34. Paladina

    January 17, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    To this end, servers of the world, please take note:

    Parents with young children out for a meal do NOT want to lollygag. Fast service will earn you better-behaved children patrons, better table turnover, and a better tip from the parents, who will be looking for you to be prompt and efficient in your work. The only times my kids have truly gotten boisterous in a restaurant is when they had to wait a half-hour for meals that were forgotten to be entered, or when it takes 20 minutes to drop off the check. And I’m not talking about in restaurants where a slowly-paced meal is the norm. I’m talking about places where their entire business model depends on quick turnover of tables.

    • Paul White

      January 17, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      So true. Of course, part of that is not taking your kid out when it’s busy too; Friday night at 7pm is NOT the time to expect not to have to wait.

  35. JulieAnnR

    January 17, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Who’s More Annoying In Restaurants: Babies, Or Their Parents?
    Always, always, always their parents. Babies are going to behave like babies, because they ARE babies. I love babies no matter what they’re doing, and I don’t even have any. However, parents who are complete idiots deserve to be on house arrest until their kids go to college. Maybe when we see good parents in public with their children (OR leaving their children at home when it’s inappropriate to bring them along) we can nominate them to teach socialization in place of the other kind.

  36. AlbinoWino

    January 17, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    I definitely feel like most of the time people’s kids don’t bug me too much in public spaces. You just remember those ones who are terrors. Like the little kid who walked by my table a few months back and stuck his hand in our chip bowl sending most of the chips flying out. His mother apologized very quickly and then just kept going. I wanted more chips, dammit!! I was a bit annoyed she didn’t offer to get us more. It wasn’t a restaurant with waiters but more like Chipotle.

  37. Colleen Robinson

    January 17, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    My opinion is this – There are PLENTY of family friendly restaurants for both parents and kids to enjoy. Good decent meals and yes family friendly. Keep the kids away from bars and pubs. They do NOT belong there. When I am out and wanting a nice night with my friends I don’t want it wrecked by kids – sorry man even seeing a kid in a pub or bar just doesn’t sit well with me. Boston Pizza, Kelseys, and the like are fine and dandy but a neighbourhood pub nope – leave it to the 19+ crowd. It gets loud and well don’t subject your kids to that. Take them to Kelseys or Boston Pizza or Jack Astors – heck they can draw on the table there !!

  38. nikki753

    January 17, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    It’s not a matter of kids or not kids. Just that kids have the excuse of
    being kids and they can’t help the piss-poor decisions of their parents
    including taking them out to dinner past bedtime or keeping them out
    and about long after they are overtired, overhungry, and overstimulated
    as well as not you know, parenting. The whole point is that no one
    should impose unfairly upon others and make other people miserable,
    especially when those other people are coughing up cash for a decent

    I do not give one sliver of a shit if a restaurant
    has a kids menu, I’m not about to let anyone spend an extended amount of
    time doing stuff like poking me in the head with a straw. Nope. Not
    gonna do it on the bus, in McDonald’s, at the movies, on an airplane,
    and certainly not at a place where entrees are $15+.

    When we go out in public we each have a responsibility to not be a “B-Hole” regardless of the location.

    And, at the risk of being someone who should be throat-punched, I have to point out that “SOB” is not an accurate term for an old lady. If you want to call her a bitch, cool. Just don’t call her a son of a bitch.

  39. Sandy

    January 17, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Seriosly letting your kid pull out flowers from the flowerarrangment means the kid aint wellbehaved- especially when removing the flowers causes a fit!

    Wanna bring your kids to “adult” resturants? Bring them to family friendly ones until they are old enough to sit still for 3 hours.

    My parents did that with me and my brother and we always got praise from waiters and other costumers alike because we – GASP – was polite and well behaved.

    • Kathleen O'Malley

      January 17, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      Grr…that one annoyed me too! The mom acted as if they were HER precious Shnoflayke’s flowers and the flower arranger stole them.

  40. jane

    January 17, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    So here’s my chance to eat crow – I said that the other diners at Aliana (is that how you spell it) probably overreacted to the baby and they should just deal with it. Well, today I read a follow up that said that the baby was actively crying for a while, it could be heard all over the restaurant, and the parents basically ignored her. Finally, management suggested that they take a lap, they did for about 3 minutes, came back, and baby kept crying.


    • C.J.

      January 18, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      This is why I say the entitled parents give the rest of the parents a bad name. Most people won’t even notice 99 out of a hundred kids in restaurants even if they fuss a little bit. People remember that one bad one and then think all kids are going to act that way.

    • Jen

      January 19, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      Poor kid! Obviously in distress, whether real or baby-drama, and her parents give a big pile of no craps. Please, /pretend/ to care about your kid. I get that sometimes the worst you can do is indulge a crying jag but that’s sometimes. And when there’s not others paying hundreds for food. Or tens for food. Or ones for food or even in a soup kitchen. Show some consideration for those farther away than your own nose.

