My mom told me that going out to eat with my kids "mortifies" her :( - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have lots of issues with my mom, and I thought I was getting to a place where I can just accept her for who she is, and enjoy her in her limited capacity, but now I just don't know. She used to be my best friend, but ever since I had kids I just can't stand to be around her, and I think the feeling is mutual. She loves them, but clearly favors my daughter because she is a girl, and is 4. She remarried a clean freak man without kids, and is just extremely selfish. She only sees her grandchildren when it is convenient for her, and even then, shes constantly looking at her watch annoyed and making up reasons she has to go. It is really hurtful.

She came over this AM to go to breakfast with me and my kids (since her husband was busy, and my sister was away and thus she had nothing better to do) and we went to Cracker Barrell. DS (2) woke up at 5AM, was a little tired, and super hungry, and therefore acting like a hungry and tired 2 year old. Bascially he didn't want to get strapped into his highchair, was crying, flung his drink on the floor, etc. I knew as soon as the food came he would be fine (which he was). Well she takes this opportunity to tell me:

"People are staring. From now on we should just have breakfast at your house. Going out to eat with your kids is mortifying for me."

Well, thanks. Because it is SUPER fun dealing with a cranky kid around others trying to eat without me also having to worry about what a crappy time YOU are having. Then as my son snatched the straw from my hand and said "mine!" she goes and calls him "nasty."

Did she not once have small children? Couldn't she have offered to take him for a walk, or maybe just SYMPATHIZE?

Then came the barrage of comments about how "its sure going to be interesting when #3 comes. Good luck with that."


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#2 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 02:07 PM
 
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If he was acting that badly, I wouldn't have stayed in there with him (I would have taken him outside), no matter if he would have been fine if/when the food came.

I think that what you did was rude, especially in a public place.
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#3 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 02:19 PM
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Your mom's comments were out of line. But since she was there and could tend to your older dd, why didn't *you* take your son for a walk?

It's so hard for kids to keep it together when they're hungry. Restaurants can be really hard. No one's at their best when they have to wait for breakfast. Your mom kind of has a point, but she really should have framed it more politely - it shouldn't have been about her, but about how hard it was for your kids.
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#4 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, gee thanks for the support. I *could* have taken him for a walk, but by the time it came to that he had already calmed down. Plus, he wouldn't have wanted to walk with me- he would have wanted to walk with Grammy, and she knew this. I don't think having a kid who acts out for a few minutes in Cracker Barrell is rude, but thanks.
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#5 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 02:48 PM
 
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I'm sorry your mother isn't the mom you need her to be.

As for your ds crying in the restaurant, I think what you did was just fine. You knew that when the food came he would be fine.

-Melanie
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#6 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 02:55 PM
 
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If he was acting that badly, I wouldn't have stayed in there with him (I would have taken him outside), no matter if he would have been fine if/when the food came.

I think that what you did was rude, especially in a public place.
How was the OP being rude? And how is your post helpful and supportive of our community?

A 2 year old acting out for a couple of minutes because he's hungry is a fact of life-we can't all hide in our houses with our children until they are 18.

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#7 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 02:55 PM
 
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I'm on your side. My DS is 3 and has autism, my patience level when it comes to him and other kids is about 70million times greater than when before I had him.

If that were my mother, mil, aunt, anyone, it would be a long time before I'd be around her again. My mil presented me with a critical spirit over my DS and I've mailed her photos etc. but I haven't gone out of my way to plan a visit to her since. As your mother and the children's grandmother, she has an obligation to be the support that you're looking for, or to at least keep her mouth shut. I used to get all bent-out-of-shape in public, but nowadays I could give a crap what others think, it sounds to me like your DC's outburst was brief, and not a meal-breaker.
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#8 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 03:01 PM
 
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It doesn't sound like your child acted any differently than about 100 other children I have seen in public. So I think your Mom's response was rude I am sorry that happened to you.

