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This really bothered me - went to lunch with the kids...


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My three youngest (9, 6, and almost 3 YO) and I went to lunch after church today. My mom & dad usually go with us but they had a class social and DH had a meeting so it was just us. DS wanted to go to a resturant in our little historic downtown area that is a local place; it has a bar but is definitely more resturant. They have live music in the evenings a few nights a week and I dont know that I would take the kids then although some people might, I guess what I am saying is it is not family un-friendly at all. They have a kids menu and there were several other families with children.

 

As soon as we were seated, the couple that was at the table next to us got up and moved several tables away. As we were waiting for our food, the hostess was guiding another party to be seated in our section and as soon as they turned the corner, the man asked if they could be seated in another area. The couple that moved and we were the only two parties in that section.

 

It seemed like no one wanted to sit near a mom with kids. It wasn't about my kids' behavior; neither party even had a chance to see if my kids were well-behaved or not. It's like they just assumed that all kids are going to be loud, obnoxious, and ill-behaved. That really bothered me as I try very hard to teach my children to be considerate of others and I would have left before I let my children's behavior continually disturb another diner. I do not think we will be returning to that resturant any time soon since it seems like the customers had a certain expectation to dine child-free. I felt like saying something to the hostess, but didn't. It's not like they can do anything about their customers.

 

I don't know, I guess I am just venting. It totally ruined our lunch for me because I felt like I had to keep shushing the kids even though they were just talking. What's worse is that the girls (and even me sometimes) can get pretty loud without realizing it because we can't hear ourselves well enough to regulate volume. It is especially challenging when there is a lot of background noise, like in this resturant. They really were well behaved and they colored, we had some pleasant conversation, and they ate without fussing. I just hate that someone just took one look at us and assumed my kids were brats!

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I'm sorry that the experience spoiled your lunch and have been in the same position. On the other hand, I have also been one of those couples that has asked to move away from children. When my three children were much younger, my husband and I stopped to have dinner after some Christmas shopping. It was a rare treat and something we seldom spent money on. My dh and been traveling extensively and I had had a rough time with the kids. When the hostess sat us next to a table with children, I nearly cried. My husband politely asked to be moved. The way I see it is that you have every right to be there at the restaurant and the other customer has every right to move and none of it should be personal.

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I'm sorry you felt that way.:grouphug:

 

I admit, however, until I had children, I always wanted a non-kid section in restaurants. It sounds awful now, but kids drove me insane. Since I was a teacher, I didn't want to be around kids outside of school, none of my friends had kids, and I really didn't pay enough attention to know that some kids were well-behaved.

 

It's not you. It's the other people...their (mis)perception of children, and/or their experience with children.

 

 

 

Be 60.

 

When I was 20, I worried about what people thought of me.

 

When I was 40, I didn't care what people thought of me.

 

When I was 60, I realized other people weren't paying attention to me anyway.

 

Next time, enjoy your time with your children. Don't worry what others think. :grouphug:

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Can I start by saying that you are a braver mom than I am! My 2 kids are good, but I don't take them to eat anywhere fancier that Chick-fil-a without another adult.

 

I hope that the customers with the preconceived idea that all kids are brats saw how well behaved your children were. Maybe they will learn that there are still parents who make their kids behave!

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It seemed like no one wanted to sit near a mom with kids. It wasn't about my kids' behavior; neither party even had a chance to see if my kids were well-behaved or not. It's like they just assumed that all kids are going to be loud, obnoxious, and ill-behaved. That really bothered me as I try very hard to teach my children to be considerate of others and I would have left before I let my children's behavior continually disturb another diner.

 

 

sadly too many parents do not feel the way you do.

 

and on the rare date night that dh and I get, they are seated next to us!

:glare::glare::glare:

 

Sorry about your experience;

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I'm sorry that the experience spoiled your lunch and have been in the same position. On the other hand, I have also been one of those couples that has asked to move away from children. When my three children were much younger, my husband and I stopped to have dinner after some Christmas shopping. It was a rare treat and something we seldom spent money on. My dh and been traveling extensively and I had had a rough time with the kids. When the hostess sat us next to a table with children, I nearly cried. My husband politely asked to be moved. The way I see it is that you have every right to be there at the restaurant and the other customer has every right to move and none of it should be personal.