  41. CarolEme

    January 17, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    This is a BIG pet peeve of mine. My children are grown now – 19 and 16. I was never the perfect parent NOR were my children perfect – we were normal people. This whole topic needs to start with questions about HOW dinner goes AT HOME! When my children were in a highchair they STAYED in the highchair until dinner was over. Yes, this means they could scream and cry all they wanted but no – no getting down. You get down when EVERYONE is done with dinner. Yes, we sometimes ate in a hurry, but it worked. Until aged 3 they were really good! We went to family friendly restaurants where they learned correct behavior. Oh, and if they started – yes, STARTED to get loud, out they went. Period. I never allowed it to escalate and I apologized if I sincerely apologized if I noticed someone making faces. At about age 3 it was a total no go – WAY too loud and fussy so not out much. By age 4 we were back in restaurants again. If they started to get grumpy, etc. I asked if they thought the person next to us wanted to listen to them. Again, my children – even when too old for a highchair, NEVER ran around the restaurant, were taken OUT as soon as they refused to quiet down (and BEFORE they screamed), etc. By aged 5 for my son and 6 for my daughter we could go to ANY restaurant including fine dining. They knew what was expected, how to behave, and that any other behavior would not be tolerated (out to the car you’d go). BTW – i used to carry a bag filled with crayons, books, etc. to help me through the years. Were my kids perfect – NO WAY! One night we were ‘dining’ with my children and an older woman walked in and rolled her eyes when she saw she was being sat next to us. When she left, she came over to our table (seriously this is a true story) and she told me that it was a pleasure to sit next to my family and that I had wonderful, well mannered children. Oh, my kids were 4 and 7 at the time. So if you’ve read this far, you know my opinion concerning mothers who don’t parent their children. Be a parent and teach your children from the beginning to have manners and this stuff need not be an issue.

    • RCIAG

      January 17, 2014 at 10:23 pm

      Good for you! If only more parents did this we wouldn’t have to have this convo ever.

      I’ve never understood parents that take a kid to even a kid-friendly restaurant & don’t take anything to occupy them. Even a toddler will get bored with the kids menu & the crayons. They show up with one Matchbox or one doll or nothing at all. Heck even I’d get bored with that one toy after a while in a high chair.

    • Jen

      January 19, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      No joke. I was at a jewelry party thing with a bunch of women and one of them brought her 18mo son and … a book. These women needed to chitter chatter and touch and be distracted (and I’m firmly including myself in that gro – oooh, shiny!) but the small human is fine with just a book for two hours? The non-reading human? I actually had some toys in my bag – not usual as this was pre-kids – and he and I rolled a ball back and forth for a while as all the other women played with the jewelry then scolded him if he got too close. I just … really? He likes shiny things too, he needs mental stimulation too, he’s a human JUST LIKE YOU, not a doll! Stop treating him like one!

      Ahem. But everyone, even his mother really did treat him like a doll, something to fawn over when he first got there and was so cute then forget about once they had something else to distract them. I just don’t get that. He’s human. Treat him with respect. And I feel the same way about taking kids out shopping or eating or whatever. It took you half an hour to decide on a top, don’t get crabby with the kid for taking five on a toy when the real issue is that you’re ready to go. He was ready an hour ago but he made it. You can, too.

  42. Teleute

    January 17, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    “No, Michelle, the world does NOT need more kids like “Ayelet,” because then there’d be a bunch of kids named “Ayelet” running around.”

    Pure gold, Blair!

    • Joye77

      January 17, 2014 at 10:08 pm

      How do you even say that name? “eye-let” “aye- let” ? “aye -let” makes me think of the Fonz back in the day Ayyyyyy! let.

    • Sara610

      January 18, 2014 at 5:53 am


    • Teleute

      January 18, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      Well sure, if there’s a bunch of kids with that name running around. The question is, how do you PRONOUNCE it?

    • Allyson_et_al

      January 18, 2014 at 2:37 am

      To be fair, it is a legitimate Hebrew name. It means dawn.

    • STFUParents

      January 21, 2014 at 9:14 am

      Yes, I wasn’t making fun of the fact that it’s a legitimate name or that it’s Hebrew. I was mocking the idea that the parents gave Ayelet her name to be ‘different’, but with a cultural fall-back. I’ve seen a lot of parents use cultural names as a nod to their heritage, but I believe at least 50% of that reasoning is because the name “sounds different.” Definitely not mocking the existence of the name, though.

  43. Buffy

    January 17, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    I remember dining in France in a wonderful restaurant. I was sad when a couple with kids (3 years old/6 month old) was seated next to us because I expected a not so quiet evening.The children didn’t disturb anyone, they behaved so well, I’ve never seen anything like this in Germany or elsewhere. My daughter was not like this although I taught (and still teach^^) her manners. But I never let her run wild in a restaurant. When she was loud I left immediately so others could dine in peace. I know that kids aren’t restaurant-trained from the start but I never unterstand parents who won’t react to bad/disturbing behaviour. Now I can take her to any location and she’ll behave,but it took a lot of effort…..wait, I guess it’s called: Parenting!^^

