I’m not a someone who thinks children should be seen and not heard. And I understand that parents need to take their children to restaurants when they are vacationing. But in the last couple of days I’ve seen some things that annoy the fuck out of me.
Yesterday there was a party of 10 having dinner. At the table were at least four kids under the age of six. And what was the problem here. There were four DVD players placed on the table to keep the kids entertained during dinner. HUH? How about you put down your vodka tonic and actually engage your children in conversation. Even a five year old likes to be paid attention to. Or perhaps you can play a game with them. Or find other ways to keep them busy. The DVD players are parents in a box. It substitutes the need to have genuine contact with each other. If you don’t want to talk to your children why don’t you put them up for adoption. There are thousands of families out there right now who would love to have children they could cuddle, and love and share their lives with.
Under no circumstances should you think it’s okay to put your three year old up on the bar. What kind of example do you think your setting. Of course in ten years you’ll be wondering why he’s drinking and where he’s getting it from. God forbid you actually set a good example for your child. And no I don’t think it’s wrong for parents to drink, but have some class. Get a table. And don’t look surprised or pissed off when the bartender tells you that junior can’t be at the bar. It’s the law!!! And it’s not okay for you to park your kids at my counter while you drink and enjoy yourself at the bar. Once again, if you don’t want to spend time with your kids leave them at home. You’d be surprised how many times I’ve seen a lone child sitting at the counter bored out of his mind while his parents drink at the bar. Oh, and by the way. It’s real classy when you park your baby carriage at the bar while you tie one on. I’m just saying.
I’m sure someone, somewhere is amused when you let your children run wild in the restaurant. But I’m not one of them. Nor is anyone else I work with. A couple of nights ago there was a party of six with two kids under the age of four seated right next to the wait station. At one point we were taking bets on who the lucky waiter was going to be that stepped on one of the kids. They were allowed to run all over the place. At one point the parents didn’t even know where one of the kids was because she’d wondered into another part of the restaurant. You may not believe this, but a waiter carrying a tray with twelve drinks on it, isn’t watching the floor for munchkins. And believe me when I say that you are going to have a hard time proving negligence when the waiter trips over your child and breaks it’s leg. In fact, if the waiter breaks his own leg I’m hoping that you have one hell of an insurance policy on your head. Cause if it’s me, you’re going to need it. And while I’m on the subject, it’s also not okay to let your children sleep on the floor. A couple of nights ago, I almost stepped on a little girl who was stretched out in the path to the bar while her parents entertained themselves.
Don’t look offended, or out of sorts or put out when someone, like me tells you that you need to control your children. It’s your job to take care of them. And that includes keeping them out of harms way. And you may not realize this but a restaurant is a very dangerous place. There’s a reason I only have house plants. I don’t have to entertain them, they don’t get in the way, and if my roommate forgets to water them, no one calls ACS on us. If you have decided to have children and even if you haven’t when you agree to care for them you get the whole package. Not just the parts that you want.
And to end. Children should not be given too many choices. I dated a second grade school teacher once and he believed that children should only be given two choices. Red or blue. Sprite or Coke. Chicken or a burger. When you read the entire children’s menu to a four year old it causes over load on their brain and it short circuits and I’m left standing there while you try to figure out why little Johnny has started to cry and suddenly won’t even talk anymore.
And I’m not expert but you can treat your child like an adult as much as you want but until they are about 27 they need some guidance and discipline and love and attention. So don’t make me tell you again.