Monday, February 05, 2007

Blog Discusses Eating Out With Young Kids

At first, I was inclined toward this blogger, as she refers to her children as "monkeys". A sense of humor and awareness that your children can be disruptive are good places to start. The site is also for those trying to dine out in peace, although don't get optimistic just yet . . .

Monkey Tales:'Kids are kids ... they knock things over, throw things, they're loud. But there is a limit'
"She says she had to shut down the blog's comments section to stop abuse and insults from "childless by choice" activists."
We have activists? No one told me! Of course, that appears to be a name for "pissed off posters".
"I do my best to keep my monkeys under control and would certainly leave a restaurant if I felt that their behavior was seriously affecting the other customers' enjoyment of their meals," she wrote.
. . .
"People who let their children scream ... are most likely the same people who have loud, inappropriate cell phone conversations. It is not that they are parents, but they are rude people to begin with."
. . .
"It's as tricky a thing as you can ever do," talking to customers about their kids' behavior, says Raymond Williams, co-owner of Soul Fish Cafe in Cooper-Young and a dad himself. "Kids are kids ... they knock things over, throw things, they're loud. But there is a limit."
I'm not quite sure what to make of all this, especially since we appear to be labeled the enemy by them from the start. Still, I am glad, at least, that they are addressing the problem.
What to do? "I've gotten up and left restaurants before."

Folks who want kids in restaurants to be seen and not heard might be surprised to learn that the people who are most concerned about how their children are behaving are parents themselves.

"I can't stand to be around my kids when they're acting up in a public place," says Dana Brandon, mom of Emma, in second grade, and Ben, a preschooler.
And while the assertion that the parents are the most aware or concerned with bad behavior is not always true (I can't be the only one who has repeatedly observed parents obliviously ignoring it) it is true that many of those annoyed by the behavior are parents themselves. One of the most priceless experiences I have had was my mother reaming out the parents of two loud, jumping kids. You don't tell a mother of two and a longtime third grade teacher that "they're just being kids" and "there's nothing I can do".

She knows better.

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Anonymous said...

Activists? Where? Where?!
As far as parents being aware of their kids, not in my experience. And not as told me by a parent when I was telling him of how I could still hear the screams of a child days after my plane journey.

This father, who had a 2 year old (not the screaming child) said that parents are mostly oblivious to their children's noise because they are so used to it.

But what they are aware of and hate is the noise of other people kids. Funny that the "childless by choice" - (did she mean childfree, perchance?)aren't allowed to but other parents are...

Anonymous said...

Childfree adults would do well to avoid visiting places with misbehaving kids. Zoos and theme parks for example.

I for one have made a house rule never to invite a couple with a young child/toddler to dinner at my house again unless there are other adults or children to entertain/keep an eye on them. The last time I did so, it was a disaster. But it did make for a good blog post titled: The Little Girl Who Came to Dinner. I just chalk if up to one of life's lessons!

Oh, and I am not too proud to resort to "how would you like to watch a nice long video in our bedroom so the adults can actually talk to each other?

Childfree adults can grocery shop at the early dinner hour, when parents are putting dinner on and go to Costco AFTER school lets out. Avoid venues that advertises themselves as "family friendly" because they don't mean Families of Two. Apparently, we don't count.

If blogging constitutes being an activist, well, count me in!!!