  44. ScienceGeek

    January 17, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Okay, my kid’s only 6 months old, so I’ve got a while before the crazy toddler stage. And I understand that you don’t really want to sacrifice a pre-paid $500 bill. I think that may be why the chef tweeted for a second (…million) opinion, because a) babies really don’t belong in a restaurant like that, yet b) FIVE HUNDRED FREAKING DOLLARS!!!
    Now that I’ve got that out of the way, we don’t go to restaurants that aren’t kid-friendly anymore. It’s just one of those things we knew would change when we decided to have kids. Yes, in the future, we might be able to trust our little rugrat to nicer places, but before that, it’s going to be, oh, at least 7 years of practice in places that have a playground.
    We did turn down dinner with my brother for his birthday because he wanted to celebrate with some fine dining, but he just laughed and agreed when we said ‘Uh, how about we meet up later to celebrate, rather than risk our kid screaming through your meal?’
    That’s something I’ve noticed since I became a mum – the child-free Get It a lot more than they’re given credit for. Plane trip (the great-grandparents live 3000km away and can’t travel) seated next to 20-something stranger on his way to a tropical vacation? He’ll coo at the baby, and wave off any attempt to apologise for the crying.

    I’m beginning to think the parents are actually the ones being judged, not the kids, and those that complain the most are really just trying to shift the attention from and/or justify their own inconsiderate behaviour.

    • MellyG

      January 18, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      It IS the parents being judged – I can tell the difference between a kid being a hell beast and a kid being a kid. Also, a lot of the judging comes down to what the PARENT is doing -as a parent you can’t control everything, but if the kid is screaming through aisle and you’re nowhere to be found? Problem.

      And the parents with the nicest and most respectful kids tend to be the most apologetic. I think that’s very telling. Recently I sat on a subway, this little girl, about 5, was next to me. She introduced herself, and started asking me questions. She was adorable and polite, and I answered them. Mom was immediately apologetic, and told the little girl to stop bugging the nice lady. I told mom it was ok, and the little girl and I continued to chat.

      Compare that with a different subway adventure – hell beast child is climbing all over the seats, climbing behind people that are seated, myself included (using heads and what not as to like boost imself up, literally stepping on backs) Mom is texting – doing nothing. UGH

      The thing is – the sanctimommies that do not understand WHY people don’t want to be around kids are the ones that probably turn a blind eye, and the parents that are apologetic and DO something usually have kids that aren’t bothering anyone! if i see devil spawn kids, that’s exactly what i think – it’s not the KID’S fault, they are spawn of the devil – the parents have clearly not taught them how to behave at any point in time or interact with appropriate behavior. That’s on parents, not kids (and i’m not talking about kids being kids, or the fact that every kid has a nervous breakdown tantrum at least once in the store…..i think most of you guys probably know the difference i’m talking about 🙂

  45. Frances Locke

    January 17, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    All I got out of this was “b-hole.” I couldn’t concentrate after that. Do they really feel they have to censor the word “butt hole?” Is that the type of “cussing” they’re talking about? LOL

  46. Nahman

    January 17, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    I dunno, the “professional restaurant table flower arranger with a very high salary” seemed like a jerk. If the kid was mangling it, she could have asked the server to go up and say something to them about how precious and important their flowers are. Instead she went up to a couple of strangers and told them off about how important she is and took something off their table in a huff.

    If you’re placing your grand masterpieces on tables in a restaurant, you’re going to have to be comfortable giving up _some_ control. Bending and cracking and ripping off petals is one thing, but it sounds like the problem was just that the flowers were being moved from their intended position in a vase. That’s a poor excuse to be rude to a customer, kid in tow or not.

    The parents should have had something else to occupy the kid since that was clearly very important to her, but I don’t doubt a good chunk of the freak out was caused by some crazy lady coming up to them and freaking out about her precious arrangements. What kind of restaurant has priceless orchids or something on the tables anyway?

    • Ddaisy

      January 18, 2014 at 7:15 am

      I think your last question answers the rest of your argument. A restaurant that has priceless orchids is probably very upscale in every other aspect as well. I think it’s quite reasonable for a restaurant like that to expect people to keep their hands to themselves.

    • Benwhoski

      January 19, 2014 at 12:40 am

      This is what I was thinking. A place with professional flower arrangements on the tables is probably upscale enough that it is expected the average patronage knows not to mess with the centerpieces.

    • Kathleen O'Malley

      January 18, 2014 at 7:53 am

      But the flowers DON’T. BELONG. to the kid or her mum anyway. It’s still someone else’s property.

    • Fluffy_1

      January 19, 2014 at 9:07 pm

      We only have the mother’s word for the level of damage caused. I’m sure that the child WAS mangling the flowers and the mother just skimmed over that level of damage cuz IT’S HER PRECIOUS CHILD.

  47. whiteroses

    January 17, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    I love my kid. He’s the cutest, smartest, best toddler on the planet.

    Not everyone feels that way. Which is why when he is in a restaurant or any other public space and he starts crying/running around like he’s escaping from Wile E. Coyote/bothering other people, I pack my shit up and leave. Not that hard. I don’t care if we’re in a family restaurant or not. If you’re going to be in public I have expectations of how you will behave. If you can’t follow through on those, we will not be going out. Even at 18 months old, he is aware of this (dimly, but he’s aware).

