Dear Fashionable Single Girl,
I know you and your friends love to blather on about those awful parents who bring their wild animals small children to restaurants and let them squawk and sling food and run around like loons while you are trying to enjoy a nice, quiet dinner with friends.
I used to be one of you, Fashionable Single Girl, and now that I’m a parent, I’m hyper-aware of your kind whenever I take my kids out to eat. I actually shush them at every outburst. I pick up the food and napkins they drop on the floor. I don’t take them to restaurants where I don’t think they’d be welcome and on the rare night that they can’t seem to control themselves (which, I’ll admit, happened one night at Bosco’s back in ought-four), I leave, so that people like you can dine in peace.
I’m doing my part, Fashionable Single Girl. Now it’s time for you to do yours.
Sunday night, my entire family enjoyed a rare evening out for a holiday dinner. We chose a restaurant we’d eaten in many times before on a night that we knew most of your set wouldn’t be out, a restaurant where the owner loves our kids and makes a big deal out of them every time we show up. We sat at a table in the corner, out of the way of other diners.
When you bypassed seven or eight other empty tables for the one right next to ours, I didn’t mind scooting Bruiser’s high chair closer to our already cramped table, or asking Punky to remove her Sprite from your tabletop. I wasn’t sure why you’d want to sit next to a family with four children, but whatever.
But when you startled and whipped your head around to stare at us every single time Bruiser made so much as a peep? I got annoyed. When Punky put a hand on your friend’s hip for balance as she walked around to our side of the table and your friend recoiled in horror, I had to hold myself back from saying something to your table that was, well, less than kind. And when you remarked on the baby girl sitting next to you? The baby dressed in a BLUE onesie with CARS on it? I was pretty much ready to open up a can of whoop ass.
You did your level best to ruin my dinner. That’s right. I know it’s a novel concept that you could ruin the dinner of a mom with four kids, but there you go. I’ve quietly listened to childless people complain about families at restaurants for too long. Now it’s my turn.
Get. Over. It. Not every parent allows his or her child to act like a hellion. Treat those of us who are clearly making an effort with a little respect. Remember that you were a kid once, too (and probably a nasty, screaming, projectile vomiting one at that), and that my kids will be paying your Social Security some day when you’re living in that squalid senior citizen high rise because you spent too many of your paychecks on Hermes scarves and Coach bags.
Yes, Fashionable Single Girl, I’m a Breeder now, and I’m sick of making apologies to people like you. We’re here. We like to eat out. And? We’re multiplying. So now I’m thinking maybe you’re the one who should stay home.