 

Team Swimmermom. I get so little alone time with my husband that if our son isn't with us for whatever reason, I WILL and DO ask to be moved if I'm near kids.

 

And their moving may have had nothing to do with you- they may have been seated under a vent or preferred a table to a booth, etc

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The way I see it is that you have every right to be there at the restaurant and the other customer has every right to move and none of it should be personal.

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

 

I have children and when I go out to eat without them, i don't want to sit next to children, either. don't take it personally.

 

Robin in NJ

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Something similar to us happened a couple of years ago at a local barbeque restaurant. But this time, it was the manager who saw us seated, by the hostess, near a table with a middle-aged couple. He came over and asked them if they would like to be moved to a place more quiet. Our kids weren't being loud at all. One thing we have always been able to do is take our kids out to eat at any kind of restaurant, or really any public place, because we know they will behave. It's not an option, and they know it. :D It made me really mad, and since we hadn't ordered yet, we got up and left. The assistant manager chased us out to ask why we left. When I told him what had happened, he was so apologetic, and asked us to please come back. We declined and have never gone back there. We didn't love their food anyway, so there was no love lost.

 

I'm so sorry that happened. I kinda feel like if people don't want to hear and see kids, they shouldn't go to a kid-friendly place, ya know? I don't think my opinion on it is very popular though and is sure to ruffle feathers. ;)

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Be 60.

 

When I was 20, I worried about what people thought of me.

 

When I was 40, I didn't care what people thought of me.

 

When I was 60, I realized other people weren't paying attention to me anyway.

 

Next time, enjoy your time with your children. Don't worry what others think. :grouphug:

 

Love it!!

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I wouldn't take it personally. People may have different reasons for not wanting to sit next to children. On the rare occasion that DH and I get to go out alone, I also try to avoid sitting next to families with kids. More because I am trying to just get away from children for a few hours and it may just be a reminder of all the things I am trying to get a break from. There are also those families at restaurants who are not well behaved and unfortunately all kids get thrown into the same category. Another idea is that some people without kids may just be trying to give families a space where the parents don't feel the kids have to try and not be disruptive. All in all, I wouldn't be bothered, although I know it may be bothersome.

 

Lesley

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I wouldn't take it personally. I have kids and we occasionally go out to eat. My kids are well behaved like yours and things are always fine. However, if my husband and I get a special night out, we would request to be seated somewhere else if the hostess tried to sit us next to a bunch of kids because we have no idea how those kids will behave and we just want quiet time together. I'm not judging the family I'm being asked to be moved away from. They may be perfectly wonderful and quiet, but I just want adult time with my husband.

 

Lisa

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Well, it may not be that they just figured your kids were brats. There could be a whole HOST of reasons they didn't necessarily want to sit near your children (or in that area for a completely different reason). *I* can think of a few for myself personally and they wouldn't be your kids' behavior unless they were carrying on when I walked into the area. However, you probably wouldn't know though because I'm too wimpy to ask to be seated somewhere else.

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OP, I'm so sorry this upset you.

 

But . . . I really don't like to sit next to children in restaurants. I don't like the "baby talk" that parents do with their children. I don't like the "what is that," "what are they doing" and nosy children type questions. I also use the occasional "four letter word" and I would feel guilty if a child overheard me.

 

It has nothing to do with whether the children are well behaved or not. It has everything to do with me and what makes me comfortable when I am spending money on a meal in a restaurant.

 

I hope in the future you realize that it has nothing to do with your children in particular, it's more all children in general. My child is 17, and I also move away from teens in restaurants . . . their endless chatter about nothing gets on my nerves. When I'm paying for a meal in a restaurant, I usually leave him at home. :lol:

 

Obviously since I'm so picky, I don't eat in restaurants very often, but when I do, I prefer a child-and-teen-free environment. Sometimes it's not possible, but if it's just a couple of tables away, why shouldn't I enjoy myself?

