How Does Your Familiy Handle Going Out To Eat? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am just curious what different people do.

My 4yo DS is very spirited...we avoid really crowded restaurants, and try to go to noisier places so that if he does start to get loud it isn't a big deal. We have him remain seated (this has always been a rule) and we will bring a couple toys or a puzzle. We also go to places where he can run around.

There is an Indian restaurant that does a lunch buffet, and we hit that place a lot. It is nice because we can get our food right away, but DH and I take turns getting food and DS remains seated for the most part. (we let him come with us to get food if there aren't lots of other people walking around)

I recently went out to lunch with a friend who has a 2 yo. She kind of let him do whatever he wanted, including jumping up and down in the vinyl booths. The manager came over and asked VERY nicely if we would please not allow our kids (hers was the only one, but he was being nice) to stand on the booths. He explained that they had just been recovered, and that toddler shoes very easily rip the vinyl. (it was an old fashioned diner with red sparkley booths!! Really cool!)

My friend was so offended...she looked at the guy like he had 3 heads and said "I can't get him to sit down! You will have to cancel our food because we are leaving" and we left. I was MORTIFIED by her behavior, and I really hope that manager didn't think that I was in agreement with her.

Then I had to listen to her complain about how ridiculous that was etc...
That they weren't "Child Friendly" (they had really nice boosters and high chairs) and that they were being rude. I guess to her "Child Friendly" means her kid can destroy the place?

I felt bad because they had to throw away the food that we had ordered about 10 minutes before.
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#2 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 12:53 PM
 
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I felt bad because they had to throw away the food that we had ordered about 10 minutes before.
Don't! They ate it. Oh, yes, I've worked in the food industry.

Firstly, I only go to independant Mexican, Nepalese, Italian, and Chinese resturants. People there LOVE children. They see them as the gifts that they are. Also, booths only. That one is written in stone for me. Bring things! Not necessarily a toy chest, but aside from the crayons and paper (often provided in nice establishments), you would be suprised how long a pocket full of legos can go. Also when they're old enough, play cards and dice, right there at the table.
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#3 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 12:55 PM
 
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Here is how it would go:

Manager:
Please don't let him stand on the booths [I will make up some lame excuse that is clearly not true] - - Um we just had them covered an a 20 pound baby jumping on them will clearly tear them to shreds.

Me(more likely DW): Jet, please take off your shoes. (to manager) There ya go, have a nice day.

If he pressed further, we would probably leave.
---------------------
My suspicion is he did not actually think the child could break the seat, but he thought he could/should/would say something to exert his authority on my child. It isn't really his fault, society has conditioned us to think that we MUST CONTROL our kids all the time. Arbitrary controll struggles are something I avoid with my children.

There is nothing better than short circuiting their lame excuse for trying to control the situation... The shoe removal says: "I don't believe you have a real reason to make this request so I will call your bluff."

And for the record, any restraunt or manager that has anti-family policies deserves to throw away food and lose business. (I am assuming a place with red sparkley booths is supposedly "family friendly"). Any manager worth his own spit knows any time you confront people you risk losing business, and no matter how sheepishly or polite you are when you are making a rude statement, it is still rude. His statement was "Control your child" not, "save our booth".
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#4 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 01:05 PM
 
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We go out to eat, as a family, to the same restaurant every Sunday.

It's an all you can Buffet restaurant (ever heard of Golden Corral?).

We go when DS is hungry. He does extremely well because we are pretty much eating about 5 minutes after we sit down.

At this Age, we will ONLY do Buffet-type restaurants.
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#5 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 01:24 PM
 
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Weeelll, I make my kids sit, because I don't enjoy eating with a jumping 2 year old with me, and frankly, I don't go out to eat with others who let their 2 years stand on chairs. Only because *I* dislike that atmosphere when trying to eat. I actually hate buffets, because I want to sit and talk, not take turns running for food. We do try to go to places that serve quickly, and we do often order an appetizer - I've been pregnant or lactating for a great % of our marriage, so I'm always as starved anyway. (Maybe we'll share and appetizer then share a meal.)