    Having said that- if you sneer at my well-behaved kid because he’s just sitting there and eating his food with the best table manners someone under 2 has, I will say something to you.

    • EozS

      January 20, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      Why? A sneer is rude but it’s not really an action against you in any way. I feel like I should be able to contort my face however I want without someone bitching at me for it. Facial expression police…

    • whiteroses

      January 26, 2014 at 9:05 am

      I suppose I should have qualified. If you sneer at my well behaved kid and make a comment about how kids shouldn’t be allowed out in public, I will say something to you (especially if we’re at Red Robin at noon on a Wednesday- ask me how I know). People are allowed to feel the way they feel, but if you actually tell my kid he’s a disease ridden fatass (runny nose, nothing else, not sick by any means- like his mother, he’s got allergies) to his face and say it with a sneer, I will respond to that.

      For the record, he was sitting and eating his Mac and cheese, not bothering anyone.

  48. SKicks

    January 18, 2014 at 12:09 am

    Everyone here is ridiculous! Blah blah blah BUT MY KID IS PERFECT- don’t you think maybe the parents pissing everyone off in these stories have the same delusions about their children?

    • Ddaisy

      January 18, 2014 at 7:18 am

      I don’t see many people here saying that. Most of them are saying, “When my kid is a little terror, I pack him up and leave.” Which is clearly what none of the people in the article did.

  49. Cupritte

    January 18, 2014 at 1:16 am

    When my kids are well behaved, I do feel like I deserve a reward… I get to eat my dinner! And it is pretty fantastic. Any parents who don’t think getting a peaceful meal is reward enough have bigger issues.

  50. ytownpiggy

    January 18, 2014 at 10:02 am

    My husband and I are kidless by choice, but we’re also teachers. We tend to have an understanding of the difference between ‘kids being kids’ and kids acting like tiny axe murderers on speed. He tends to have a higher tolerance than I do because he’s from a large family with tons of kids around and my main experience with kids is from my sister being 12 years younger than me.

    That being said, the mere presence of kids doesn’t bother me, it’s the repetitive sounds that seem to bypass the parents’ ears and drill a hole straight into my brain. Aside from the “Mommy… Mommy… Mommy… Hey! Hey! Hey! Look at me! Look at me! Look at MEEEEEEEEEE!” that makes me insane, it’s this thing that a lot of kids tend to do (I think without even realizing that they’re doing it). I first noticed it when I was working in a grocery store with those gigantic plastic kid carts shaped like a car. They tend to swing their feet (I think because they have short little legs) and you just hear *thump* *thump* *THUMP* against the cart. It never fails that when we’re in a restaurant with booths, there’s always a kid doing that. The parents never seem to notice (tuning it out? Used to it, therefore immune?) but I end up feeling like I’m in The Telltale Heart after about a solid half hour of thumping.

    I can handle the general kid sounds in a restaurant (except the random piercing scream of a toddler who just discovered their ability to do it, therefore it’s the Best Thing Ever and must be demonstrated at random) and generally don’t mind them, but I do tend to wish that I could glue a piece of impact absorbing foam to the areas directly behind their damn little feet.

  51. Lackadaisical

    January 18, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Personally if we take our kids to a restaurant we do it at lunch time or earlier in the evening so that we have left the restaurant before 6pm for adults to enjoy a more civilized dining experience. I would take a crying kid out (and not insist my other diner do it so that I could finish my meal while scowling as one of those examples did). While I took my kids to restaurants for lunch as kids, we didn’t take them there for evening meals until much later. My youngest is 4, hence my taking them home by 6pm, but I think my oldest would be old enough to stay longer (10 years old) if there were ever a reason to eat out with him without the younger ones. Obviously if my kids misbehaved we would pay and leave immediately even if it meant they get sandwiches for tea (at 4 – 7 if they misbehaved in a restaurant then they would be in a lot of trouble when we got home).

    I do think as kids get older it is important to take children out occasionally to teach good public manners, but only after you have taught them manners at home. I have been mortifiedmortified in restaurants by grown up friends with awful table manners and awful attitudes to serving staff because they had never eaten out anywhere but McDonald’s. The poor table manners I could live with, although I wouldn’t want my kids to have manners like that as adults, but the awful attitudes they had to the serving staff was completely out of order. The rudeness appeared to be down to feeling awkward in a setting they were not used to and embarrassment due to other members of the party shaming them on their manners (and I personally think that shaming them was just as bad manners) but that doesn’t excuse making the staff feel awkward or insulted. It made me feel that it is important to take kids out and show them how to behave as they get older, but as I said you have to teach them manners at home so that they are pleasant for other diners.

  52. Berry

    January 18, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    A very good friend of mine too her autistic five year old out to eat. And he was making noise and peeking at the other table. He stood up in the booth a few times. But otherwise, he was really good. This really catty lady at the other table was like, “Control your demon child.” My friend tried holding him to keep him sitting down, but he just got louder. So she let him stand up and explained his autism to the lady behind her. And the lady was like, “Maybe you cage him up.” She was really rude.

