Going out to eat with toddlers is not for the faint of heart. We are wrestling and managing and diaper changing all before our drinks hit the table. We are walking through a minefield that at any minute could be met with diarrhea, screaming children, and judging patrons.
So please remember this when you see a mom or dad struggling when out to eat. We are trying. It is hard.
Most importantly, if you are at children’s restaurant and you want to say something to a parent with unruly kids, I say this with the most love and kindness I can muster: STFU.
For example, I had two gentlemen try to shame my parenting at a Friendly’s (which is basically as kid-friendly as you get). These men huffed and puffed and rolled their eyes and tried to make me and my kids feel bad for, you know, being kids, IN A KIDS’ RESTAURANT.
So I say this to the gentleman sitting behind us at Friendly’s.
I know you wanted me to apologize because my kids were loud and annoying at dinner. I saw the looks when you saw they took off their shoes and talked loudly about butt farts.
I hear you, I see you, and here’s why I am not taking on your judgments. Not for a second.
First, I’m at a kids’ restaurant. Do you think I’m here because my life is glamorous and I enjoy fine dining and good food? No. I’m here because there is a universal understanding that if your eating at a kids’ restaurant, your kids get to be adorable little psychopaths. If you don’t like it, upgrade to restaurant without a kids’ menu.
Also, at no point did I judge you for being two childless men in their 40’s eating at a kids’ restaurant. I didn’t questions the life choices that brought you here. Maybe you like cold fries and balloons? Maybe your one of those man-babies who enjoy reliving their childhoods and are just biding time until you can go cry yourself to sleep in your adult-sized crib? That’s fine. None of my business. BUT I don’t go to man-baby conventions and act all pissed off because there’s a bunch of men acting like babies.
Also, if you thought my 1.5-year-old was going to correct her behavior because of your passive aggressive mumbling and eye rolling, rest assured, my 1.5-year-old cares about one thing and one thing only: Elmo. If you’re not Elmo, you and your reasonably priced hamburger can fuck right the fuck off.
I do understand we live in a society that has rules and I’m perfectly willing to follow them. I want my kids to grow up and respect other people’s space and time. Right now though, I want them to be kids. To laugh loud, not wear shoes, tell poop jokes. This is it. This is when they get to do that and your bitterness or unreasonable expectations will not dampen my kids sunshine. Not today and not at a kids’ restaurant.
The Mom Out Of Fucks