Restaurant etiquette

I worked as a waitress for a long looooong time.  There were always "those" kids.  The ones that drove us absolutely insane.  The ones who ran in circles around the restaurant and got in our way when we were carrying hot coffee to a table.  The servers would linger around the computers and sneakily swap horror stories and point to the offending tables.  I swore I would never be a customer at that table.

Our worst stories always involved absentee parents.  Ones who sat there chatting and enjoying their meal while their children ran amuck.  The waiters were expected to babysit the children while the parents shot us an appreciative grin and continued with their conversation...WHAT??   Apparently, the restaurants I worked at are not the only ones plagued by rambunctious children.

Children are wonderful.  Have as many as you possibly can.  Bring them to restaurants!  But, please, please do not leave your parenting at the door. 

We always try to choose kid-friendly restaurants.  Tuesdays at our local Beef O'Brady's is kid night. 

We start with coloring

Followed by some delicious food 

A quick magic show complete with a bird (still hoping it's not real) 

And balloon animals!! 

However, you can try your best and still drop the ball with your kids.  Leo decided his mouth was too dirty and wiped it on Jason's shoulder.

Okay, that's not so terrible.  Tonight, we were invited out to dinner with my mom at Red Robin.  After fighting Leo to stop showing the next table his tractors, telling him to quiet down 1,000 times and trying to convince him that dipping his fries in ketchup was more socially acceptable than dipping tortilla chips, I was exhausted.

Just as we were paying, I caught a glimpse of him out of the corner of my eye.  He had his finger jammed up his nose.  I turned my head to wipe the smile off my face so I could reprimand him with my serious face.  When I turned my head back, my mom was yelling "He's wiping it on the chair!!"  Oh good gracious...What is this all about?!  The kid has only stuck his finger up his nose once or twice before.  But wiping it on the chair???  And in public???  I quickly grabbed him and ran to the front of Red Robin to occupy him with a balloon.  It worked.  A few minutes of balloon distraction allowed me to pack up our stuff, grab Elena and high-tail it outta there. 

Parenting is the greatest.  90% of the time, we're having a blast.  I really don't want every person within 100 feet of me to witness me coaching my child how to behave in public the other 10% of the time.  It ruins their meal and mine.  I'm going to work on it at home a bit and take a "restaurant breather".  If you never see another restaurant post again, you know why :)


  1. lol, we don't go to restaurants anymore. The last two attempts we made Cole SCREAMED the entire time we were trying to get him in a high chair or booster seat, then cried the entire time it took to get our food packed up because he wanted down. Um, I don't think so. Just not worth it and of course it saves money.

  2. I love the fact that your son wiped his face on your hubby's shirt, and picked his nose and wiped it on the chair. Welcome to boy-hood :) We love eating out on kid's nights too, we just make sure we have a talk in the car about Restaurant Rules (inside voices, sitting in our seats, saying please and thank you, etc.). Anytime we go somewhere in public (especially Church), we have a talk like this right before going inside, and it works wonders, The kids know what to expect, and then if they disobey, they immediately know what they did.

  3. Hang in there! I remember when Iris was Leo's age. There was just too much to look at in the restaurant and she was such a wiggle worm. Trust me, it gets better. :)

  4. I can totally relate to this. There was a good 2 years in there when we couldn't take my 1st born out to eat. She is 4 1/2 now and is still working on it. We mostly choose fast food type restaurants, it makes it easier if you have to pick up and leave. I am hopeful that one day we will be able to dine out and not stress day!

    Following you back - Gorgerous picture in your header!

  5. Yes, it's always an adventure going to restaurants with little ones! Our almost 3 year old makes it difficult to sit and enjoy a meal because she's on the move all the time!

    I've passed on the Sweet Blog Award to you and tagged you!

    Click here for more details:

    God bless,
    Tracy at "A Slice of Smith Life"


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...