    • EozS

      January 20, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      Making noise, standing on the booth and staring at other patrons is rude and distracting. Your friend should have removed him if she couldn’t control him. The lady was rude, too, to say those things – but she would not have been if the kid had not been disrupting her meal.

    • Fluffy_1

      January 21, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      Maybe your friend should have brought some paper and crayons, or a book. Even an autistic child can be taught to sit quietly. I know cuz I was that child once, and my parents let me bring my book if they took me to restaurants. Also, if the kid isn’t ready for dining out yet, then your friend shouldn’t be selfish and should just get takeout til he’s ready.

  53. Natassia H.

    January 18, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    I was a server for awhile and this was a restaurant where burgers were 14 pounds (20 bucks Canadian). So yeah, not a cheap place, but yet people would still bring their kids and let them run amuck. One time I nearly got burnt because I was carrying a steamed pot of mussels out of the kitchen and I nearly tripped over someones brat. My boss was livid, she told the parents that this isn’t a damn playground.

    • MellyG

      January 18, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      GOOD for your boss!

  54. Sara

    January 18, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    My mom once insisted we take my then 2 yr old son to a super fancy seafood place on the coast, and it was the most horrifying experience. He was great for a 2 year old but not for the place we were at. My mother was oblivious to the stares and comment, but I wanted to sink through the floor. I have no problem bringing my son out, I agree they need to be exposed to real resturaunts, not just fast food, but not super fancy places until they prove they can handle Friendly’s. I totally felt for the other diners, and appologized profusely to them.

  55. MellyG

    January 18, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Ayelet? SERIOUSLY?

    When i was little, and i’m talking at least until high school, dining out with my parents was a treat. Our family wasn’t the dining out type, we were a homemade meals around the dinner table, order pizza on friday night type of family. A couple times a month my PARENTS dined out, but it was THEIR time. Occasionally, they’d take me with them, and it was understood that restaurant time meant best behavior, and if it wasn’t, there wouldn’t be any more nights out with the parents! (and if my parents had to take me outside – i guarantee that would have been my last restaurant for a LONG time).

    When I’m a parent, I’m likely to do the same – going out to dinner (or the movies, or whatever) is an experience. You’re paying for the EXPERIENCE. The ambiance, the fact that someone is waiting on you…….and I COMPLETELY understand wanting to enjoy that experience with a lack of screaming babies or toddlers, or chaos in general.

    My dad also told me, back when there were still smoking sections, he used to ask for them when dining out, except when I was with them. He doesn’t smoke – he wanted to avoid kids. I’m my father’s daughter – when I waitressed in college and law school i wanted to be the waitress IN the smoking section – no kids, bigger drinkers, better tippers 😉 (For the most part!)

    • Gangle

      January 18, 2014 at 11:27 pm

      That reminds me of a story my Mother in Law told me. She had three boys, all close together in age, and when they were old enough to follow direction, for special family occasions they would go out for a nice meal. All the way there she would remind the boys that they were to be on their best behaviour, as this wasn’t the farm or McDonalds, and there would be dire consequences for playing up. My husband says he remembers being too afraid to muck up out at dinner, but was glad in the long run for the education on dining etiquette.

    • MellyG

      January 19, 2014 at 12:25 pm

      Yep, that was my parents for sure! And I did enjoy eating out, it was just hammered into me that i had to be on even BETTER behavior at home (i was still expected to have manners at home, but my dad, who is a grown child, lol, allowed him and I to be silly at HOME, just not OUT to dinner)

  56. g.strathmore

    January 19, 2014 at 3:23 am

    It’s not necessary for little children to experience restaurants. That’s nonsense to me. Little kids don’t get anything out of going to restaurants. I didn’t enjoy going to restaurants until I was at least 10. Before that it was boring, uncomfortable, and the food never tasted “right.” Wait until they’re older. Until then, order take out.

    • Fluffy_1

      January 19, 2014 at 9:00 pm

      Agreed. I didn’t even see the inside of a restaurant til I was ten years old, yet I magically knew how to behave at table. Wow, how did this miracle occurr? Well, my parents made my brothers and I utilise table manners every single day at every single meal. We had to sit still and not scream or shout; talking was allowed, but only using an indoor voice. Rather than reaching across the table, we had to ask someone politely to pass the item to us. If we wanted to get down, we asked our parents politely.

      Yeah, today’s parents will no doubt throw up their hands in horror at such effort, but it made the transition from dinner at home to dinner in a restaurant seamlessly easy. And of course, we knew damn well that the slightest hint of misbehaviour and we’d all be going home, missing out on the great treat of eating out. With the guilty child given a discrete punch by their siblings for ruining said treat. XD

    • EX

      January 20, 2014 at 5:31 am

      It may not be necessary, but my 2.5 year old asks at least once a week to go to a restaurant. Maybe she hates my cooking (I’m not going to rule out that possibility) but I think she just likes to get out and experience something different every once in a while.

