Why toddlers and restaurants don't mix
I'll say it: if your baby is melting down at Din Tai Fung, please pack your wipes and go
The other day, a colleague and I went out to lunch at our favorite restaurant. It had been a long week full of crazy work stress, and we just needed a precious hour to decompress, chat about our lives and stuff our faces with juicy pork dumplings and garlicky green beans. A few tables over, another group of ladies were doing the same thing. There was just one problem: one of them had brought her toddler.
Now, listen - before you bring out the pitchforks, I'm a mom, too, and I've been around the block for awhile now. My daughter is 18 and my son is 7. I remember life as a mom to a toddler and though it was mostly an awesome experience, there were definitely moments when I was frazzled and needing a break and would jump at the chance to connect with my friends over a meal.
I would pack bags of Cheerios, a multitude of Puffs, a Costco-sized crate of organic applesauce. I'd bring every set of BPA-free plastic keys and teething rings, every rattling giraffe. My phone was full of 'educational' apps so I could justify electronically pacifying my kid while SuperWhy taught him to read. I brought enough diapers and wipes to clean an entire daycare full of kids well into the next millennium. I. Was. Prepared.
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Even with all my preparation, if, once at the restaurant, my child simply could not deal, I would leave my money with my friends and I'd hightail it outta there.
This was not the case at Din Tai Fung. I watched as this woman's toddler screeched and screamed her way through an entire meal. I sighed a lot. I was not having a fab time. I wanted to enjoy my meal, too, but I couldn't even hear myself think, let alone what my friend was trying to tell me. And yes, I'm guilty - I gave the disapproving dagger eyes to this poor mom who was probably just really exhausted. However, I'm just gonna say it, Top Chef style: if your little one is melting down in a restaurant, please just pack your wipes and go.
I'm sure there are many who disagree with me. Go ahead, let me have it in the comments below, but I'm sticking to my guns on this one. Find a sitter if you want to enjoy a meal out with your friends - you'll enjoy it more, trust me! Schedule your lunches during a time when your child is well-rested if you must bring them along, but please...if your baby can't hang, it's time to exit stage left and at least let the rest of us enjoy our chicken fried rice.
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Im so with you on this! I have two children one going to be 5 and the other 4! by now all I can say is babysitter please!! I want a meal to myself, o I didn't tell u im a single mom! I had to at one point about 2 years ago leave, with just my youngest, he was pitching a fit, so mush for a paid meal with grandma and grandpa! I was not going to allow him to do that, and being that little he could learn. now he knows and hasn't done it since!
Controlling behavior in a restaurant begins BEFORE you enter the doors. Parents today offer zero-to-almost nil discipline to their children, then take them out in public and can't understand why their little charmers don't behave when instructed to do so. Because they don't have to do it AT HOME!
When my children were little, I could take them ANYWHERE - literally into a favorite china/crystal store, with no problems. Rule - don't touch anything in a store. If you want to touch/pick up something, you must ask Mommy first. They were never allowed to stand on, nor play on furniture/sofas/beds, etc. Tantrums were never allowed. When Mommy said "No"...that meant "No" - the FIRST TIME.
Yes, I worked. Yes, I was so tired sometimes it would have been easy to let it go. But MY Mom reiterated her child-rearing advice to me...Behavior is taught and expected at home. Then when you go into someone else's home or public places, that behavior will follow. Worked like a charm. Inconsistent parenting is the problem.
My daughters now have children of their own and have followed the same tenet. I am proud to say many, many people have commented on how well behaved they are and what a "pleasure" it was to have them in their home/event. They are happy, well-adjusted children. But I cannot help buy smile when the 6 year old says, "Grandma, look at that kid. He's acting ridiculous".
I agree. I was one of 6 kids, and we were never allowed to misbehave the occasional times we went to a restaurant. If any one of us did, My mom would take us all to the car, while my dad paid (and if applicable got the to go packages) and we all went home. And the ones that were behaving got quite mad at the troublemaker.
And my own kids I raised the same way. If they wouldn't/couldn't behave, we left.
My grandkids, 8, 6, and 5 are all being raised the same way. They behave properly in a restaurant, or ANY public place, because that is the correct way to behave. They understand that.
Parents need to stop trying to be their kid's friend, and go back to being a parent. You can be their friend when they are an adult. And being raised properly will help them on the way to being a decent person as an adult.
Agreed here as well. If my 3 year old starts acting up its straight to the car. We were at a restaurant the other night and the lady across the aisle had a 4-5 year old girl that just screached and screamed pretty much the entire time. I have 0 problem giving the dagger eyes. Its rude to stay there with your wailing kid.
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