A stranger who was dining next to a family in a North Carolina restaurant this week decided to pick up the family’s bill. Why? Because the family had a toddler. They also had the wherewithal to exit the restaurant when he started to scream.
Melissa Wistehuff, the mom of the toddler, explained what happened to ABC 11. She and her family were vacationing on the coast with a 7-year-old, a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old. Right before their dinner arrived, the 2-year-old started to have a tantrum: “He was arching his back and stiff as a board, hard to get him out of his high chair. He was screaming and crying,” Melissa recalled. “I immediately got up, got him out of his high chair, and took him out of the restaurant. And, of course, feeling like everybody is judging and rolling their eyes and looking at me.”
Melissa walked her son Ian around outside until he calmed down, then brought him back in. He wasn’t done. He began to act up again, so this time dad took him for a little walk outside. That’s when Melissa asked for the check and was informed that a fellow diner had picked up their $86 tab: “I said, ‘What? You’re kidding! Why would they do that?’ He said they just so admired how we handled the situation. [We] got him out of the restaurant and not having to put the other people in the restaurant through a tantrum.”
Instant good karma.
Everyone who has children has been there. You’re doing great, maybe even thinking that you’re actually going to be able to enjoy your dinner out, when one of your kids decides to freak. It happens. Toddlers don’t come with an off button. But it’s not kids acting like kids that the general public hates in restaurants, it’s adults not acting like adults. Kids will cry — there’s nothing you can do about that. It’s the way the parent reacts to the kids crying that gets people up in arms.
Everyone’s probably had their fill of the “kids in restaurants” discussion this week, thanks to that diner owner in Maine who came unhinged and yelled at a toddler. But this story has a happier ending, and better lesson. The next time you’re dragging your screaming toddler out of a restaurant, remember that the people who are looking at you may not be judging you — they may be mentally applauding you for being a considerate person.