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I wouldn't take it personally. People may have different reasons for not wanting to sit next to children. On the rare occasion that DH and I get to go out alone, I also try to avoid sitting next to families with kids. More because I am trying to just get away from children for a few hours and it may just be a reminder of all the things I am trying to get a break from. There are also those families at restaurants who are not well behaved and unfortunately all kids get thrown into the same category. Another idea is that some people without kids may just be trying to give families a space where the parents don't feel the kids have to try and not be disruptive. All in all, I wouldn't be bothered, although I know it may be bothersome.

 

Lesley

 

:iagree:

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If I can avoid it I never sit near people with children when in a restaraunt. Lets assume that 15% are misbehaved then there is a 15% chance my meal may be impacted by the children of others. I would rather simply sit elsewhere.

 

The same goes when my children are with me.

 

Take no offense, as I doubt that any was implied.

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It could have been that these people are parents who got some rare child-free time & didn't want to chance sitting near loud, obnoxious children. I'm sure your kids are very well-behaved in public, but sadly so many are not. I know when DH and I have gone on dates, I've asked to be moved when I see they're going to seat us near people with babies or very small children. Yes, the kids might be well-behaved, but I don't know that at first glance, and it would make my very rare child-free time if I had to listen to potentially unruly children. I know it's difficult, but try not to take it too personally. Also, before kids when I was going through infertility I tried to avoid restaurants that were super child-friendly. I asked not to be seated near children at that time too. You never know the reasons people may have.

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Sorry. I always try not to have to sit near families with young children. I also try to avoid sitting near large parties of adults because they are generally louder. Sometimes a person's voice will just drive me nuts, even though the person on is doing nothing wrong. Volume is the thing that most bothers me, though, and many children really just don't moderate their volumes. Groups of women can be bad too.

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When around 80% of parents who eat out with kids make other diners miserable, it's not unreasonable that people without kids aren't going to risk it.

 

Other people's children have thrown food at me, poked me with straws, poured drinks on me, and once -- no kidding -- a kid threw up on my DH at a restaurant. While I was a waitress, kids were the bane of my existence. Do I even need to talk about the number of poopy diapers I had to clean out from the seats when families left? (Not the kind of tip I was looking for!) And of course everyone is familiar with the SCREAMING that makes the Ring Wraiths out of Lord of the Rings look like amatuers.

 

People eat out so much now that they treat a restaurant like an extension of their home, without any consideration of the other diners there. There's almost this mentality of, "If I have to put up with this demon-spawn at home, so should you!" I remember when I was a kid, if I started acting like a little brat, my parents hauled me out of the restaurant fast as you please and gave me a talking-to or a spanking in the car. I guess those days are gone. It's fantastic that you are a responsible parent...but I'm afraid you'll be treated like a pariah because there are just too many bad parents out there now who give parents a bad name.

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:grouphug: You sound like me. I tend to take other people's actions personally, too! Or maybe try to think of what the other people's circumstances may have been. Perhaps a business dinner, or a long-awaited date, or maybe they were hard of hearing, and needed as little background noise as possible. Whatever the case, don't let it bother you! I'm sure your children didn't disturb a soul!

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If your kids are well-behaved, don't take it personally.

 

Our after-church lunch ..

 

We stopped by fast food on the way home for church, and a mom with three kids (approximately 8-16 years old) walked in after we had already started eating. Little brother came in explaining to us why they were in costumes (Ren Faire this weekend), even though we didn't ask or care. Older sister sat down and proceeded to complain loudly about being dressed up. Much older brother hit little sis over the head with a draw string bag, prompting lil sis to scream like he'd hit her with a hammer, and then complain loudly about big brother, who then did something to her inhaler. Mom loudly and firmly told big brother he would stop that right now. Big brother talked back to mom, telling her she was making a scene and then proceeded to sit by himself rather than with his family.

 

I seriously wanted to walk up to big brother and tell him that I'd rather his mom "make a scene" than have disrespectful and misbehaving kids in public, and to sit his butt down, keep his hands to himself, and be quiet.

 

It's kids like this that make diners not want to sit near kids under any circumstances.