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#9 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks guys That made me feel better. I am not one to let my kid scream for minutes on end without doing something. As soon as the waiters brought crackers over he was fine. And that is also my point of view- yea, it is mildly embarassing, but really I don't care what others think. If the restaurant has crayons and a kids menu, then guess what, there is sometimes going to be a crying kid. If we were at a fancy hotel brunch- different story. My issue was more with my mom. She isn't the grandmother I had hoped for my kids and it breaks my heart. My sister takes the point of view that we should just accept her for who she is and just "be happy with what we get" but being around her just makes me feel bad. I am sure the kids feel the vibes too

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#10 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 03:14 PM
 
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How was the OP being rude? And how is your post helpful and supportive of our community?

A 2 year old acting out for a couple of minutes because he's hungry is a fact of life-we can't all hide in our houses with our children until they are 18.
because the other people in the restaurant have the right to eat there undisturbed as much as possible. i know we all love our kids and still love them during their not so great moments, but it's not fair to expect the entire world to be as patient with them as we are. the fact some of parents in this community believe that it's fine for toddlers to act like tyrants and everyone else in the world just has to deal doesn't mean we all feel that way.


OP - did you ask your mom to take him for a walk or did you think she should have offered on her own?

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#11 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 03:16 PM
 
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oh man. 2 is THE age for screaming in a restaurant.

we went out to dinner a few weeks ago and our two year old freaked out for a minute or two, then calmed down when the food came.

i was sure that the older couple next to us was giving us the stink eye, but right before they left the man came over and said, "your children are lovely and you guys are such amazing parents we just really enjoyed watching you. these are tough ages, and your handling them well. ours are in college and believe it or not we miss this stuff"


so, there were obviously better ways for your mother to handle this. this strangers words touched my soul, its a shame your mom couldnt have been more supportive. especially because maybe the people staring werent upset....

kids arent some part of society that should be hidden after a certain noise level is reached.

we are all doing our best.

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#12 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 03:32 PM
 
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My mom doesn't make much of a fuss about my kids or act like she's too thrilled with them. I kind of don't blame her. She's raised five of her own. She's tired of the whole mess.

Maybe you and your mom could get together without the kids once in a while?
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#13 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 04:31 PM
 
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because the other people in the restaurant have the right to eat there undisturbed as much as possible. i know we all love our kids and still love them during their not so great moments, but it's not fair to expect the entire world to be as patient with them as we are. the fact some of parents in this community believe that it's fine for toddlers to act like tyrants and everyone else in the world just has to deal doesn't mean we all feel that way.


OP - did you ask your mom to take him for a walk or did you think she should have offered on her own?
There's a huge difference between a toddler "acting like a tyrant" and acting out a little because he's hungry.

Eating in a public place does not guarantee you a right to eat undisturbed. I never assume that, and the arrogance that attitude holds is baffling to me. Why would anyone presume that their experience is more important than everyone elses when in a public setting?

I'm certain your perception on toddler behavior will change when your son reaches that age. It's not as easy as you seem to think it is to only appear in public when your child is on his best behavior.

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#14 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 04:58 PM
 
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If he was acting that badly, I wouldn't have stayed in there with him (I would have taken him outside), no matter if he would have been fine if/when the food came.

I think that what you did was rude, especially in a public place.
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Your mom's comments were out of line. But since she was there and could tend to your older dd, why didn't *you* take your son for a walk?

Your mom kind of has a point, but she really should have framed it more politely - it shouldn't have been about her, but about how hard it was for your kids.
I think blaming this mom is rude. The only thing I might have done differently would have been to bring a little pre-breakfast snack along to try to stem the toddler tide.

People do NOT have a reasonable expectation of quiet and calm in a restaurant - *especially* a family restaurant like a cracker barrel. If you go out into the community or society you will have to accept that the world doesn't revolve around you and have some humility and grace. This mama was doing her best. Since having DS I have a great respect for what other parents have to deal with and he is pretty chill.

