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#61 of 90 Old 01-13-2010, 05:28 PM
 
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I think that restaurant hosts (they're the ones that handle the seating ) should be obligated to ask and parents should be obliged to politely answer yes or no without getting snitty about being asked.

Because I've also seen people say things like "OMG they asked if my 1 year old wanted crayons!"
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#62 of 90 Old 01-13-2010, 06:20 PM
 
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Napkin, yes. Spoons and forks are usually not used by the younger crowd, because they mostly order things like grilled cheese sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers, and chicken strips....all of which are finger foods.
I could order a burger or chicken strips as well, but I still get a spoon and fork. There's no logical explanation for not offering eating utensils to everyone sitting in at a table.

It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
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#63 of 90 Old 01-13-2010, 06:27 PM
 
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What type of restaurants are these that don't give silverware to children? I really can't remember that ever happening. Sometimes they give them a different placemat (that has games on it or whatever) but there's always silverware.
We've had it happen a good bit at national chains - Applebee's and those types of places. We live in an area really devoid of locally-owned restaurants.

It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
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#64 of 90 Old 01-13-2010, 06:39 PM
 
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Maybe it's the kind of restaurants we go to (because we have four kids) but they always give them a kids menu. I guess if we frequented places that didn't have the coloring page then they might skip over the kids. I haven't had the no silverware thing, either. Maybe I don't get out much no, actually we eat out quite a bit - though we prefer a couple local restaurants the most (and they are very nice to our kids there, which is why we keep coming back, plus good green chile).

Since someone else mentioned it, I let my kids order for themselves. Always have, always will. As soon as they could talk they were read the choices and told the waiter/waitress what they would like. When we are eating out, they can get whatever sounds good to them.

Tip-wise: I start at 20% regardless of if it just DH and I. with the kids, if they have made a mess (I try to clean up after them a bit) or were loud, or the waitress was exceptionally friendly with them, I up it to 25-30%. Going out to eat costs us a bit as it is, since we have 6 people and enjoy ordering multiple drinks -- so I figure whats XX more for a tip?

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#65 of 90 Old 01-13-2010, 09:10 PM
 
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I haven't read all the replies, but we have the opposite issue when we go out. They'll give both the kids menus and then expect us to order separate things for them. They are 3 and a year and a half and most restaurant portions are more than enough for DH and I to share with the kids. Add in the basket of rolls that usually comes and then we REALLY don't need to order something separate.
I don't get too annoyed though because really it is in their best interest to encourage the kids to order something of their own.

DH and I - totally winging life with our four children, DS1 (6.5yrs), DS2 (5yrs), DD (3yrs) and DS3 (1)!

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#66 of 90 Old 01-14-2010, 02:14 PM
 
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Because I've also seen people say things like "OMG they asked if my 1 year old wanted crayons!"
Damned if they do...damned if they don't, huh?

Thanks to all the servers who replied to this thread. I've never been a server, but it's a HARD job, and I don't expect perfection. I'll ask for what I need and not be snitty about it. For one thing, MY KIDS are MY RESPONSIBILITY.
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#67 of 90 Old 01-14-2010, 03:35 PM
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Thanks to all the servers who replied to this thread. I've never been a server, but it's a HARD job, and I don't expect perfection. I'll ask for what I need and not be snitty about it. For one thing, MY KIDS are MY RESPONSIBILITY.
Thank you! You know what? I did six years in the armed forces, and waiting tables is way more draining and stressful (mentally) than what I experienced in the Navy.

Lots of people who are out to eat seem to confuse the word "server" with the word "servant".
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#68 of 90 Old 01-14-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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I have had some weird experiences in this regard too. When DS was a newborn I'd wear him in the sling, and still usually get asked if we needed a high chair or a booster seat. Um, no, my baby can not sit up! lol! He's also been brought a kids menu at most places since a few months old. He is 16 months now and just starting to get the hang of coloring, though he still sometimes tries to eat the crayons.
Yeah when my ds was four WEEKS (yep weeks) old they asked me if i needed a kid menu HAHAHAHAH

I said nope, I'm all the food he needs....the waitress looked VERY confused LOL

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#69 of 90 Old 01-14-2010, 04:07 PM
 
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Yeah, I've had all of the above happen at least once.

