I’m Not Sorry My Child’s Presence Bothers You

I know there are people in the world who are simply not interested in children and don’t like being around them. I can understand – kids can be a real handful and honestly, pretty annoying at times. But there are times when I am amazed that people can be so anti-child, especially with nothing provoking the response.

Today we were out at the mall, and decided to stop for lunch. We got our table, and Cordy was, at that moment, not interested in sitting down to eat. She cried for a couple of minutes, until we could settle in and find something to distract her. A banana did the trick, followed by crayons and paper to draw on. There was only one other occupied table in our area – a college-aged woman and an older woman. At one point while Cordy was crying, I made eye contact with the younger woman, who gave me a smile of understanding.

Only a few minutes later, all was happy and peaceful at our table. Cordy had a cup of milk to drink, and was spending her time coloring while Aaron and I chatted.

Five minutes later, the hostess comes by with an older couple, and tries to seat them at the table across from us. The woman quickly stops her and says, “No, we’d like somewhere more…quiet.” During that pause before the word “quiet” she turned around and glared at Cordy. The look could best be described as somewhere between I smell something bad and seething repulsion. The hostess offered to turn down the music in the restaurant before she understood the woman’s meaning and lead them to another section.

Aaron and I looked at each other and laughed. At the moment they came by, Cordy could have been the poster child for toddlers in public. She was quietly involved in coloring neatly on her paper, had her sippy cup of milk nearby without a drop spilling out of it, and the floor beneath her held no missing crayons, crumbs or other items from the tabletop. Not a sound was coming from her. I can only guess that this woman assumed that all children are loud and obnoxious, and fully expected Cordy to change into a screaming, food-throwing monster as soon as they sat down across from us.

(Or maybe she reads my blog and knows the tantrums Cordy is capable of? Nah, she didn’t look like the mommyblog-reading type.)

Did I point out that this is a family restaurant? As in, there is a large emphasis placed on children being there, with interesting knick-knacks on the walls, and an awesome kids menu coloring book. If the woman didn’t want to be around children, this was not the place to eat.

While we ate, several other families were seated, many with children. As we left, we looked around at the restaurant full of children and wondered where they managed to seat that couple that didn’t have kids around? We guessed they were next to the kitchen.

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Have you been over to my reviews blog lately? I have a new review posted about the book, Good Kids Bad Habits. If you’re looking for ways to get your kids to eat better, get more exercise, or take better care of themselves, you should check it out!

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Comments

  1. That is crazy! I have never personally had to deal with that, but you handled it well.

    I wonder if they had ever had kids. It certainly sounds like they were in the wrong place!

    (I would rather sit beside people with kids, then next to the noisy kitchen any day!)

  2. It’s too bad that they didn’t give you guys the chance to prove them wrong. or for cordy to throw her food at them, which probably would have been equally satisfying.

    btw – love the labels!

  3. I can understand hesitancy to accept children in a 5-star, white-linen, champagne and fois gras affair, but a family restaurant?

    Unfortunately, I’ve had similar experiences (with my children behaving and not behaving.) Wish those nasty carmudgeons would just get takeout if they are concerned about families!

  4. mothergoosemouse says:

    Here’s what I really DON’T get: Many of those judgmental beyotches were once mothers to toddlers themselves. Do they have selective amnesia? Have they really forgotten just how hard it is?

  5. Rachel Briggs says:

    Ha ha! Let’s hope they got the kitchen, or better still, the seat right next to the restrooms! Crazy!

  6. karianna,

    That was precisely the comment I made to Christina as we left the restaurant. There are restaurants where the presence of any toddler, no matter how well behaved, is cause for concern.

    But a TGIFridays, a Ruby Tuesdays, a Max & Ermas, a Bob Evans or an Applebees? Really not it.

  7. Mitch McDad says:

    People suck. Oh sorry. Did I say that out loud? Of course i used to be one of those people, the kind that cringed when a family came down the aisle on the plabe with two kids and all the gear. Now I’m that guy and I regret all the bad vibes I used to throw around.

  8. Hey, she wasn’t that same lady who told me to put my kids in day care because kids don’t belong in the grocery store, was she? Hope you had a nice meal.

  9. My apologies. Obviously that woman’s previous meal was at the restaurant with my child where we insisted on taking her despite it being her nap time and her being tired. But hey, what can I say, I had a craving for pizza that day :-) It amazes me sometimes the types of people that give you sympathetic looks and the ones that look greatly offended that your toddler acts like, well, a toddler. We’re slowly getting better at ignoring the latter types and focusing on having as nice a meal as possible. How else do kids learn how to eat in public?!

  10. How annoying. I hate rude people like that. I have actually had people come up to us and comment on how well behaved my kids are being. That is a better more positive way to encourage parents of young children to make sure their kids behave.

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