    • rrlo

      January 21, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      My 2.5 year old enjoys going to restaurants. And so do we. We are not all the same. Avoiding all restaurants is unrealistic and unnecessary for 10+ years.
      Banning parents of kids under 10 from restaurant is neither now or will ever be the solution. I know you’re probably joking but it’s a little offensive. As if we have committed some heinous crime by having children and now have to forever live in shame and fear of other people.
      Parents best effort at ensuring the behaviour of their children is within the confines of what is considered polite and acceptable by society as a whole should be good enough.

  57. ISAWthat

    January 19, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    “We take our kids everywhere so I don’t understand people who are so obnoxious about it”. Does anyone besides me marvel at the ultimate sense of entitlement of this statement? As if what Kit does is automatically what everyone else MUST accept as the ‘right’ thing? I’m gobsmacked.

  58. Fluffy_1

    January 19, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    I feel that this video pretty much sums my feelings up on this matter.

  59. Alfreda Wells Morrissey

    January 20, 2014 at 8:49 am

    I am always surprised at this debate. I have been taking my kids out to restaurants since they were born. I have never had any dirty looks. One restaurant was borderline fancy, but my mother-in-law picked it. They called to make sure kids were welcome. I have taken them to my mother-in-law’s fancy social clubs where kids are only allowed on certain days. I have never had any complaints or dirty looks. The only time they misbehaved was when I went with a neighbor who doesn’t take her kids out as much. It son was hyper and kept winding up my kids. Once my daughter spilled something, the waitress brought us a damp cloth with a smile and a new drink. Mostly, they sit in their seats, color, or we play tick tack toe. They know they need to stay in their seats because they have always been require to stay in their seats. My 7 year old is now trusted to walk to a buffet, get a roll and come back or go to the bathroom. She knows she is not permitted to run or veer from the course. One Chinese Buffet restaurant we went to had one of those signs that said they were not permitted unattended, so I escorted her to the bathroom just in case. I have never really noticed kids behaving badly either but then there is a sign so it must happen.

    Maybe it helps that my mother-in-law hosts multi course fancy dinners in her home and the kids are expected to attend and sit through it. If they get bored I will make up stories for them. Plus we eat dinner at the table every night and the kids are expected to sit at the table and use proper table manners ever night. We have a conversation. My husband gets mad if they hold their fork ‘like an ogre’ or use the wrong hand for their knife. If they did make fuss in a restaurant I would take them outside.

    They love going to restaurants, and it is a treat for them, so they are usually happy when we go.

  60. Alais

    January 20, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    I’m not a parent, nor do I plan on being one, but I am always in a fury when people refuse to PARENT their stupid kids (This is a very irritating subject, so I’ll try to minimize hurtful descriptors). I was at a wedding this weekend and I was sitting with my boyfriend at a table watching the toasting of the bride and groom. What I saw next astonished me: There were kids running around the hall the reception was being held in and during a heart felt speech by the bride’s father, a child was literally WAILING and screaming whilst running around. I wanted to grab that kid by the fucking scruff (He was about five, so he’s old enough to know how to behave!) and toss him in his mother’s lap and give her a good fucking slap. How rude and disrespectful to the bride and groom. And he wasn’t the only one doing it. There were other kids being disruptive, but not nearly as disruptive. During the rest of the evening, the kids were forever running under the guests’ feet, even one time crawling under my chair to retrieve a lost ball that had been thrown at me. When I was standing and waiting for my food, one child even decided to THWACK me on the back of the legs with a toy light-saber. I had never been so mad in my life.
    I don’t mind well-behaved children, and I even commend people when their child behaves like a human. It’s very sad that this laissez faire-style of parenting is becoming the societal norm. I’m not sure if it’s because the millennial generation (Which I am the tail-end of) were just lazy, spoiled brats and don’t think their precious little snowflake children can do no wrong, or because they couldn’t learn etiquette and manners if they were lodged in their frontal cortex. If I was five years old and behaving like that, my mother would have died from embarrassment after she hauled my sorry ass out there and was given a VERY stern lecture. I am sick to death of parents thinking that it’s the public’s duty to watch out for their monster while underfoot of the serving staff, running about in the kitchen (OMFG!!!!), or otherwise misbehaving. I do not and WILL NOT tolerate badly behaved children because their parents won’t rein them in. Babies and kids cry and become upset, I get it. I used to babysit a lot. But what they DO NOT and SHOULD NOT be doing is disrupting a toast at a wedding with their hollering, pushing into wait staff, and most certainly should not be HITTING people with toys. I don’t care who the Hell you are, if you refuse to parent your child and take care of them while you’re out, then I will. And I will have no qualms about it. I won’t watch a child get hot food dumped on them because you’re playing Candy Crush on your phone. But I will crush your phone with my fist after rescuing your kid.

    Sorry, guys. End rant. I needed to get that off my chest.

