We had a crazy afternoon yesterday. We picked Evan up from school, loaded Zach into the car, and off we went. We had an appointment in less than 2 hours to meet a coworker who is an amateur photographer for photos of the boys, but first we had some stuff to do. Evan needed some new shoes that weren’t gym shoes, as he tried on his pair of brown leather oxfords that morning to discover that they were too small. Both boys needed haircuts. We were on a mission. But we hit a crazy patch of gridlock. John hastily turned around to discover that the main road leading to our street was blocked. We thought there was an accident, so we tried another route. And another. (I’ll post about the reason here in a minute.) We wasted 45 minutes of our 2 hours just trying to get someplace. One of the plans was to stop and get the boys something quick to eat, but before we knew it, it was time to meet the coworker. We let Zach nibble on some crackles and sip some juice until we could feed him, about an hour later. Needless to say, by the time we were finished with the photos, he was hungry. We all were. I just wanted to get takeout and go home. John had the idea of stopping at a Frisch’s right down the street from us.
Frisch’s. I like their food, but it isn’t five-star or anything. It is ultimately a safe option for kids. It is the type of restaurant that hands out coloring sheets and crayons with their kids’ menus. And gives crazy straws with the kids’ drinks. I, of course, take for granted that everyone knows what Frisch’s is, but I know that they are called different things throughout the country. Having lived in Madisonville, Kentucky for 5 years, I know they didn’t have them down there in that area. If you have a Shoney’s in your neighborhood, or even have ever been to a Friendly’s, than it is about the same. We eat there once every few months or so. But the reality of my schedule is that we eat out in general, allthefuckingtime. I know the drill. I know to keep Zach occupied until we get our food. I know to order appetizers if that is an option, just to get him started on something. He is very impatient when it comes to food.
Well, we order right away. We know what we usually get. The server brings our drinks: milk for Zachy. I had a sippy cup that he likes right there, so I was immediately able to give him his milk in his favorite cup. We asked our server for a cuple of crackers while we waited for food. Zach would eat a cracker, and upon finishing it, would fuss to let us know he was ready for another. When he wanted a drink, he would fuss and point at the cup to let us know. There was a guy sitting alone in the booth directly behind us, reading his paper quietly. He would look up when Zach would fuss, but I think he saw what was going on and was patient with us. All we had to do was appease him until the food came. Picture being that small and not really understanding what is going on. Knowing you are hungry and seeing everyone around you with plates of food, and you have none. Given the circumstances, I thought he was doing really well. And then the server came back to the table to confess that she lost our order. She was apologetic, but this meant we had to keep Zachy occupied just a little longer. In total, it was probably about 15 minutes of intermittent fussiness. Not full-blown crying or a tantrum. Fussiness.
That’s when it happened. Across the section, on the other side of the salad bar, was this older couple. He had on some kind of pub t-shirt. Her bleach-clond hair was teased to the limit. They were eating salad from the salad bar. Everytime Zach would make the slightest noise, she would shoot us dirty looks. This even included a time when he giggled at a funny face John made. And she very loudly requested their server to make us leave “since they cannot control their child”, she said.
Woah. Really, was she talking about us??? My kids???
You have got to be kidding me, right? Have you never seen a toddler? HAVE YOU NO HEART? Did you not notice that the child was quiet as a mouse when the food actually came? He was fucking hungry, lady.
And then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, they demanded to see a manager, demanded to be moved to another table. John was just about to request to move to the table beside them, just to be a jerk, and said he would have had I not been with him.
I am not ghetto. I know how to behave myself. I have no history with law-enforcement. Especially when my family is sitting there. I am a healthcare professional in this area. I cannot behave in certain ways. Lucky for her. Because what I wanted to do was loudly embarrass her. To tell her that she should expect children to be present at a fucking Frisch’s. And that even the best-behaved toddlers can make a little noise. They even make messes, which I always clean up. And if one has a problem with this, perhaps one should choose to dine somewhere that doesn’t offer up fucking crazy straws, crayons, and high chairs. We live in an upper-middleto-upper class area. There are plenty of those places. I know there are. I know because, while we would love to eat at them, they aren’t kid-friendly and the patrons there don’t want to hear a toddler, so we DON’T GO TO THEM! We have manners. We respect others’ wishes to have a meal in peace and select our dining establishments with them in mind.
It wasn’t even like my children were acting badly. Zach was a bit fussy. Trust me, I know bad restaurant behavior. There was about a 2-3 year stretch where we didn’t eat in anywhere with Evan because his behavior was so atrocious in restaurants, even the family-friendly ones. So we didn’t go until he learned to behave. Instead, we would order takeout. If you have ever been the parent of a child with behavior issues, you know that their misbehavior is mortifying to the parent. This is made even worse by people with no compassion, who act as if they have never seen a child act up. Even so, when Evan would act up, we would always flag down our server and get the stuff to go. After so many times of doing that, we gave up on going out to eat as a family until we got a grip on the way Evan acted. So I know. I really do.
But this is Zachy we are talking about. Sweet, 16-month-old Zachary. The BABY. The one who greets everybody—and I mean everybody–with the biggest smile imaginable. The sweetheart. The adorable one. And he was hungry. Cut him some slack, would ya? Usually, the only problem with Zach in a restaurant is the mess he makes. Remember my tales of cleaning the stuff off of the floor? And over-tipping. If anything, the people at the tables around us play with him.
I am still pissed about that nasty, horrible woman. She must lead a miserable life. If she has ever had children, she was probably the type to beat them until they were afraid to make a peep. I won’t do that to my kids so you can eat a fucking cheeseburger without hearing a toddler fuss a bit. And I would have given anything for them to leave around the time we did. I would have loved nothing more than to be able to give her a verbal lashing in the parking lot, when we weren’t in the restaurant.
People kill me.