Now I tend to say something like, "Hi, 4 for lunch, including 1 high chair and 2 kids' menus" or, when getting a table when we're meeting friends for dinner, "Hi, 9 for dinner, including 1 high chair, 1 booster seat, and 5 kids' menus."

I figure if I give them all the pertinent info up front they won't have to try to determine which kids are old enough for high chairs/booster seats/chairs, and which ones wants kids' vs. regular menus.
Way to be pro-active! I think that just by reading this thread people can see why servers behave the way they do. Every family has different needs. I usually have this intention of communication when I go out and then my mommy-brain takes over and I look around and realize after the server leaves that we don't have everything we need.
My most common issue is not getting a place setting for my dd, I seemed to always get asked if she wants a menu.
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#70 of 90 Old 01-14-2010, 08:04 PM
 
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It would never occure to me to give a preschooler an adult menu. they are not toys or board books. they are menus. and they are not sanitary. (yuck. i had never even thought about that until this thread.) They usually ask my two older kids if they want an adult menu or kids menu. they usually take the kids menu because they like to doodle and share an adult menu. we only need so many giant folders at our table knocking crap over.

as for place settings. I have never ever had this problem. at the very least they ask. forks and knives are dangerous in the hands of some kids. some parents would be peeved if they were just sitting on the table. but we also don't always have all the silverware we need when it is just adults. there is A LOT of stuff on a resteraunt table.

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#71 of 90 Old 01-14-2010, 08:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post

Tip-wise: I start at 20% regardless of if it just DH and I. with the kids, if they have made a mess (I try to clean up after them a bit) or were loud, or the waitress was exceptionally friendly with them, I up it to 25-30%. Going out to eat costs us a bit as it is, since we have 6 people and enjoy ordering multiple drinks -- so I figure whats XX more for a tip?
Any place I have ever worked the busser cleaned up the mess while the server kept the tip. So if you are tipping extra on account of the mess you should tip the busser directly. I have worked as a busser, hostess and server and it was not unusual for people to tip me directly. the waitresses usually tipped out but it was never more than 10% split between us and depending on where I worked the busser or hostess may not have both been tipped. I got more tips as a hostess but worked much harder bussing tables.

also lots of people have mentioned menus and place settings etc. as a general rule neither of these is the servers job, at least not always. sometimes it is the hostesses job (ok it is always the hostesses job to accomodate even if the busser sets the table) sometimes it is the busser. I think a lot of times in bigger places no one knows who is getting what.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#72 of 90 Old 01-14-2010, 08:27 PM
 
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I was also a server and I want to be sure I have it all strait.. these are things parents complained about (I didn't have kids then)

1) they didn't offer a kids menu or crayons
2) they offered my suck and suck age a menu and crayons
3) they offered my child an adult menu
4) they didn't offer a menu
5) they offered a highchair/buster seat
6) they didn't offer a highchair/buster seat
7) they gave my child and ADULT fork (never mind that we only had one size)
8) they didn't bring the right utencil
9) they brought the kids meals earlier
10) they didn't bring the meals soon enough for the kids
11) they ignored my kids
12) they talked to the kids (I actually got in a lot of trouble for this one time when a kid about 4 was really upset. He's dropped something so I went and helped him pick it up and comforted him, apparently mom didn't like that)

do you see a theme forming here?? The server just can't win..

When I do go out I ask for a kids menu and crayons for both, a highchair for one, buster for the other, DD#1 usually orders herself, but not always, DD#2 is just now getting her own meals. I also bring smaller utensils and plastic plates for the girls. Less risk of them being broken.
Makes the servers job just a little easier, and knowing the crap they put up with its the least I could do.

I have had some excellent experiences. When DD#2 was small I was asked if I wanted a booth when they noticed I was having trouble BF her, I jumped on the chance as it was much more comfortable, although it was right by a window LOL. When DD#2 was smaller and only ate small amounts many places would give me veggies, shredded cheese, and mashed potato's free. they said it wasn't worth chargeing cause she really wasn't eating much and it made her, and me happy.

