My wife and I vowed to never be "those people!" We are both foodies and have made it a point to enjoy a good meal whenever we travel. We have eaten at numerous restaurants where our bill has topped $300 but not because we're snobs. We just like good food. However, during our courtship, we would find a cozy corner only to be interrupted by the high pitch squeal of an unwanted guest that is a small child. As if it were scripted we would look at each other and then cast a glare to the "controlling" parents of said interruption. We then would lock eyes and ask, why would anyone bring kids to this restaurant.
Almost a year ago to the day we had our first child together. We had many conversations leading up to the big day about our approach to all the parenting questions. One topic that didn't take us long to cover was not dragging our child and his backpack to a restaurant. We would obtain or get a babysitter until he was old enough to remain quiet.
Except tonight, I was THAT parent. I was in Syracuse and just had to have my favorite restaurant that I haven't been to in months. Fortunately it was 4:45pm and the place was empty. Thank goodness. But I was prepared....or so I thought. I brought food for Xavier and also planned to order rice for him as well. But Xavier was just fussy. He ate his food quickly and definitely before the rice arrived and he let it be known that was not enough. But what was even worse is that I couldn't even take a bite of my own food between his bites without him raising his voice about the situation. Not good! The rice came and in attempt to help me feed him, I'm pretty sure more rice ended up on the floor and on his shirt than in his mouth. And yet he did not remain quiet. As I started to take my bites he would ask, what about me!
Let's recap my dining experience: Noisy and messy and though my food was excellent I had to scarf it down to minimize my son's objections. I felt bad for the waitstaff who clearly was unhappy with the scene; I did offer to sweep the rice for them but they did not take me up on the offer. And yes for anyone thinking I left a 40% tip to compensate.
There are many cliche's that came to mind today (What goes around...; The Lord works in mysterious ways; That's Karma for ya; from the 70's - The Chickens came home to roost), and yes a lesson or two was learned tonight. Don't be so quick to judge, and I'm guessing most parents feel as embarrassed and self conscious as I did with my son making all kinds of noise. I really am sorry to anyone who may ave received a glare from me, and I really do have to revisit my plans to have Xavier join me for a dinner outside my house.