    • Jamie Shaffer

      January 20, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      Don’t even get me started on the “misbehaving kids at weddings” thing! At my brother’s wedding, his soon-to-be (and old enough to know better) step-daughter ran around the altar screaming and talking to herself while the ceremony was going on. She then knocked over a pillar of lighted candles while trying to play with the ring bearer, one of which rolled across the floor, still lit. The wedding party – including her mother – thought it was hilarious and did nothing. The preacher, who looked completely pissed by that point, stopped the ceremony and demanded that someone pick up the candle before something caught on fire. I guess it was lucky that it was only the parent’s wedding that was ruined, but it was horrible. Most annoyed I’ve EVER been at a kid (well, except for maybe the five-year-old who slapped me in a mall elevator when I tried to push my floor number!). Marriage only lasted six months, too.

    • C.J.

      January 20, 2014 at 6:18 pm

      A friend of mine who has a daughter with many mental health issues got married a couple years ago and her daughter didn’t even act like that. Her daughter who was 9 at the time had ODD, developmental delays, learning disabilities and has been diagnosed bi-polar (don’t remember what the proper term is for bi-polar kids). We had plans, back up plans and back up plans to the back up plans to help her through the day. Her mom was very worried the day would be way to over stimulating for her. I was the made of honour. I took the girl aside the night before and told her we would be buddies for the wedding and if she was having trouble to come to me or my husband. Luckily she trusts us and feels comfortable with us. Everyone else was asked not to approach her if there was an issue. I only had to take her outside once while we were waiting for the reception to start. I could see she was becoming overwhelmed but she was able to avoid a meltdown. My husband brought a laptop, movies and headphones and sat at the back of the room at the reception. When she had enough she went to him and sat quietly and watched movies. There was no running, screaming, tantrums or anything else. If this child could make it through standing in a wedding without disturbing anyone there is no excuse for most other children to act that way.

    • Bec

      January 21, 2014 at 12:21 am

      I always find it so interesting how people parent in formal occasions and what this says about where they place themselves in the world. At my dad’s funeral we had two 14 month-ish babies present. Both families had travelled interstate to be there and had no one they could leave the kidlets with. One belonged to my best friend who had a long time ago announced that she was ‘adopting’ my parents due to issues with her own parents and the other belonged to my cousin who probably only saw my dad once a year if that due to family issues. During the funeral service, which was long, both bubs obviously got fussy at different points. When my friend’s daughter got fussy her husband got up and took her outside to walk around so the rest of us weren’t disturbed. My cousin and her husband stayed where they were while their daughter whined and jumped and banged on the pew. After the funeral my cousin apologised but said that she couldn’t have coped being in the service without her husband to support her, she was just ‘so upset’. Such a difference in attitude and in recognising how their child’s behaviour (which I am in no way blaming the kids for) impact on those around them.

    • Fluffy_1

      January 21, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      I agree with you, especially on the “brats at weddings” thing. When I get married, my wedding with be child free save for those directly related to me… and those kids will be packed off home at around seven thirty if still young enough to require an early bedtime. I don’t get why people drag their kids to weddings anyway; weddings are boring to small kids who’d much prefer to stay with Granny or a babysitter rather than sit around watching adults talk all the time.

  61. nokidswithmysteakplz

    January 20, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    i wish i knew when and where these updates were posted…i have a sneaking suspicion that my husband and I are the B-holes in everyone’s statuses….

  62. Tilla

    January 20, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Have to be honest I wasn’t sure what a “B-hole” was at first….
    Who needs to censor the word butt? Really?

    • croutonthegreat

      February 2, 2014 at 2:03 am

      I thought it meant bitch-hole. It seemed like an odd and rather unpleasant way to refer to a body part that the two of them both have.

  63. h

    January 21, 2014 at 4:58 am

    I have worked for the better part of my adult life in a restaurant that I would consider family-friendly. Not for kids specifically, but not anti-kid. We have a kids menu and we have a bar. We serve families as well as dates, business meetings, guys watching the game, etc. Typical casual dining place. So in this situation it is never a question of whether kids are welcome (they absolutely are), but what types of behaviors are acceptable or not.

    On the cleanliness issue, I honestly think most restaurant employees are a little unfair in their whining about kids. Anyone who goes out – with or without kids – wants to enjoy a meal without having to cook or clean. It is our job to clean. Kids are usually messier than adults. Is it annoying to clean up a kid-destroyed table? YES, a million times YES, but guess what, it is part of our job, and every job has annoying aspects. Parents, a sincere thank you and good tip are sufficient (if the service was good), please do not worry about every crumb. Take a night off from cleaning.

    HOWEVER all of that is negated when it comes to a biohazard. I had a friend/coworker who was waiting on a family and unfortunately had a toddler in a high chair vomit at the table. It happens, kids get sick. And certainly if it happens, you want to get your kid home, which this couple did, but with no cleanup help. Both parents were present: one could have taken the kid to the car while the other helped clean the puke, but nope. This server was stuck having to detail and disinfect a high chair and booth, quickly so as not to leave it out and spread germs/offend other guests, therefore her service to other tables suffered and so did her tips from them, not to mention her risking getting sick herself while cleaning it all up. 🙁

    And please do not let your kids run around the restaurant. If they are getting antsy, take a walk WITH them. Running kids are so unsafe around people with trays of glassware and hot food. Yes we should be watching, but in a split second a kid could run into our path. I would rather clean messy tables all day than see one kid being unsafe.