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#73 of 90 Old 01-15-2010, 12:33 AM
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Any place I have ever worked the busser cleaned up the mess while the server kept the tip. So if you are tipping extra on account of the mess you should tip the busser directly. I have worked as a busser, hostess and server and it was not unusual for people to tip me directly. the waitresses usually tipped out but it was never more than 10% split between us and depending on where I worked the busser or hostess may not have both been tipped. I got more tips as a hostess but worked much harder bussing tables.
I agree that it's usually the busser who cleans up the extra mess. However, all restaurants do things differently. Bussers where I work are pretty much invisible until the party leaves (meaning, the server does all the maintaining of the table, including wrapping food, clearing dishes, and filling drinks). So the guests wouldn't necessarily even know who the busser in that section might be. At other restaurants I've worked at, bussers cleaned and reset tables, but also worked alongside the servers during service. And yes, they received tips directly from customers on occasion. Not so much at where I work presently.

We are required to tip our busser 2.25% of our shift's sales. That's usually more than 10% of a server's tips, and the busser keeps it for him/herself. Most of the servers tip at least 2.5%, and often 3% or more if the busser helps during service. I work for a big company and a lot of the bussers have served at some point, but prefer to bus...they average about the same money as the servers and don't have to deal with customers as much.

Also, I've never seen anyone tip a host/hostess. Anywhere. And I've worked at upscale places, too. It would never occur to me to do so, really. What would you tip the desk for? Oh, actually....at one place the hostess also checked coats, so she got tips.

KimberlyD0, I agree that the servers often just can't win. All I can do is try my best and hope that people don't expect me to be a mind-reader. The way I care for and raise my children is not going to be identical to what others do, and we all have different wants and expectations.
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#74 of 90 Old 01-15-2010, 02:00 AM
 
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Also, I've never seen anyone tip a host/hostess. Anywhere. And I've worked at upscale places, too. It would never occur to me to do so, really. What would you tip the desk for? Oh, actually....at one place the hostess also checked coats, so she got tips.
.

I was a really good hostess

it was a really small place. so I did the seating, and also I would get them settled in with drinks. if drinks were all they got they would just tip me. The regulars would often tip me as much as their drink. Also if they sat for a long time after their meal was done they would tip the server for serving and then tip me for taking care of thier drinks and such while they sat. People were always asking me for tourist tips and stuff and would tip me individually if I spent a bit of time giving them directions, suggestions etc (not that I had much of a clue. I had only been there a couple weeks longer than most of them). But people tip me a lot. even for stupid things like ringing up their groceries (hello, I was a cashier) and finding something on the shelf for them ( I was shelf stocker). I don't know if I have some sort of look of desperation about me or what.....but the hostess position was pretty sweet and a better resteraunt job than any other I have ever worked. I got paid a full wage, 40 hours plus 5 hours of overtime a week, plus my tips, plus 5% of each of the servers tips. I don't think I have ever made that much money since and I was only 17 then....and everyone in the world was happy to be there so cranky customers were rare. it was a sweet job.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#75 of 90 Old 01-15-2010, 11:20 AM
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it was a really small place. so I did the seating, and also I would get them settled in with drinks. if drinks were all they got they would just tip me.<snip>I got paid a full wage, 40 hours plus 5 hours of overtime a week, plus my tips, plus 5% of each of the servers tips. I don't think I have ever made that much money since and I was only 17 then....and everyone in the world was happy to be there so cranky customers were rare. it was a sweet job.
Man, at every place I've worked, the servers wouldn't have liked you at all! I'm making $2.89/hr plus tips, and you're going to steal half of the check total by bringing drinks over? lol
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#76 of 90 Old 01-15-2010, 02:09 PM
 
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This thread makes me really glad I don't wait tables anymore. Echoing a PP, yeah, you're damned if you do something and damned if you don't. I stopped working because of a variety of childcare/logistical reasons, but the relief of not having to deal with the idiosyncrasies of an impossible to please all the time general public was the best thing that ever happened to me.