A restaurant is not a library. I don't mean people should be screaming and yelling and acting like they were at home, but if you can't deal with some occasional kid tantrums *you* should stay home.

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#15 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 05:26 PM
 
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There's a huge difference between a toddler "acting like a tyrant" and acting out a little because he's hungry.

Eating in a public place does not guarantee you a right to eat undisturbed. I never assume that, and the arrogance that attitude holds is baffling to me. Why would anyone presume that their experience is more important than everyone elses when in a public setting?

I'm certain your perception on toddler behavior will change when your son reaches that age. It's not as easy as you seem to think it is to only appear in public when your child is on his best behavior.
you are making huge assumptions about my life simply by reading my sig. you have no idea what my experience is with kids in restaurants. it's insulting for you to assume i've never been near any other child before i had mine.

and, exactly, why are you presuming that the OP's experience in the restaurant was more important than everyone elses? just because they went to a restaurant doesn't mean that they should expect to have a toddler at a nearby table throw a drink on the floor and have a meltdown.

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#16 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 05:44 PM
 
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If it was me I think that as soon as I saw that he was "fling his drink on the floor" upset I would have placed my order and would have taken him to wander through the restaurant or sit on the porch until the food arrived or til he was calm (and I probably would have asked the hostess for a cracker as I walked past if I knew tha hunger was the reason for his current mood). While I think it is unrealistic for people to think that a family restaurant should be a quiet environment I don't think that it is reasonable to expect others to listen to an upset, crying child for more than a few moments.
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#17 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 08:16 PM
 
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you are making huge assumptions about my life simply by reading my sig. you have no idea what my experience is with kids in restaurants. it's insulting for you to assume i've never been near any other child before i had mine.

and, exactly, why are you presuming that the OP's experience in the restaurant was more important than everyone elses? just because they went to a restaurant doesn't mean that they should expect to have a toddler at a nearby table throw a drink on the floor and have a meltdown.
And I find your perception that all ill behaved children should be kept out of site of the public, less someone have a poor dining experience insulting.

I'm not assuming you've never been around children-I'm saying that when you have a child the experience is way different than being around other's children, even close relatives.

The OP's experience isn't any more or less important than anyone elses. I was disagreeing with your statement that other diner's have a "right" to dine without disturbance-while this may be an expectation people may have, it is not a "right". And it's an unreasonable expectation to assume the entire world will cater to your dining experience. To call a mother rude for dining out with her child is insulting and frustrating. The OP was looking for support in dealing with an awful comment made by her mother. Calling her rude was uncalled for, unhelpful, and mean spirited.

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#18 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 08:20 PM
 
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If it was me I think that as soon as I saw that he was "fling his drink on the floor" upset I would have placed my order and would have taken him to wander through the restaurant or sit on the porch until the food arrived or til he was calm (and I probably would have asked the hostess for a cracker as I walked past if I knew tha hunger was the reason for his current mood). While I think it is unrealistic for people to think that a family restaurant should be a quiet environment I don't think that it is reasonable to expect others to listen to an upset, crying child for more than a few moments.
That's pretty much what the OP did-got her son some crackers and he settled down.

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#19 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 08:34 PM
 
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That's pretty much what the OP did-got her son some crackers and he settled down.
Not exactly - she waited at the table while her son cried for the crackers to be brought to her - I was saying that with a child that upset that he was throwing his drink to the floor I would have carried him out of the dining room into the store that is attached to every Cracker Barrel and would have asked the hostess for something while I waited in the lobby. It was the waiting for the waitress at the table while he cried that I would have been trying to avoid. The OP herself even wondered why her mom had not offered to take him out for a walk to calm him. I am in no way implying that children mut sit silently in a restaurant so as not to disturb other diners but I do believe that allowing a child to cry for more than a moment is inconsiderate to the others in the roopm.
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#20 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 08:44 PM
 
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And I find your perception that all ill behaved children should be kept out of site of the public, less someone have a poor dining experience insulting.
why is it insulting?