  64. STFUParents

    January 21, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Hi all – I just wanted to make a quick statement on my joke regarding the name Ayelet. I’ve received a couple of private emails from people who were offended by that, and I wanted to clear it up in case anyone else took offense to my calling it out. Here is what I wrote:

    When I said “cultural” I meant “Hebrew,” as Ayelet is a Hebrew name. I myself am Jewish and was bat mitzvah’d; however, if I gave my child the name “Ayelet,” it would almost certainly be because I thought it sounded “different” and I could fall back on telling people it’s Hebrew (i.e. a nod to my heritage). If the parents’ names in the post were Israeli, I wouldn’t have called attention to the name Ayelet. But since they’re not, I’m assuming/choosing to believe the name was given for its “unique” factor, even if the child was named after, say, her Israeli grandmother. Like I said, if my *own* grandmother was named Ayelet and I named my child after her, at least 50% of the reasoning would be because it’s different.

    I’ve brought attention to other names in the past that I think were doled out for the same reason. Not every name remarked on is made-up. Usually it’s about the trendiness of it. That’s how I see the whole blog, as calling out various current trends. I wasn’t mocking the fact that Ayelet *exists* as a name, more like the trendiness of the parents for choosing it. I wasn’t trying to offend anyone, so apologize if you were offended. Thank you for reading.

  65. Horrid Baby Names

    January 21, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Amazing how personal responsibility and accountability have been flung out the window with our corsets and duck shooting hats.

  66. Ash

    January 21, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    I have one of these stories, from a sibling’s perspective. When I was about 9 and my brothers were 7 and 2 I was with my family on a vacation in Germany. The hotel we stayed at had two restaurants. On our first night, we went down for dinner and we were led by an employee into the nicer of the two. My mom asked about the other restaurant and he told her, “That’s the restaurant for people with dogs.” We got seated at a table with a nice tablecloth and a candle in the middle. After we had ordered our food, my oldest brother and I were quietly coloring, but the 2 year old was getting bored. My parents tried to keep him busy and quiet, and it worked fairly well, at first.

    That’s when he noticed the candle. He had just been to a friend’s birthday party for the first time a few days earlier, so he got really excited and started trying to blow out the candle while shouting at full volume things like “YAY! BIRTHDAY!” and “WHERE’S THE CAKE?” Us kids thought it was hilarious, but my parents were mortified. He spent the rest of the dinner loudly chatting and laughing to all of us, despite my Mom’s urging to lower his volume (unfortunately, it took him another couple years to develop that skill). My Dad even took him out of the restaurant to walk around for a few minutes to try and get him to calm down, but it didn’t last very long. He couldn’t get up to run around and he didn’t try to interact with other tables, but I’m sure he was still pretty obnoxious to a non-family member.

    The next night we were seated in the dog restaurant.

    • Fluffy_1

      January 27, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      Wow, a dog restaurant? How awesome. I think that once I heard that the next room was a dog restaurant, I would have politely demanded that I go there. And I’m an adult. XD

  67. LadyL

    January 21, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Usually I’m a fully registered card-carrying Mombie Hater, but I gotta say, in some of these I agree with the parents. Or at least I agree with Meg in number 4 that the lady was over the top about flower smelling but then again maybe that’s because I’m a 24 year old who fiddles with table arrangements regularly. I kind of doubt that if I, an adult, were in her restaurant admiring the flowers with my hands, as I am wont to do, she would have snatched them out of my hands in the same manner. Also just want to point out that frequently these things are really gendered. I’ve been out with my SIL and their three young kids and seen people giving the evil to her when the kids start getting loud or fidgety, but if I’m with my brother people love to help him out and tell him they just don’t know how he does it. An for the record my SIL is waaay more attentive and pro-active about the kids’ behavior, which is why I think it’s a gender thing. Moms are definitely expected to be more competent and on top of their kids, while people think it’s amazing a dad would even bother to “babysit” his own progeny. Such a double standard.

  68. croutonthegreat

    February 2, 2014 at 2:19 am

    One of my favorite stories about me as a toddler was when we were at a seafood restaurant. It is not a fancy place, definitely family friendly. I was a generally well behaved kid, but eventually on this night I began to cry. I don’t know exactly how long it took, but eventually my dad carried me outside so I could calm down. On the way out my mom could hear him say to me, “The next time you go out to eat, you’ll be old enough to pay for it!”

    Don’t get the wrong idea, my parents weren’t super strict with me. They just were decent enough to not have other people be victim to my, and later my sister’s, bullshit. And god bless them for that.

  69. Greyson Flax

    February 6, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    B-Hole. Classy.

    • Betty

      February 14, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      I wondered if she meant something as innocent as butt-hole, or if B-hole stands for something a little more…descriptive or creative, like buttfuck-hole. Or…well, maybe it’s best if I don’t go into it anymore.

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