Personally, I think your friend was very rude to speak for you, and if it was me, I would have stayed an ate with my own kid.
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#6 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 01:35 PM
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I absolutely believe a toddler jumping could tear the vinyl on those shiny seats, so let's not cast aspersions on the manager, mmkay?

As it is, we have a very difficult time with our 2.5 year old, getting him to sit down. We ALWAYS request a booth because it's easier to get him to sit snuggled next to one of us than in his own chair or booster.

We do NOT allow him to behave like a maniac. Kids will be kids, but we need to teach him to be respectful of other people's space esp in a place like a restaurant. So the meal is mostly creative redirection for him

He is not allowed to get down and run around, not allowed to squirrel around under the table, he's not allowed to turn around and stare into the table behind or next to us, and he's not allowed to stand/jump up and down.

We have been going to restaurants with him since he was a baby and have always enforced basic courtesy rules, while being respectful of his needs as well. If it's clear he CAN'T stay still, one of us will take him outside to burn off some steam. Running around outside is acceptable. Running around inside is not.
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#7 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 02:08 PM
 
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If he was polite about it, I think she was out of line. He didn't ask her to leave. She overreacted.

And he may not have been worried about the seats, but about the restaurant's liability if that 2 year old fell and hit his head. Maybe the seats were merely a pretense. Then again, vinyl seats can split. They aren't designed to be jumped on!

But honestly, I don't let my kids jump on the seats at a restaurant. I don't let them stand. If they have that much energy, we go for a walk outside the restaurant while one of us eats, and then we switch. When we are at a table, my kids know they must sit on their bottoms or on their knees. They don't HAVE to sit at the table, but if they're on a chair or a bench, they must be on their bottom or knees. Period.

Shaggy Daddy: While I respect your point of view, the child wasn't just STANDING, he was also jumping up and down. That is considerably more dangerous and potentially harmful to the seats.

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#8 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 02:09 PM
 
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If he was polite about it, I think she was out of line. He didn't ask her to leave. She overreacted.

And he may not have been worried about the seats, but about the restaurant's liability if that 2 year old fell and hit his head. Maybe the seats were merely a pretense. Then again, vinyl seats can split. They aren't designed to be jumped on!

But honestly, I don't let my kids jump on the seats at a restaurant. I don't let them stand. If they have that much energy, we go for a walk outside the restaurant while one of us eats, and then we switch. When we are at a table, my kids know they must sit on their bottoms or on their knees. They don't HAVE to sit at the table, but if they're on a chair or a bench, they must be on their bottom or knees. Period.

Shaggy Daddy: While I respect your point of view, the child wasn't just STANDING, he was also jumping up and down. That is considerably more dangerous and potentially harmful to the seats.

Oh, and where is this place? Dh and I LOVE Indian food and are always looking for a good place in Portland. I'll patronize them, if they're close to us!

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#9 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 02:14 PM
 
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I agree. It is reasonable to expect a child not to jump on the seats. I think your friend over reacted.

As far as the general question with a younger one here's what I'd do. Before going to the restaurant talk about the expectations. 1. Bring along snack food that be consumed immediately if needed. 2. bring along books, little toys. Stuff they don't get everyday so you have some novelty factor. 3. If there is a wait take a walk after the food has been ordered before it arrives. - when our son was young we had an attraction everyplace we went - fish tank at the Japanese restaurant, etc. 4. Don't expect to linger over a meal the way you would if you didn't have a kid along.

Some planning can make a big difference and also I'd recognize that for some kids certain ages just aren't going to be too conducive to eating in a restaurant. And, at some point in your child's eating out life you may have to bail from a meal and that's okay.
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#10 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by 2bluefish View Post
Personally, I think your friend was very rude to speak for you, and if it was me, I would have stayed an ate with my own kid.
Yes!! I wish I could have but we were actually on vacation together and we were all in riding in her van at the time.
I felt like it was pretty rude that she just decided we were all leaving, but I am also pregnant and sometimes irrational things irritate me, so I try not to say to much these days...I sometimes realize later that I was being a nut!

