Now, I am really the first to defend a parent's right to take their kidlet out to eat. It happens on vacations and on rough nights when dinner can't be made or for all kinds of occasions. I did it myself, plenty of times. Somehow though, some parents just don't.get.it. There should be rules or something. The only thing is, some parents refuse to know or read their children. Over-tired and over-hungry children cannot self-regulate. Heck, I know some adults who can't self-regulate in the same physical distress, at times I am one of them. Those are good kids, too. If you want to dine out with your kid you should plan it for when they aren't tired and aren't too hungry. Don't depend on the establishment you are visiting to entertain your kid, bring quiet activities for them. Choose your destination wisely. I love kids, but if I am spending anything over $14.95 for my entree then I don't want your kid kicking the back of my seat or to be honest, to have dad pacing and bouncing to keep the baby quiet. It is really up to the parent to be the adaptable, resilient member of the party. Have a back up plan. When it looks like your child is not going to make it, and I mean at the first sign of it, pack your food up and eat it at home. Over stimulated, tired and hungry kids are not easy to negotiate with and it is a little stressful for them to be out of their home environment at any time.
Now, I am guilty of having taken my young children out to eat. Many times. It must have been rarely to "nicer" places, but we did go out. My children left an impression of being well behaved and polite little girls most of the time. That isn't because they actually were that all of the time, I just knew when it was a good time to go out and when it would be disastrous. If things started to go wrong there was one warning, they had one chance to shape up or we would leave. On the rare occasions I had to threaten, I followed through. It was less about giving into their bratty nature and more about knowing that an over-tired or hungry child is not to be tolerated out, and they will not be able to bring themselves back from a point of no return, even a silly one, and other patrons shouldn't have to have their night out ruined by my loud kid.
There are some places suited to kids, even sit down places, like chain restaurants that encourage families, but if it is late and your kid is tired, well. Just order take-out.
Don't mistake me, I have so much compassion for that tired mom who, having just picked up her toddler from daycare and needs something for a quick supper is in the market with said toddler over-tired and cranky as well. I never think badly of her, it is a hard life and sometimes stuff just has to get done. It just comes down to knowing yourself and your child and knowing that just because you enjoy your child at all times, not everybody else does. Heh, especially when you've hired a babysitter for a nice evening out with your husband without having to listen to kid noises. Ugh! I'd hate that!
I have to admit, now that my kids are grown I have less tolerance for kids around me and I think a lot of kids are not controlled will at.all. I would definitely spend my money at a place that caters to adults.
2011. Twenty. $8.44. I have another theory about all of this, but it would likely piss some people off so for now I'll keep it to myself. There you go, treated to Terry's views of life and parenting. I've got pleny of them! I just usually don't speak out. Norma must be rubbing off on me........