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First of all, I'm a big believer that babies shouldn't be shut out of "the real world" - I hate how a lot of people look at babies as if they're a pariah if they're out and about, even if they're being quiet and cute.

Anyway.

I was out with my mother and DS for lunch. It wasn't a super-fancy restaurant but it wasn't a chain either, and we went on a weekday for lunch and sat on the patio. As soon as we get into the restaurant, we're already getting "looks" from fellow patrons. Like they're just waiting for him to start screaming or something. But after we've been sitting there for a while, I guess they forgot about him, UNTIL we got our food.

DS always gets to eat a few bites off my plate, because otherwise he really does start whining! This day I gave him a piece of bread to gum, some potato wedges, some vegetables from my mom's salad... stuff that wasn't too messy. (He's a big grabber and would have been stealing stuff off my plate otherwise.) So he's happily gumming away on his food. He's not making a mess or anything, nor choking, etc., but pretty soon we start hearing these passive aggressive comments from the other tables about how "babies shouldn't be allowed to eat grown-up food" and "what are they thinking" and the like. It was just really strange. Why do people care so much what's going on at another table?? He was enjoying himself, being well-behaved... not making any noise... what the heck?

The only time he even got close to being obnoxious (I thought it was funny actually) when dessert came and my mom gave him some whipped cream (which he loves) and instead of politely waiting for the next bite he literally dove face-first into the rest of the whipped cream... that's when we decided to call it a day and I took him to the car to clean up... but overall he was as good as gold. People should mind their own business... grr.

ETA: The only thing I can think of is that people wouldn't approve of feeding restaurant food to a baby because you don't know what ingredients go into it... but DS has never had anything close to resembling a bad reaction to food, and he's already got some of the stuff that are considered no-no's for under ones - whipped cream (dairy) being one, citrus, tomatoes, eggs... he never gets more than a taste and he doesn't have ANY problems digestive or otherwise, so I'm really sort of casual about that.
 

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It's just not what people expect. What they expect to see is you spoon feeding him out of a jar. I often have people staring at my youngest as she eats and I'm sure there have been comments made, but I tune them out. She's been eating just regular table food since 6 months. She simply didn't like purrees. Neither of my kids did. I know my FIL will watch her intently as she eats and make incredulous comments all the time. But babies on that side of the family are spoon fed well past the walking stage.


Edited to add: Everyone also lives in fear of babies choking. So I'm sure they expected you to have to jump up and do the Heimlich at any moment.
 

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I got the same reaction 3 years ago with my first....

She had grabbed my pickle off my plate and started eating it (got her first teeth at 4 months..2 bottom...and then at the time of this, 6 months, she had 4 top teeth) like a bunny would and smiling the entire time....

2 women behind my friend started muttering about it and my friend mentioned it and so I waved and smiled at them....

PP is right....ppl expect you to have jarred food, tiny spoons and a big mess when they see children out eating with parents...It's ALL I saw when I was a server and the mess would drive me crazy....

Alot of children these days are spoon fed late late into their childhood (I had an AP friendly in home daycare until a month or so ago...when I went on maternity leave) and cared for a few children 18mo-2.5yo that were still spoon fed those meals and such and it was hard when I saw them staring at the food for the other children but that's another thread in itself.....

I lucked out with a child who was fantastic when we went out....didin't wanna run up and down the isles, stays in her seat, no tantrums....THAT'S what ppl are used to seeing.....and don't know what to think when they see otherwise.

I think bc I was so casual with letting her eat off my plate (nothing huge...) is the reason she likes food so much today and isn't so picky.....she got the full taste of veggies and such and therefore, there are only 2 things that I know of she WON'T eat........
 

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Eh, ignore them. Though I must say that I find at least the staff at more ethnic restaurants to be more friendly about babies. Here when dd was a tiny one, mexican restaurants were the best. Everyone would ooo and aaaahhh and everything she did was wonderful.



-Angela
 

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We brought our DD to restaurants since forever. Nowadays, she insists on being in the booth with us (we take her shoes off if she has any on for some reason), and she happily plays with the crayons, eats some bread, looks at the menu, etc. She eats right off of our plate (and always had). Does this mean she might get "less than ideal" food sometimes? Uh-huh. If we go out for wings and fries, well, she eats that. Usually we try to get something fairly healthy to share with her, but, hey, if we want fries, she's getting them, too, probably. Is it messy? Well, yeah, she's 14 mos old. But we clean up the mess when we're done. If she gets loud or starts throwing things (which has happened all of twice so far), one of us takes her outside while the other gets food packed and paid for.