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I'm not assuming you've never been around children-I'm saying that when you have a child the experience is way different than being around other's children, even close relatives.
again, please stop making assumptions about my life and my experiences and telling me how i'll feel.

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The OP's experience isn't any more or less important than anyone elses. I was disagreeing with your statement that other diner's have a "right" to dine without disturbance-while this may be an expectation people may have, it is not a "right". And it's an unreasonable expectation to assume the entire world will cater to your dining experience. To call a mother rude for dining out with her child is insulting and frustrating. The OP was looking for support in dealing with an awful comment made by her mother. Calling her rude was uncalled for, unhelpful, and mean spirited.
bolded - exactly, it's an unreasonable expectation to assume that the entire world will cater to your dining experience. it goes both ways, but you clearly feel that the folks with the kids have greater rights and everyone else should just deal. i don't.

the comment from her mother was what her mother was feeling - she was mortified of how her grandchild was acting. i learned a long time ago that if you throw your opinion out to others you are sometimes going to hear things you don't like. you don't get to just choose to hear validation of your point of view.

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#21 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 08:46 PM
 
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because the other people in the restaurant have the right to eat there undisturbed as much as possible. i know we all love our kids and still love them during their not so great moments, but it's not fair to expect the entire world to be as patient with them as we are. the fact some of parents in this community believe that it's fine for toddlers to act like tyrants and everyone else in the world just has to deal doesn't mean we all feel that way.

Wow. Just one more thing Mom's cant (or "shouldnt") do just because they have children, and might "disturb" someone. Enough of the world is made for adults that dont want to be disturbed. Children are people too. They just havent learned to communicate as well as some of us, but that doesnt mean they deserve to be hidden. If you dont want to be disturbed, don't go to one of the noisiest, family friendly corporate restaurants. It wasnt like she was letting him act this way at Ruth's Chris at 8 pm on a Saturday night. Jeeze, its breakfast at Crackerbarrell.

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#22 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 08:53 PM
 
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If he was acting that badly, I wouldn't have stayed in there with him (I would have taken him outside), no matter if he would have been fine if/when the food came.

I think that what you did was rude, especially in a public place.
why is it rude? is anyone with a toddler supposed to hide away just incase they have a bit of strop in public.

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#23 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 09:09 PM
 
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you know..everyone's kids act cranky in restaurants sometimes. I don't think what you did was wrong at all. I have 4 small kids and have had more than my fair share of dining diasters...that's just a part of life. Kids will never understand how to behave in public if you don't give them the opportunity to learn. I'm so sorry your mom was rude this morning...that's just what she was..rude. It's such a shame that she's missing out on what should be one of the greatest times in her life..getting the priviledge of being a grandmother! Pray for her and for your relationship with her and your children. God does some amazing things!

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#24 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 09:13 PM
 
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Wow. Just one more thing Mom's cant (or "shouldnt") do just because they have children, and might "disturb" someone. Enough of the world is made for adults that dont want to be disturbed. Children are people too. They just havent learned to communicate as well as some of us, but that doesnt mean they deserve to be hidden. If you dont want to be disturbed, don't go to one of the noisiest, family friendly corporate restaurants. It wasnt like she was letting him act this way at Ruth's Chris at 8 pm on a Saturday night. Jeeze, its breakfast at Crackerbarrell.
where did i say children should be hidden? or that this is something a mom can't do?

i'm saying that not everyone thinks a cranky toddler in a restaurant is appropriate and they would consider the OP rude for not doing enough to handle the situation. how is this shocking to anyone that not everyone in the world agrees that the world revolves around their kids?

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#25 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 09:18 PM
 
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I think you BOTH have a point. But some people really are mortified by that type of behavior when eating out. Not everyone is but some people are. I know I am and I won't go out to eat if my kids don't behave. If they are babes and fussy or cranky, we leave. There are times we just don't eat out! I think you have to pick your battles though. It is really more her issue than yours.