I really wish I would have said something to her about it , though.


I am already getting more ideas for DS from all your replies. Why haven't I though of legos before?
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#11 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 02:41 PM
 
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It was very rude for her to speak for you and decide that everyone had to leave.

I also agree that the owner/manager of the place does have a right to ask that his newly recoverd seats are not used as a trampoline.

It's not about controlling a child to teach them to sit down, or redirect them to a new activity, take them outside - I'm a pretty laid back mamma (well, most of the time ) but let's face it, there's behavior for inside your own house and behavior for outside the home.

Now, if the guy was rude and asked that the two year old eat neatly and not make a mess, I'd think he was crazy. He just asked that the child not stand on the booth seat. Not an unreasonable request, IMO
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#12 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 02:55 PM
 
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...I am also pregnant and sometimes irrational things irritate me, so I try not to say to much these days...
Wait, wait, she made a pregnant woman get up and leave without eating? I'm sorry, I don't think I like your friend much

My DD (21 months) and I eat out virtaully every day (I admit rather sheepishly) so I hesitate to post of 'restauant' threads since it is so commonplace and part of our routine.

That said, what works for us is taking finger food and crayons or a mangadoodle for drawing. I personally don't do toys or let her play with anything on the table like sugar packets, napkins etc, but we do have stndard games we play like clapping 'mary mack' type games and simon-say-touch-your-ear...stuff like that. We don't get up at all from first sitting until we are done and leaving, but my DD seems to have a decent tolerance for sitting which obviously not all little ones do.
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#13 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 02:59 PM
 
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I dont let dd jump on the seats. First, it's dangerous. And second it is not respectful of other people's property. And third a maniac kid is not respecting other peoples right to have a somewhat pleasant dining experience. If she needs to jump, I simply tell her to jump on the floor. Or we go for a walk. I am always prepared with toys/books/coloring things. I do not expect my 2 yo to sit and 'behave' for an hour at a time. BUT as her parent it's my responsibility to keep her safe and teach her socially acceptable ways to act. I see no problem with a 2 yo jumping at all, just the time and place it is done, yk? I dont think the store manager was trying to be controlling at all. He was probably 1.Worried about liability-if this kid falls he could be sued (yes, people sue others for thier own lack of judgement) and 2.Worried about his other customers. It was a perfectly reasonable request. If someone comes to MY house and proceeds to jump on the furniture, I'd ask them to please stop as well. We've worked hard for what we have, and I dont want a 20 lb or 200 lb person ruining it.
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#14 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 03:12 PM
 
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Subbing so i can come back to this when I have more time.
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#15 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 04:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by easy_goer View Post
Wait, wait, she made a pregnant woman get up and leave without eating? I'm sorry, I don't think I like your friend much
No kidding! (With my low blood sugar issues, I'm the one on vacation who wants to know when we are eating and where and don't even think of deviating from the plan! ) Yeah, it stinks when you don't really have a choice in the matter. But I'm glad to see other GD moms don't think it is unreasonable to have a small child behave reasonably well at a restaurant.
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#16 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 04:30 PM
 
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We go to kid friendly places that have food that we know our children will eat. Then, we order the kid's food immediately and I'll walk around outside with the children for a few minutes. Then, I return to the table when I think that their food is there and cooled. The kids stay busy and we can relax and wait for our food. When our food arrives, we usually have kids who are wanting to climb under the table, etc, but we just deal with it then. We deal with it by allowing them to hang out under the table if it's sanitary. If they can't be under there (almost never is an issue) we have them color or something and order the check so that we can be ready to leave quickly. Just knowing that we can leave quickly because we have our check in hand helps us to relax.