There are possibly 100,000 people dead under a hot sun in Haiti and yet people get their panties in a bundle because (quoting KimberlyD0)

1) they didn't offer a kids menu or crayons
2) they offered my suck and suck age a menu and crayons
3) they offered my child an adult menu
4) they didn't offer a menu
5) they offered a highchair/buster seat
6) they didn't offer a highchair/buster seat
7) they gave my child and ADULT fork (never mind that we only had one size)
8) they didn't bring the right utencil
9) they brought the kids meals earlier
10) they didn't bring the meals soon enough for the kids
11) they ignored my kids
12) they talked to the kids (I actually got in a lot of trouble for this one time when a kid about 4 was really upset. He's dropped something so I went and helped him pick it up and comforted him, apparently mom didn't like that)

Surely there are bigger things in life to knitpick. Off my soapbox now, flame away folks.
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#77 of 90 Old 01-15-2010, 02:18 PM
 
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I won't flame. I agree with you. Restaurant servers haven't always gotten everything we've wanted, so we've asked for it, and it's been fine. It's never occurred to me to get upet.
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#78 of 90 Old 01-15-2010, 03:04 PM
 
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Man, at every place I've worked, the servers wouldn't have liked you at all! I'm making $2.89/hr plus tips, and you're going to steal half of the check total by bringing drinks over? lol

typically during there day there was one waitress and at night two. they got full wages (we would go an hour or more some days without seeing a customer) plus we got paid breaks and lunches as well as $6 in free food (enough to get almost anything off the menu) Without a good hostess and busser the waitresses would likely not have been getting tipped much. we were her only support staff. And on the busiest days she could have up to 15 tables at a time.

I think it would really suck to work somewhere without such a team attitude. and who paid their staff in such a way that it became turf war. That was probably my favorite job ever.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#79 of 90 Old 01-15-2010, 03:06 PM
 
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Surely there are bigger things in life to knitpick. Off my soapbox now, flame away folks.
I have to agree. The inability of waitstaff to psychically divine my preferences regarding childrens' menus and cutlery is not on my list of stuff to worry about. I have a mouth, I can ask for what I want.
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#80 of 90 Old 01-15-2010, 04:26 PM
 
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Seriously, the only time a server has ever really bothered me was when my bff and I went for dinner, got our coffee, and the server didn't come back for 20 minutes to take our order. There was one other table occupied in the whole restaurant. She was chatting with another server across the room and wouldn't make eye contact. The rest of the service was the same. If it hadn't been our favourite restaurant, we'd have left. As it was, we left no tip and complained to management.

Other than that? If I want something done a certain way, I ask...politely. I rarely ask for anything in particular, other than my food and drink, except that my kids get their meals as soon as they're ready. But, I'm not going to expect a server to just read my mind, yk? They don't know that my kids are hell on wheels while waiting, or that they'll still finish at the same time as the rest of us, or that we're not trying to teach them to wait or something.

And, Haiti...just no words at all...

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#81 of 90 Old 01-15-2010, 04:55 PM
 
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Surely there are bigger things in life to knitpick. Off my soapbox now, flame away folks.
No flames here, but the above could be said about every single thread on MDC -- the forums would have tumbleweeds blowing through them if we were only allowed to discuss earth-shattering matters. And in all fairness to the OP, her thread title does say, "I know it's not a big deal, but..." I don't think she's planning to organize an angry mob to antagonize waitstaff for not bringing a menu to the table.

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#82 of 90 Old 01-16-2010, 02:36 PM
 
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I have had many jobs waiting tables. Before I got pregnant, I knew NOTHING about kids. All parents are different and the server can't be expected to know how you raise your children. Some parents feed their children off of their plate, some order from the kid's menu, some want kid's cups with water and no refills, some allow their children to have unlimited amounts of soda.

But- a server is there to SERVE the customer. They just need to be filled in on how you want things to be.
EXACTLY!!! The answers on this thread conflict, so how is your server supposed to know what you want if you don't open your mouth and ask?

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#83 of 90 Old 01-16-2010, 02:41 PM
 
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Do you ask for one?

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#84 of 90 Old 01-16-2010, 03:06 PM
 
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I was also a server and I want to be sure I have it all strait.. these are things parents complained about (I didn't have kids then)

1) they didn't offer a kids menu or crayons
2) they offered my suck and suck age a menu and crayons
3) they offered my child an adult menu
4) they didn't offer a menu
5) they offered a highchair/buster seat
6) they didn't offer a highchair/buster seat
7) they gave my child and ADULT fork (never mind that we only had one size)
8) they didn't bring the right utencil
9) they brought the kids meals earlier
10) they didn't bring the meals soon enough for the kids
11) they ignored my kids
12) they talked to the kids (I actually got in a lot of trouble for this one time when a kid about 4 was really upset. He's dropped something so I went and helped him pick it up and comforted him, apparently mom didn't like that)

do you see a theme forming here?? The server just can't win..