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#26 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 09:31 PM
 
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I recently read a web chat with Alfie Kohn where someone wrote in with a question like "I've noticed that a lot of your questioners on this chat are talking about children behaving badly in restaurants. Do you think that might be just because Americans eat out at restaurants much more often than in previous generations?" And Kohn said "I never thought of that, but good point. I'll look into it more."

So I'm wondering if in this case your mother was thinking "MY kids never had tantrums in restaurants," when in fact she isn't thinking about the fact that she rarely took her kids to restaurants because it was less common then to go to restaurants, either with or without kids. Does that make any sense?

ETA: but at a place like Cracker Barrel with crayons and kids' menus, yeah, I consider overhearing tantrums to be part of the experience, no matter how my own child behaves. That said, if I think he is super hungry and might melt down, I sometimes give DS food before we go to a restaurant.
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#27 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 09:35 PM
 
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I'm very sensitive to what others around me think too so I get just as mortified if I take my kids to a restaurant. Lucky we can't afford it anyway so our dining out consists of one fast food meal a month, often that is carry-out. Still she was rude and unsupportive, but maybe she has a complex like I do so I can understand. If I did what she did I'd apologize later when I calmed down.
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#28 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 09:35 PM
 
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Personally, if it had been me and my mom (or MIL) I would have calmly replied "You are more than welcome to leave at anytime. I'm perfectly fine enjoying my breakfast with my children alone so you can avoid said "Mortification."

We're talking about a 2 yr old child. He's still a baby! This isn't some 7 yo who should have the ability to handle his/her emotions a little better in a public place or take a timeout to get themselves under control. This is no different than an infant crying to nurse/for a bottle. He was hungry and tired from getting up early. The OP said as soon as the waitress/waiter brought crackers her son was fine.

Her mother sounds uninterested in her grandkids. If that's the case, I wouldn't bother forcing the relationship. In the long run all that would do is confuse the kids and make the OP feel worse about her mother and her mother's behaivior.

-:¦:-♥Sarah Lynne♥-:¦:-Wife to Michael and Mommy to Austin(5), Steven(3), Tristyn(1), and Laurelyn (6/3/2011)

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#29 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 10:44 PM
 
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I can understand your mom's feeling --- to a small, very small point. It can be very embarrassing to a person.

Screaming toddlers is no fun while your trying to eat. I do think you could have handled it better. IMO, you should have had crackers since you were coming from home. Also did you ask the host for crackers? Also, at that age I found having a stash of crackers or cereal (in a pinch food) life saving. No parent is perfect but I do think you could have better manage and prevented the situation some. I feel as parents we should help our children learn the right behaviors by setting them up for success -- tired, hungry children does not set up for success.

IMO, if you want people to respect your situation you need to respect theirs. This doesn't mean I expect a quite child but just better management.

I don't know yours and your mom's dynamics but if all possible can you revisit the situation. Give a little "Yes, mom you were right. WE should have handled the situation better. Maybe next time we should bring a little snack or one of us take him for a walk. My mom is pretty crappy, but I can say in that situation she would have been asking for crackers, suggest taking for a walk, get food to go, et.

Also not knowing your mom this attitude could be 100% appropriate:
Quote:
Personally, if it had been me and my mom (or MIL) I would have calmly replied "You are more than welcome to leave at anytime. I'm perfectly fine enjoying my breakfast with my children alone so you can avoid said "Mortification."
I have gotten that attitude with my mom.
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#30 of 92 Old 08-01-2010, 10:49 PM
 
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I'm in a reverse role with my mom - she's kind and patient with my two year old (who is an SPD/ADHD nightmare on GOOD days) and I'm the one going 'I'll meet you in the car!'

So I can definitely see both sides of it.

Full time working mom to two bright and busy little girls! treehugger.gif
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