But, lately, with 3 kids and the youngest not quite 2, we don't eat out.
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#17 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 04:44 PM
 
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When my DD was 2, I wouldn't have been able to make her sit down in the booth--and the manager specified sitting, not just no jumping--without physically restraining her and causing a loud tantrum. I also would have had no choice but cancel our order and leave.

I just don't get the "toddler shoes" thing either. I haven't met many 2 year olds with track cleats. I would be more concerned about adults with sharp things in their pockets--pocket knives, pens, wallet chains, cell phone antennas, etc.

As for the jumping, if it was heavy-duty, out-of-control jumping, I could maybe see how the manager might be concerned, but for normal 2 yo bouncing, I think the manager would probably be overreacting. A lot of people do have unreasonable expectations of toddlers and expect them to act like quiet little adults.
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#18 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 04:49 PM
 
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From your post it sounds like your friend may have overreacted.

When we go out to eat, we very clearly tell the kids our expectations of them. We ask the kids, "What do we do at the restaurant?" They chime in with their replies ("Eat food!" "Sit down!" "Be polite!" "Stay with mommy and daddy!") and we emphasize that the most important thing is that they stay with us...we have a couple escape artists. We do the same thing when we go to Mass or MW appointments or anywhere else, so the kids know what we expect of them. We try to keep it positive (rather than saying "no running away" we say "stay near Mommy and Daddy"). If they start getting really wild in the restaurant we'll quietly remind them, "don't forget, in a restaurant it's important to stay in your seat." If needed we will provide an explanation, like "the chairs aren't sturdy enough to support you when you stand, and you could fall" or whatever.

We also try to plan what we're going to order before we go in, if possible, and order food when the waitress takes our drink order. Sometimes we'll ask if they'll bringout the kids' food first, if it's ready before our's, and we often ask for side dishes of applesauce, fruit, or a veggie if the kids finish before us.

Oh, and we love buffets too. The kids think it's great that they're allowed to pick out whatever they want for their meal. We also let them choose their food on the menu at sit-down restaurants, if we're able.

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#19 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When my DD was 2, I wouldn't have been able to make her sit down in the booth--and the manager specified sitting, not just no jumping--without physically restraining her and causing a loud tantrum. I also would have had no choice but cancel our order and leave.

I just don't get the "toddler shoes" thing either. I haven't met many 2 year olds with track cleats. I would be more concerned about adults with sharp things in their pockets--pocket knives, pens, wallet chains, cell phone antennas, etc.

As for the jumping, if it was heavy-duty, out-of-control jumping, I could maybe see how the manager might be concerned, but for normal 2 yo bouncing, I think the manager would probably be overreacting. A lot of people do have unreasonable expectations of toddlers and expect them to act like quiet little adults.

The Manager said toddler shoes because I am sure that has been their experience (hence the fact that they had JUST had to recover the booths) I doubt that they have had adults standing on the seats. He was just trying to be nice. He really couldn't have been any nicer about it. Maybe it wasn't even vinyl, I am not sure what the seats were made from, but it looked kinda like vinyl but with a hard kind of finish on it that made it really shiny. It looked like it could split open very easily. And it did look brand new...no tears or holes or dull spots.

And the restaurant was empty, he didn't seem like he cared if the kids were acting like kids. They has been noisy and he didn't say anything about that. He just asked really really nicely if we wouldn't allow the kids to jump or stand on the booths.

My friend could have requested the food to go or could have taken her son outside to jump (like pp's have mentioned)
Instead, we all had to wait another hour to get food.