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I wouldn't have taken it personally. Actually, even though my kids are generally well-behaved in public, we do have an impulsive 11 month old. I'd have been relieved that I didn't have anyone seated next to us for them to potentially bother! LOL

 

I agree--most kids are such hellions these days that when I go to a restaurant (rare) with just DH, I always request to be seated away from kids.

 

I wish restaurants had kid-free zones. I really do. Then when I went out on a date, I wouldn't have to worry about it. And when I went out with my kids, the same would be true.

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Wow! I've never been in a situation as described by the OP. My first question would be what are people doing at family restaurants if they don't want to be with families? Maybe I've been lucky. I've never had a problem with other people's kids in restaurants - even at Chuck E. Cheese.

 

If an adult wants to be with adults in an adult situation shouldn't' they go to places adults frequent? I'd never suggest to dh that we spend a romantic evening at the local steak house or BBQ.

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Guest Alte Veste Academy
When around 80% of parents who eat out with kids make other diners miserable, it's not unreasonable that people without kids aren't going to risk it.

 

Other people's children have thrown food at me, poked me with straws, poured drinks on me, and once -- no kidding -- a kid threw up on my DH at a restaurant. While I was a waitress, kids were the bane of my existence. Do I even need to talk about the number of poopy diapers I had to clean out from the seats when families left? (Not the kind of tip I was looking for!) And of course everyone is familiar with the SCREAMING that makes the Ring Wraiths out of Lord of the Rings look like amatuers.

 

People eat out so much now that they treat a restaurant like an extension of their home, without any consideration of the other diners there. There's almost this mentality of, "If I have to put up with this demon-spawn at home, so should you!"

 

Wow! This explains a lot! Not infrequently, I get people telling me how well-behaved my kids are when, in fact, they are not living up to my (admittedly high) expectations for their behavior (AKA perfection, it's public, after all! ;)). Now sometimes I think my kids deserve the compliment but frequently, I think to myself, if this is well-behaved, what yardstick are they using to measure kid behavior. Now I know! Yikes!

 

I remember when I was a kid, if I started acting like a little brat, my parents hauled me out of the restaurant fast as you please and gave me a talking-to...in the car.

 

Yep. This is what we do. In fact, the offending child stays in the car with a parent and does not get to come back in. OK, maybe this is why they are actually pretty well-behaved in public! :tongue_smilie:

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
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Yep. This is what we do. In fact, the offending child stays in the car with a parent and does not get to come back in. OK, maybe this is why they are actually pretty well-behaved in public! :tongue_smilie:

That brought back memories of the words my mother used. "Do you want to visit the bathroom with me?" Said with "the face" and the tone of voice that would strike fear in Mr. T, those words had much more meaning that a potty break.:lol:

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sadly too many parents do not feel the way you do.

 

and on the rare date night that dh and I get, they are seated next to us!

:glare::glare::glare:

 

Sorry about your experience;

 

 

:iagree: It happens too often that we'll get a nice date night only to be seated next to the most raucous family possible. :glare: Now, we usually ask to be seated in a quiet corner if possible, but we do that first, before heading to be seated. I wouldn't get up and move, though. I'd just grin and bear it.

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If an adult wants to be with adults in an adult situation shouldn't' they go to places adults frequent? I'd never suggest to dh that we spend a romantic evening at the local steak house or BBQ.

 

Who said anything about a romantic evening being the only time an adult might not want to be annoyed by children? I may go to the local steak house simply to have a meal with friends and have every right not to want to be seated next to a familiy that has the potential to be a nuisance.

 

Indeed, when I am faced with unrully children I have been known to either confront the parents directly or call the manager. Either case makes for a miserable time for all concerned so it is therefore reasonable for adults not to want to be seated near children.

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Sorry this happened to you.

 

This couple has probably been out to eat before and they have probably had bad experiences with kids sitting next to them in the past. It's not fair, but they probably don't want to take the chance of getting settled there and having their nice lunch ruined by noise and kid-motion, etc. That said, I'd still probably be annoyed if I were you, especially if they were obvious and rude about it.

 

I've also gotten up and moved away from people before... But I've never done this to other parents. No matter how terrible their kids are and how much they ignore them, I feel like moving away from other parents would break a sacred "parent" code... like leaving a man behind on the battle field or something. It's just not done. ;)

 

But, I have often moved away from people who smoke or cuss or who are talking explicitly about having sex or who are just talking too loud (one of my biggest pet peeves), etc.

