November 25, 2008 7:00 am
A couple of weeks ago when my SIL was in town, we got a babysitter so we could go out for an adults only dinner. We put both kids to bed before leaving so I didn’t feel too guilty about going out and was excited to actually leave the house on a Saturday night. Our plans included dinner at Friday’s before heading to The Melting Pot for chocolate fondue (You HASAYers can shove it, I had company in town so the diet was on hold). When we walked into the restaurant, the place was vacant. It was 8PM on a Saturday night so I was expecting to have to wait for a table but no. I scanned the room and there was only one other table, a family with two small kids around the same age as mine. I instantly had a feeling which turned out to be right, the hostess led us right to the table next to the family. I’m usually a wuss about speaking my mind to strangers but I gained some courage and spoke up. I turned to the hostess and blurted “I have a babysitter tonight, can we PLEASE not sit by these kids?” I couldn’t believe I had actually uttered those words. She didn’t look too happy but she obliged and moved us to the other side of the restaurant.
When we sat down at our new location (we were upgraded from a table to a booth!), Jamie and my SIL were both shocked that I had asked to not sit by the kids. They were laughing and carrying on and openly mocking my decision. Truth be told, I was shocked too but it turned out to be the right move. Jamie said when he saw those kids he knew we’d be sitting right next to them. He was actually thinking that he wanted to sit elsewhere but he didn’t want to speak up. I actually felt really guilty for asking to move but I made sure that when I was talking to the hostess, the children-having family didn’t catch onto my plea. I’ve since learn to live with my horrible request. Sure, people with kids should be able to dine out but people who don’t want to be near kids should also get their wish. We paid our babysitter good money to sit on our couch while the kids slept the night away. We did so in the hopes of enjoying a kid-free evening and that’s what we got.
I don’t know how those kids in the restaurant ended up behaving since we were moved to the other side of the place. For all I know, they were perfect well-behaved little angels, the complete opposite of the way my kids would have acted. We haven’t been in a restaurant (save McDonalds) with Graham since he learned to throw tantrums. Jamie and I don’t enjoy handling our kid’s meltdowns in the public eye so we just don’t put him in a circumstance that might allow for it. There’s no judgement here though, other people bring their kids out all the time and never have a problem. We don’t. We’d rather not take the kids out for a nice meal and spend the entire thing stressed out trying to get them to eat their food or quiet down. When they’re a bit older and possess some manners, we’ll take them with. I know that I have parents and nonparents reading this blog so there should be a well-rounded audience. I’m curious to hear if you guys think it was wrong to request a seat move? For you parents in the audience, do you get annoyed when you’re childless and you are faced with someone else’s screaming kid in public?