I used to be one of those guys.
I used to give the evil eye to parents who dared bring their infant and/or toddler to a restaurant. How could they be so inconsiderate? How could I possibly enjoy a nice, romantic dinner out with my wife with your annoying kid screaming his head off? The nerve! If that was my kid, I’d say, he wouldn’t be acting like that, that’s for sure.
Well, the years went by and soon I was blessed with my own little munchkins to look after. Now the shoe’s on the other foot, so to speak. Now my wife and I are the inconsiderate parents who bring their young children to the restaurant and disturb everyone around us. At least, that’s what we think you’re thinking. Who am I kidding? I know that’s what you’re thinking.
And you know what? We don’t care.
Look, you try staying at home and eating in every single night with an infant and a toddler. Believe me—it gets old. Real quick. When you’re a parent of young children, going out to a restaurant is one of your only escapes. It’s a last desperate attempt to pretend that you still have a life and that you’re still a member of the living, breathing masses. And if it means that we have to endure your dirty looks and not-so-private snide remarks, well, so be it. We want our sushi!
I’m sorry. Forgive me, I’ve just been a little stressed out lately. You know…kids.
It’s not that I can’t empathize with you. Like I said, I’ve been there. When we’re at a local eatery, and my infant son is screaming and pounding his hands down, over and over again, as he smashes the peas that we set before him in a futile attempt to keep him quiet, I feel your pain. When my 3-year-old daughter is jumping up and down in the booth and peering over the partition to stare at you and make you feel uncomfortable while you’re trying to enjoy your food, I understand. Really, I do. I may not appear concerned, as I relish each bite of my crab cakes and treasure each sip of my cabernet, trying to pretend that these aren’t my children. But believe me, I feel your pain.
Does that mean that I’m going to stop going out to eat at nice restaurants? Ha! Of course not.
Deal with it.
Okay, again, I’m sorry. It’s just that my wife and I have always loved going out to eat and we just can’t fathom giving it up for years until our kids are older and less prone to obnoxious, outrageous behavior. Believe me, if Chuck E. Cheese offered eggplant Parmesan or New York strip and a nice selection of wines, we’d just as soon go there and let the little ones run around and scream their little heads off. But as long as a restaurant has a kids’ menu, I’m eating there.
You don’t like it?… Stay at home.
Again, I apologize. I don’t know what’s come over me. I guess I’m just hungry. And tired. And my neck hurts. My back, too.
Anyone know a good place to eat?
By Valentine J. Brkich 2010