 

And nicer restaurants seem to do this on purpose... We don't go out to these sit-down places often, but when we do, I notice they seem to group families with kids together. I get a little annoyed at this because our kids are very well behaved (I think) and then we get stuck next to a family with kids who don't behave and parents who don't pay attention to them and that ruins OUR lunch... :001_smile: But, like I said, I stay there, no matter how bad it gets. One day, it may be my kids screaming. I don't think I'd ever let it get that bad, but I've learned to never say never in this parenting business. Everything I said my kids would never do, they have done... often. ;)

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Who said anything about a romantic evening being the only time an adult might not want to be annoyed by children? I may go to the local steak house simply to have a meal with friends and have every right not to want to be seated next to a familiy that has the potential to be a nuisance.

 

Indeed, when I am faced with unrully children I have been known to either confront the parents directly or call the manager. Either case makes for a miserable time for all concerned so it is therefore reasonable for adults not to want to be seated near children.

I don't remember who said it, but if you go back and read the thread again I'm sure you'll see the person who first mentioned it.

 

You do have every right not to be bothered by other people either adult or children, but if you go to a restaurant that is billed as a family facility you should expect to come across a family or two or 12. If you don't want to be in a family environment pick a different restaurant.

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When around 80% of parents who eat out with kids make other diners miserable, it's not unreasonable that people without kids aren't going to risk it.

 

And of course everyone is familiar with the SCREAMING that makes the Ring Wraiths out of Lord of the Rings look like amatuers.

 

People eat out so much now that they treat a restaurant like an extension of their home, without any consideration of the other diners there. There's almost this mentality of, "If I have to put up with this demon-spawn at home, so should you!" I remember when I was a kid, if I started acting like a little brat, my parents hauled me out of the restaurant fast as you please and gave me a talking-to or a spanking in the car. I guess those days are gone. It's fantastic that you are a responsible parent...but I'm afraid you'll be treated like a pariah because there are just too many bad parents out there now who give parents a bad name.

 

:iagree::iagree:I always ask to sit away from children, as well as, loud obnoxious adults. Unfortunately, it didn't matter the last time I was out because a parent decided it was ok to allow their child to scream for over an hour ruining everyone in the restaurants dinner. If I hadn't been out with others I would have said something and left. I think most people would rather avoid this kind of situation before it starts. I'm sure it was nothing personal against your family.

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I don't remember who said it, but if you go back and read the thread again I'm sure you'll see the person who first mentioned it.

 

You do have every right not to be bothered by other people either adult or children, but if you go to a restaurant that is billed as a family facility you should expect to come across a family or two or 12. If you don't want to be in a family environment pick a different restaurant.

 

Like what? The last date night hubby and I went out on (back home) we went to a *nice* restaurant where we spent around $100. There was a toddler running around the tables and a baby right next to us (it was one of those cozy upscale places with little floor space) who screamed a good portion of the time. I don't resent parents taking out their kids (we do it all the time), but people shouldn't resent it those rare times I don't want to be next to a baby (I looooooove babies). Live and let live.

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Don't take it personally! :)

 

I don't like sitting near other people when a restaurant isn't busy. If it's busy there's is lots of talking going on and I feel like we can talk without our words carrying everywhere. But in a nearly empty restaurant, being seated right next to another table of people - it just feels like everyone is intruding on everyone's conversations.

 

I would ask to sit somewhere further away from other people in a nearly empty section, whether they had kids or not. That usually doesn't happen though because restaurant staff usually spread people out when they can.

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I remember when I was a kid, if I started acting like a little brat, my parents hauled me out of the restaurant fast as you please and gave me a talking-to .