I think that some people really expect to have the red carpet rolled out for their children (and themselves) everywhere that they go. They really can't understand why it isn't okay for their kids to jump on other people's furniture, etc...
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#20 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 06:43 PM
 
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They really can't understand why it isn't okay for their kids to jump on other people's furniture, etc...
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#21 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 07:12 PM
 
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When we go out to eat we generally target places that are marketed as being family friendly, and try to go during off hours. And we NEVER EVER go during a time that they might be tired. We always talk about expectations before we get out of the car and try to phrase them in a blanketed (everyone, not just kids) and positive way (in other words I don't say "we are not allowed to stand up on our seats" I say "we're expected to sit down while we're in there" - no sense in sticking an idea into their head that they might not have come up with on their own ). I frequently ask for a booth, if they have one in a less busy spot, great. When we're around alot of people the kids want to talk, and inevitably there are some old people there that want to chat with us all through the meal, and I like my privacy and bieng able to focus on my kids. We always order drinks and an appetizer first so they don't have to wait so long while everyone around us is eating. And the biggest thing that we do is interact. I know it sounds stupid, but when I chat with them just as I would an adult with me, or point out funny/cool/weird stuff to them, it makes it alot easier.

Fwiw, I wouldn't let my dc jump on the seat. I would think it's just rude, and probably not too safe.
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#22 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 07:33 PM
 
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We go to fairly loud places, go early so that we get seated right away, bring snacks/toys, order right away, eat sort of quickly, then let the kids run around outside for a bit before getting back in the car.

It works great so far. We've gone out to eat every Friday night with another family for the past 5 years -- there are 3 kids total (soon to be 4!) and it's never been a problem. All 3 kids are fine with sitting and eating/talking for <30 minutes and then getting to play with each other.

I wouldn't let my son jump on a restaurant seat -- it's disrespectful of the owner's property, and it could disturb the people around us (especially if the booths are connected -- the person on the other side would probably not appreciate the bouncing). I would have been mortified too if my friend responded to a polite request the way the OP's did.

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#23 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 10:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ShaggyDaddy View Post
Here is how it would go:

Manager:
Please don't let him stand on the booths [I will make up some lame excuse that is clearly not true] - - Um we just had them covered an a 20 pound baby jumping on them will clearly tear them to shreds.

Me(more likely DW): Jet, please take off your shoes. (to manager) There ya go, have a nice day.

If he pressed further, we would probably leave.
---------------------
My suspicion is he did not actually think the child could break the seat, but he thought he could/should/would say something to exert his authority on my child. It isn't really his fault, society has conditioned us to think that we MUST CONTROL our kids all the time. Arbitrary controll struggles are something I avoid with my children.

There is nothing better than short circuiting their lame excuse for trying to control the situation... The shoe removal says: "I don't believe you have a real reason to make this request so I will call your bluff."

And for the record, any restraunt or manager that has anti-family policies deserves to throw away food and lose business. (I am assuming a place with red sparkley booths is supposedly "family friendly"). Any manager worth his own spit knows any time you confront people you risk losing business, and no matter how sheepishly or polite you are when you are making a rude statement, it is still rude. His statement was "Control your child" not, "save our booth".

I agree, and I like the suggestion about taking shoes off.
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Originally Posted by 2bluefish View Post
Weeelll, I make my kids sit, because I don't enjoy eating with a jumping 2 year old with me, and frankly, I don't go out to eat with others who let their 2 years stand on chairs. Only because *I* dislike that atmosphere when trying to eat. I actually hate buffets, because I want to sit and talk, not take turns running for food. We do try to go to places that serve quickly, and we do often order an appetizer - I've been pregnant or lactating for a great % of our marriage, so I'm always as starved anyway. (Maybe we'll share and appetizer then share a meal.)

Personally, I think your friend was very rude to speak for you, and if it was me, I would have stayed an ate with my own kid.
Well, I suppose if I yelled and slapped my almost 2 yr old every time she stood up, she might stay sitting down, but otherwise, not gonna happen. I don't let her run around the restaurant though. And whnever she starts to get out of control jumping (as in more than normal bouncing aro7und, I have her sit for a hwort time, or I redirect her. BUt sitting thru the whole meal doens not happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennisee View Post
When my DD was 2, I wouldn't have been able to make her sit down in the booth--and the manager specified sitting, not just no jumping--without physically restraining her and causing a loud tantrum. I also would have had no choice but cancel our order and leave.

