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Restaurant Parenting Pet Peeve

{Nicole here: Morgan blogs! Seriously though, this is one of my biggest pet peeves.}

Nicole and I are both laid back, "go with the flow" kind of people. We don't get wound up or upset about anything, really. 

OK, so that's a total lie. 

We like plans and rules and have little patience for people with lack of plans or people who don't follow the rules. Shock! Two people who went to law school like to follow rules. Plus, we just have inpatient personalities in general. One thing that really bugs Nicole and I are those people that violate unwritten Rules of Society. For example, it really bothers Nicole when people walk in the "out" door at Target. Rule of Society violation. Or when the server at the restaurant keeps touching your arm when ordering something. Rule of Society violation. 

One thing that has really started to make us angry is when we are eating out with Henry and people distract him. Now, Henry is a pretty good eater in general, but when he gets distracted, it can become a nightmare. For instance, when the dogs are allowed to beg, he usually starts to feed them and thinks it's really funny. So of course, the dogs are not allowed to beg. 

Well, from time to time when we are eating out, people will wave, laugh and point at Henry's antics. This gets him even more riled up, which means less eating and more food on the floor. Then, of course, people think that's so funny and wave, laugh and point even more, which would cause Henry to throw more food, or whatever he was doing that wasn't actually eating his food nicely. Nothing could be more annoying. 

People: Stop bothering our kid while we're eating! Seriously, total Rule of Society violation.

Nicole and I always ignore those people and struggle to get Henry to keep eating. Most people take the hint. A few times Nicole has actually had to look at people and say meanly: "It's NOT funny." That pretty much puts people in their place. 

Bottom line: I just think its rude to bother strangers when they're eating. I'm sure there are some people out there that are cool with it, that laugh along, and that wave and chat with those super annoying people. We're just not those people.

{Nicole again: What about you? Do people bother you while you are out eating with your toddler? Are we just crazy, uptight parents?}

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Unknown said…
I'm so glad you posted this. I love to smile at kids when we're out and I never even thought about the fact that it might annoy their parents and distract them from what they're supposed to be doing, I just saw a cute kid being cute. Consider me educated! :)
CJ said…
I think its a little different to smile at or acknowledge a cute kid, if its a harmless gesture. But I totally agree, encouraging or laughing bad table manners when the parents are obviously trying to correct them is beyond rude!!
Unknown said…
I'm basically the same way and maybe even more extreme. I pretty much could do without random strangers ever talking to my kid, period. It always distracts her from whatever: eating, being quiet in the shopping cart, etc. And it always gets on my nerves. Stay out of my kid's personal space, and mine. Go shop or eat your own food or whatever, just leave me out of it. How bad is that? Probably very and I'll wonder one day why my kid is so anti-social.
Anonymous said…
That in the out door kills me. I HATE IT.
Unknown said…
i had neveer even thought of this before - i'll be way more careful when interacting with strangers kids! thanks for the heads up
Anonymous said…
HA! First off, Morgan totally got me with the first sentence! I was like, wait, they're not what I would consider laid-back, go with the flow kind of people. Anyways, I haven't had people seemingly encourage poor behavior with Weston while we're out with him. Usually they just smile and maybe talk to us about him. If we're eating out, we really don't expect him to eat much just because he's out of his normal element. It'd tick me off if we wanted him to eat and people were encouraging poor behavior. Jessie :)
The Pajama Mama said…
Hmmm...maybe I haven't encountered the same types of folks you have, or maybe I am a little more laid back, but that kind of stuff either doesn't happen or doesn't get to me. Mango is in a restaurant more times a week than I care to admit, and generally he handles himself pretty well for his age. But if he can catch eye contact with someone and turn on the charm, he will not miss the opportunity. I think it's cute when people interact with him.

Then again, he is a very social person, and I don't stress too much over whether he's eating or not. So I don't know - maybe it just doesn't bug me?

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