 

 

Yeah. That's what I did the last time my dd misbehaved in a restaurant. It was 3 yrs ago. I quickly removed her from the restaurant and stayed with her in the car. When my dh had eaten, he came out and I rejoined my friend and my ds. You should have seen the dirty looks the diners in the small dining room gave me when I returned. You would have thought I had murdered my child in front of them. I said clearly, while looking at my friend, "I don't know about anyone else, but I didn't come out to dinner to listen to my child scream her lungs out. That's simply rude to ruin everyone's night." I now have to educate fellow diners as well as my children??? :confused: Dd's behavior has been fine ever since. And, she's told her younger brother about it. :tongue_smilie:He's never gone off to date.

 

I always feel terribly for adults seated next to me and immediately apologize to them for our existence. Even though my kids are well-behaved, the nearby table has to listen to: "Don't point with your fork." "Close you mouth while you eat." Or my ds giving his latest dissertation on Thomas the Tank Engine and all its intricacies. ;)

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I don't remember who said it, but if you go back and read the thread again I'm sure you'll see the person who first mentioned it.

 

You do have every right not to be bothered by other people either adult or children, but if you go to a restaurant that is billed as a family facility you should expect to come across a family or two or 12. If you don't want to be in a family environment pick a different restaurant.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by this. Either we have never been able to afford anything like you're talking about, or there isn't really such a thing around here. I can't think of a restaurant I've seen billed as a "family environment," but I can't think of one that hasn't had families, either.

 

The only problem I see is with loud, obnoxious people--with or without kids.

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If an adult wants to be with adults in an adult situation shouldn't' they go to places adults frequent?

 

Sadly, I've had it happen at restaurants where kids shouldn't have been in the first place. There's a local Italian restaurant here that is fairly expensive and definitely one of those places we only go when we're by ourselves and don't have the kids. In no way do they make themselves known as a 'family restaurant'. DH and I went there for a birthday or an anniversary celebration. We were seated in an area where there was a kid literally running around. Running around his own table, running up to other tables and bothering random patrons (including us). And he wasn't a toddler. He was at least 4 or 5 yrs old. His parents were too busy talking and drinking to pay much attention. It was really irritating.

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I have been on both sides of this situation.

 

Once we all went out to lunch during the day (with the kids). The lady next to us asked to be moved away from us. She said it to where we would hear her. It really upset me because the kids were being quiet and coloring. My kids never act up and if they do I take them outside immediately.

 

Well when the lady left she stopped by our table and explained to me that it had nothing to do with us. She had extended family staying due to a Hurricane and just wanted to be away from people.

 

On the other side ...

 

My husband and I almost lost my oldest daughter. She was a preemie and stopped breathing on day 4 (they had sent us home so I did CPR on her). She was in PICU at the children’s hospital and the doctor sent me home the third day she was there because I was getting sick from my immune system getting low (tired, stressed, just had a baby etc). My husband stopped at a restaurant on the way home to get me to eat. They sat us right next to a family with a baby and I just started crying. My husband asked to be moved. It had nothing to do with that family ... just my mental state and exhaustion.

 

Try to not let it bother you.

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That brought back memories of the words my mother used. "Do you want to visit the bathroom with me?" Said with "the face" and the tone of voice that would strike fear in Mr. T, those words had much more meaning that a potty break.:lol:

 

My children are familiar with both the phrase and look. ;)

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Sadly, I've had it happen at restaurants where kids shouldn't have been in the first place. There's a local Italian restaurant here that is fairly expensive and definitely one of those places we only go when we're by ourselves and don't have the kids. In no way do they make themselves known as a 'family restaurant'.

 

I'm sorry, but this type of attitude infuriates me. Why should families be stuck eating at lousy chain restaurants? My dad will sometimes treat us to dinner at a nice restaurant such as Fleming's or Harris'. My kids know how to behave when we're out at a restaurant- and we frequently receive compliments on their behavior. We have as much right to eat at an expensive restaurant as anyone else.

 

If you want to dine in a child-free environment, then eat "fashionably late". Whenever my DH and I want to do a "date night" at a restaurant, we make the reservation for 9, when presumably the families will have cleared out.

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That brought back memories of the words my mother used. "Do you want to visit the bathroom with me?" Said with "the face" and the tone of voice that would strike fear in Mr. T, those words had much more meaning that a potty break.:lol:

 

Oh, yes. I remember this. Only it was my dad saying, "One more time and we're going out to the car."

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