I just don't get the "toddler shoes" thing either. I haven't met many 2 year olds with track cleats. I would be more concerned about adults with sharp things in their pockets--pocket knives, pens, wallet chains, cell phone antennas, etc.

As for the jumping, if it was heavy-duty, out-of-control jumping, I could maybe see how the manager might be concerned, but for normal 2 yo bouncing, I think the manager would probably be overreacting. A lot of people do have unreasonable expectations of toddlers and expect them to act like quiet little adults.
This. I could take her shoes ooff, if that was an issue . (I've never encountered a booth that was covered in any material easy to tear).

I get a booth whenever I can.

The last time we went out, we sat in a booth. Took turns getting food from the smorg. She ate, and also stood up & crawled on me. Tried to get out of the booth. No luck, so crawled under the table to go see Grandma, and try her luck there. Couldn't get out that way so back to me.

She wasn't bothering anyone else, or doing any damage to restaurant property. She also wasn't doing anything dangerous.

So yeah, I'd have been choked if the manager complained. She's 2 for crying out loud. Normal 2 yr olds don't sit quietly with their hands in their lap for any length of time.

She wasn't running wild, or causing any disturbance. I dont' blame her for wriggling AT. ALL. For one thing, there were no boosters, so she couldt sit comfortably, and she hasn't gotten the hang of kneeling yet. (I think she finds it uncomfortable. I do, so I can see why). There were highchairs, but she doesn't use a highchair anymore.
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#24 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 11:38 PM
 
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30 minute meals?!

We do 90 minutes at least.
Home or out.

How do you digest?:
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#25 of 77 Old 06-07-2007, 11:54 PM
 
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I agree with the PP that there would be no way I could get my DD to quit jumping without a tantrum. We've pretty much given up on any restaurant that doesn't have some nice outlet for her energy (fountain to splash in, patio to run around on, etc). I don't think it was at all unjustified for your friend to cancel her order. She knows her child best, and assuming things about her child's behavior is wrong on anyone's part. She shouldn't have canceled your order, I don't think.
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#26 of 77 Old 06-08-2007, 12:11 AM
 
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It sounds like some people whose kids need to bounce and run throughout dinner accept that they're not old enough to sit through dinners out and just don't go or only go to extremely family-friendly places, and other people whose kids need to bounce and run throughout dinner think that everyone else in the restaurant should just have to put up with it because that's what kids do.

I guess I just don't agree -- I consider other people's enjoyment when I'm out, not *just* my kid's need to explore. Yes, I let him do plenty of exploring in other situations, and I certainly don't expect 2-year-olds to sit with their hands in their lap, but, as George Costanza said, "We live in a society, people!" If I was in a booth and the kid directly behind me was bouncing excessively (thereby bouncing my seat too) I'd be annoyed, and if the parents acted like I should just put up with it because they wanted to honor their child's desire to bounce at that exact moment, I'd be doubly annoyed.

And to me it doesn't matter whether the kid's shoes could or couldn't actually harm the booth's cover -- the point is that that's not a respectful way to treat furniture -- I really don't see the big oppression in having a "seats aren't for standing" rule.

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#27 of 77 Old 06-08-2007, 12:26 AM
 
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I do think your friend over-reacted...as to how our family deals...DS#2 brings his backpack full of things to do...my boob generally pacifies DD () and DS#1 is pretty much self-sufficient at restaurants.

On the rare occasion that one of our kids are just willfully disobeying and causing all kinds of hell (like freaking out, screaming, yelling NO or whatever) after attempting distraction, hugs, jumping jacks outside or whatever, we let them know that the consequences of their behavior will be removal to the car. If they continue, the consequence is that DP or I will sit with them in the car while the rest of the family continues their meal inside. I can only think of 2x we've had to do this....to our kids, it's the WORST THING EVER to know their other family members are doing something that they cannot!

