Sunday, 19 August 2007

Me, a kid, and a restaurant

Dining out used to be fun. It used to be a treat, a way to escape from the everyday monotony of cooking macaroni and hamburger and eating it for days on end as leftovers.

Today, that all changed.

Sacha and I met up with a friend of mine for supper. We decided on a restaurant that I had visited in my pre-mommy days, Taste of Ukraine. My friend had never been there, and I was seriously craving some carbs wrapped in carbs. Of course, I had Sacha with me this time, but eating out with him has never really been an issue. Until now.


In a total manic state, Sacha alternated between insane laughter and glee to expressing his discontent for the place in very overt terms. I was doing everything in the book: soother, sippy cup, toys, little maracas, finger foods, rocking him, tickling him, walking around with him, reading books, basically everything short of drugs. And this was only because I didn't have any. Stupid mommy.

After about 15 minutes of this and waiting for our food to arrive, the owners of the restaurant approached us. They asked us if we would want to move to a back dining room as they were concerned that the screeching was offending the paying customers. Completely embarrassed by the whole situation, I just nodded and meekly packed up my stuff and went to the back room, where Sacha instantly stopped screaming and began exploring the place with relative silence and peace.

To make matters more annoying, the owners seemed to feel like they needed to make it up to us by checking in on our meal every 5 minutes, thus interrupting our PRIVATE conversation. In fact, our conversation more seemed to be interrupting their check-up meetings. They offered to take Sacha from me to give him a tour of the kitchen so that I could eat. Like, have you EVER met me before? Moreover, do you KNOW what a toddler will do in your nice professional kitchen? This is what he'll do. They then offered "insight" as to why Sacha was acting the way he was - teething, growth spurt, learning how to walk, hungry, etc. Just nod and smile, I thought. Get the bill and get out of here.

Now, I can't say that the back room was a bad idea. I knew that the back room existed, and I had thought that it would have been a better place to seat us FROM THE BEGINNING. But the way they approached us was and handled the situation was not kosher, my friends. Not kosher.

To help all those who may find themselves in the manager's positions, here is a list of things you should NOT say to a parent with an unruly kid:

  • Your son sure can scream!

  • How can you listen to that all day?

  • Why would you bring your son out in public when he's like that?

  • Could you tell your toddler to be quite?

  • What's wrong with him?

  • Your kid's voice is giving me small pox.

You could instead say:

  • Do you think your son would enjoy the back room? There is a lot of space for him to crawl and walk around.

  • Our back room is more kid-friendly. Would you like us to move you there so that your son could play?

  • Would you like some ketchup to distract your son and keep him occupied while you eat?

  • Would you care for a drink? It's on the house. In fact, we'll buy a round for everyone in the place!

I know you have some good restaurant stories and can probably add to my list of do's and don'ts. That's what the comment section is for!  Have at 'er!


  1. As of yet mine only screams and throws everything from the table on the floor.

    I can say that one time when Bubbie was about 9 months old we went to a restaurant for his cousin's birthday. There were 3 kids and a baby at the table. Bubbie who has no table etiquette felt the urge to have a BM. As he sat there in the highchair grunting very loudly his cousins chanted "Push it out, shove it out".

    Let say the whole restuarant was staring at us.

    My sister on the other hand has actually let her kid eat their meals while sitting on the floor under the table to get them to me quite.

  2. Bottom line. Dining with kids is rough. That's why we hardly ever do it anymore.

  3. It's just not worth it to go in public anymore!

  4. I was right there with ya, and I can say that I will never go to that restaurant again. Obviously, as we discussed after hehe, I thought the owners were completely rude in their request to move us... excuse me, but lets not offend the couple in the CORNER or the 6 old fogies on the OTHER side of the room, not to mention yeah, the constant interuptions to my stories (hehe), and I mean what parent in their right mind would give their child to a perfect stranger to go on a kitchen tour not to mention the fact of that insulting your capabilities as a parent. I think after a year, you'd have figured out how to occupy the little dude and eat at the same time, and sure maybe it's not the easiest thing to do anymore but it's manageable. Don't try to make it up to us to ease your guilty conscience stupid owner, leave us to eat your COLD food in peace.

    Needless to say, I think Sacha was a perfect angel and was only voicing his excitment of checking out a new place... that or the mundare sausage... but I can flat out say Poo to the owners of that restaurant, you will not be getting my business again!


Thoughts? Comments? Questions?