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Honest Parent: Why New York Restaurants want to ban children

New York City Banning Kids from Restaurants . . . Now Why Would They Want to Do That?

We’ve all been there.  It’s six o’clock in the evening; you’ve had a long day to say the least, and, of course, you’re starving.  All you want to do is just eat a meal that you don’t have to fix–not fast food–which ultimately requires a sit-down dinner at any restaurant, preferably one that has a lot going on like blaring T.V.’s and boisterous conversations. You know fully well that you are really asking for it today.  Your younger just got out of daycare and his shirt says it all: dried snot and different colors of who knows what and a face with caked on crust that you won’t even attempt to wipe. He may have mismatched socks, or only one sock; it varies.  (Probably isn’t as bad as the time you tried to take the kids to JCPenney for free back-to-school cuts and the little one lost his shoes at grandma’s.  You swear this isn’t usually how you take your kid out in public, shoeless for a free haircut.)  

You enter the restaurant, hoping to get this over with as soon as possible.  The waitress seats your party and begins taking drink orders.  You’re trying to keep your younger one occupied by playing tic-tac-toe (don’t even attempt to win) or ask him to recite what the rules are for entering kindergarten that you went over the night before, to which you get a response, “basically you’re just going to drop me off and I need to wipe my own butt.”  Ok, good answer.  On to the next tactic, anything to delay the blood curdling scream that lies just beyond.  

Drinks arrive and you are explaining to your older child to “bring the cup to your mouth, not your mouth to the cup,” and with only the attitude he can bring, he shoves the cup across the table and soon you are soaked in sticky Pepsi. Fabulous.  

“Is it taking longer than usual to bring out the food?” you mutter to yourself as the kids are arguing and taking each other’s crayons.  At this point you turn to your older child with your lips moving and teeth clenched and whisper in a demonic-like voice under your breath all of the consequences and things that are “going to happen” when he gets home. To this, his eyes widen and turn to the side along with his head as if to say, “Holy moly, she’s losing it.”  In fact, you are losing it.  You are a hop, skip, and a jump from a mental breakdown.  

Nobody knows what today has entailed and all you want to do is eat.  Soon the food arrives, and you begin to cut meat frantically, trying to shovel food into their mouths to avoid any further outbursts.  It’s no wonder you suffer digestive problems.  This can’t be good for you.  

Finally the dinner is winding down and the little one has had enough.  He chucks a piece of broccoli, and as the girl across from your table begins to lift her drink to her mouth, the broccoli lands.  Does she notice?  If not, did anyone else see the high flying broccoli come from your table?  You’re overcome with embarrassment, yet trying not to laugh, thinking to yourself, “Man, he’s really got an arm. . . . ”  You ask the waitress to bring the check as soon as possible.  You pay, grab your children, and leave immediately.  

For those of you who have been through this before…I know your pain.  For those of you who are yet to have experienced this, the next time you see a parent suffering through  dinner, instead of blogging or posting later about how parents should not be able to bring their kids to dinner in public, pat them on the back, give them a high five, or better yet, buy them a drink.  Because, you may be the next victim.  Only time will tell.

Maybe the next time you are eating out and see a single parent suffering through dinner, instead of blogging or posting later about how parents should not be able to take their kids to dinner in public, pat him or her on the back, give a high five, or, better yet, offer to buy  a drink.  Because, the next recipient of well-flung broccoli may be you. 

Until next time…

by an Honest Parent.

Honest Parent is a regular column where we give an anonymous parent the freedom to speak the truth. All names and likenesses may be coincidental as they are based on real experiences and people. This isn’t an advice column or a self-help article it’s just honest. 

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