That said, we are also a family who doesn't allow excessive jumping in restaurants, crawling under table, etc. But then again, DS#2 wants to be JUST LIKE his big brother so he generally imitates him at meals so we haven't really had those issues since DS#1 was really little..thank goodness!
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#28 of 77 Old 06-08-2007, 02:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by limabean View Post
It sounds like some people whose kids need to bounce and run throughout dinner accept that they're not old enough to sit through dinners out and just don't go or only go to extremely family-friendly places, and other people whose kids need to bounce and run throughout dinner think that everyone else in the restaurant should just have to put up with it because that's what kids do.

I guess I just don't agree -- I consider other people's enjoyment when I'm out, not *just* my kid's need to explore. Yes, I let him do plenty of exploring in other situations, and I certainly don't expect 2-year-olds to sit with their hands in their lap, but, as George Costanza said, "We live in a society, people!" If I was in a booth and the kid directly behind me was bouncing excessively (thereby bouncing my seat too) I'd be annoyed, and if the parents acted like I should just put up with it because they wanted to honor their child's desire to bounce at that exact moment, I'd be doubly annoyed.

And to me it doesn't matter whether the kid's shoes could or couldn't actually harm the booth's cover -- the point is that that's not a respectful way to treat furniture -- I really don't see the big oppression in having a "seats aren't for standing" rule.

Since I mentioned bouncing, I assume this was directed at me. My child was NOT bouncing enough that the people itn the next booth would be bothered. There's no way she wouldn't have had her feet on the booth at some point, as there was no booster seat. And before you try to tell me it wasn't meant for children to be there, they DID have highchairs.

And I flat out disagree about it just being rude to stand on restaurant furniture. Now she wasn't standing much. She'd stand up tp change position, I'd pull her back to sitting or kneeling or on my lap, but I couldn't always stop her from standing.

Mostly she would crawl off my side of the both, go under the table to Grandma, crawl up & sit there, (stand up to turn arond to sit down) then crawl back over to me, up beside me, stand up & turn around, and U"d usually sit her down gain for a few minutes.

The only people this could possibly have bothered were my parents and I, and we were fine with it, so it's really nobody's business.

I have never personally seen furniture in ANY restaurant that a toddler would damage climbing on. Not saying it doesn't exist, but I've certainly never seen it.


Luckily, the staff weren't anti-children, they were actually really nice. And I picked up as much as I could of food my daughter dropped, and left a big tip, like I always do. (even though it was smorg)

As to the op, if management couldn't deal with my child standing up at all, then I'd have to leave. Either she's gonna wriggle & bounce some, or she's gonna scream & cry the whole time. So it's obviously not the restaurant for me to be in, so yes, I'd leave.
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#29 of 77 Old 06-08-2007, 03:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by au lait View Post
30 minute meals?!

We do 90 minutes at least.
Home or out.

How do you digest?:
*burp*

Who stole my signature!
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#30 of 77 Old 06-08-2007, 03:49 AM
 
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Interesting thread. I have a 2 y/o that is difficult to take to restaurants too. Like a lot of PPs, I also choose kid-friendly and buffet-style restaurants and bring tons of toys/distractions. Still, that generally doesn't buy me enough time to eat a full meal. I have to give her a lot of lee-way or face a major disturbance that would result in our leaving prematuring. While I wouldn't let her do any all-out jumping on a booth, I do let her stand (no shoes - more out of concern for getting booth seat dirty than anything else). I don't let her leave the area of our table, but I do let her crawl under it. I'm not sure how that could really disturb anyone but our own party. I also let her stack the little jam containers and such on the table. Again, I've never considered this disrespectful to others. If she starts to cry or complain loudly about anything and I can't reign it in within about 20 seconds, I take her outside until I can settle her.

I try to pick up as much as possible after DD, but there's inevitably going to still be more mess than I'd like to leave for the waitress. So, like another pp, I also tip well.

When I find some time, I think I might start another thread just asking what other people would consider disruptive or disrepectful behaviour from children in other public places. Because I sometimes wonder if I am walking a fine line in some public establishments, like stores, and wish I could step back and see it from another point of view.
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