When I do go out I ask for a kids menu and crayons for both, a highchair for one, buster for the other, DD#1 usually orders herself, but not always, DD#2 is just now getting her own meals. I also bring smaller utensils and plastic plates for the girls. Less risk of them being broken.
Makes the servers job just a little easier, and knowing the crap they put up with its the least I could do.

I have had some excellent experiences. When DD#2 was small I was asked if I wanted a booth when they noticed I was having trouble BF her, I jumped on the chance as it was much more comfortable, although it was right by a window LOL. When DD#2 was smaller and only ate small amounts many places would give me veggies, shredded cheese, and mashed potato's free. they said it wasn't worth chargeing cause she really wasn't eating much and it made her, and me happy.


I don't miss waiting tables at all. What's with the assumption that servers don't view children as human?? Thats ridiculous. That server might be working to support children of their own, you never know.

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Update: Baby girl born Nov 19th!
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#85 of 90 Old 01-16-2010, 10:54 PM
 
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I don't mind telling the server what we need, in fact, I spent so much of my life having no idea what someone with kids would need that I just routinely assume that people don't know and need to be told, and that this is just normal.

What does vex me internally just a little is how lately I keep being asked "Just one?" or "Table for one?" when I walk in wearing my 15 month old daughter. I don't get upset, I just gesture to her and say, "Just the two of us!" but hello, she's strapped to my front, there's no way you didn't see her, and she counts, too!
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#86 of 90 Old 01-16-2010, 11:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SiobhanAoife View Post
I don't mind telling the server what we need, in fact, I spent so much of my life having no idea what someone with kids would need that I just routinely assume that people don't know and need to be told, and that this is just normal.

What does vex me internally just a little is how lately I keep being asked "Just one?" or "Table for one?" when I walk in wearing my 15 month old daughter. I don't get upset, I just gesture to her and say, "Just the two of us!" but hello, she's strapped to my front, there's no way you didn't see her, and she counts, too!
Maybe they think your just going to wear her?

Kimberly : momma to Karrigan Kayla : and wife of Kevin
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#87 of 90 Old 01-18-2010, 03:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by choli View Post
I have to agree. The inability of waitstaff to psychically divine my preferences regarding childrens' menus and cutlery is not on my list of stuff to worry about. I have a mouth, I can ask for what I want.
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#88 of 90 Old 01-18-2010, 11:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SiobhanAoife View Post
I don't mind telling the server what we need, in fact, I spent so much of my life having no idea what someone with kids would need that I just routinely assume that people don't know and need to be told, and that this is just normal.

What does vex me internally just a little is how lately I keep being asked "Just one?" or "Table for one?" when I walk in wearing my 15 month old daughter. I don't get upset, I just gesture to her and say, "Just the two of us!" but hello, she's strapped to my front, there's no way you didn't see her, and she counts, too!
I imagine they are simply verifying whether you only need one seat at the table. If you are wearing her when you walk in, it's within reason that you may prefer to continue to hold her. In that case, for their purposes of determining how many chairs/places at the table are needed, no she doesn't count.
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#89 of 90 Old 01-18-2010, 01:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Gillian28 View Post
I have had the opposite experience at restaurants! I often have waiters bringing my BABY a kids menu and crayons. He's almost one now but this has been going on for months! I feel like saying "All he is going to do is eat those crayons!" And he definitely doesn't need his own meal off the kids menu! And after they take our order they then ask if they can bring anything for him (and I can remember this happening once before he had even started solids!).

None of this bothers me of course, I just think it's funny
I had this experience last night! LOL They gave my 5 month old a kid menu and crayons. I let him have the folded menu until it was a wet mess.
They have been trying to give me a high chair for him since he was a month old. He still can't sit up enough to sit in one. lol

It may just be the kind of restaurants we go to, but my kids have never been left out in any way.

Leigh

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#90 of 90 Old 01-18-2010, 01:26 PM
 
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The whole array of issue that arise from parenting, embodied on posts on mdc, i consider to be of political, social and philsophical significance. This post however, is an exception is just how trivial it is.

So waiter doesnt give kiddo a menu? Just give him one yourself if your 3 yo genius can already read.
Maya

(who routinely gives her 4yo and 1yo menus for fun, but doesnt expect the waiter to do so)
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