If a baby/child is behaving, or, if not behaving, the parents take the child outside to calm down, I don't see a problem with it...how is the mere presence of a child spoiling someone's meal?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Eh, ignore them. Though I must say that I find at least the staff at more ethnic restaurants to be more friendly about babies. Here when dd was a tiny one, mexican restaurants were the best. Everyone would ooo and aaaahhh and everything she did was wonderful.



-Angela
So true. Our favourite Thai restaurant just closed after many years because the owners were ready for retirement. But she'd always bring out an extra side of lightly steamed vegtables for the kids, and would offer to hold and walk and sing to the baby so we could enjoy some of our meal. Now THAT was good service!!

OP, do you have a small baby by any chance? Maybe seeing a little 6 month old eating chunks of bread seemed off to them.
 

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We love our local Mexican restaurant, too. We get extra refried beans just for him(cause the boy loooooooooves beans, any way, any day). And imagine the looks we get when we dip his food into the hot sauce (cause, well, he likes it
).
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
We love our local Mexican restaurant, too. We get extra refried beans just for him(cause the boy loooooooooves beans, any way, any day). And imagine the looks we get when we dip his food into the hot sauce (cause, well, he likes it
).


Dd loved refried beans too as a baby. Though she really liked them better if you mixed in some green sauce.



-Angela
 

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Oh totally. The boys' favourite restaurant in Mexican food. And they go crazy over the fresh salsa.
 

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Originally Posted by SublimeBirthGirl View Post
Eh, who cares. There are nosy idiots everywhere.
Amen!!

Side note to ethnic restaurants.

We ( all 6 of us) went to a Chinese restaurant that we like. Half way through the meal my oldest :puke: all over the place for an unknown reason. The staff was great, wanting to know if she was OK, wanting to help clean up which I didn't want. I mean come one how wants to clean up somebodies else's :puke? They where great.
 

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Ugh, I'm sorry they subjected you to those comments when you were trying to enjoy your meal!!! What do they know? Nothin'!!!

It's so true-- our local Chinese joint is great for babies-- I took myself there for my birthday lunch and they fawned over her (I think I was the only person eating at 2pm too
newborn naps!)
 

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I hate passive aggressive comments in any situation. Thoes whispers just loud enough to make sure you hear them
: . I just cant say nothing back to them.

Though out of meny bad experiences at restaurants we had a suprisingly good one at a chain restaurant couple weeks ago. Me, dp, and ds came in they took us to a very quite room with only very old couples sitting in it, none of them talking. We both were expecting the worse since ds likes to "talk" alot, but as each couple left they came up to us and commented on what a cute baby we had and how lucky we were. We were so shocked that we didnt get the regular ewwww evil people bringing their baby to our restaurant comments.
 

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that is so odd - i have never gotten any reactions like that....hrm

we go out quite often and amelia eats a little of just about everything - perhaps she has always looked older because she has a ton of hair

i wouldnt let it bother me if i were u!
 

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Kudos for having your baby on table food! I did use the purees for a little while, but my DD was so ravenous, those little jars never satisfied her! I am sort of a paranoid freak about choking, but I know that that's my issue. I don't project it onto other parents.
 

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In my family, there are 2 1yo girls, 2 4yo girls and a 10 yo boy. We would joke about how quickly we would clear an area of everyone when we went out to eat for special occasions. People are ridiculous and feel the need to run their mouths way too much!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Eh, ignore them. Though I must say that I find at least the staff at more ethnic restaurants to be more friendly about babies. Here when dd was a tiny one, mexican restaurants were the best. Everyone would ooo and aaaahhh and everything she did was wonderful.



-Angela
I second that. We took dd to a Mexican restaurant in San Diego on a trip and the entire staff, including mariachis, loved watching her eat peas and carrots from my Spanish rice. The mariachi band even serenaded her, which she loved.

ETA: There's a really fancy restaurant in Sacramento called Chantarelle where the owner actually insisted on letting my baby and my sister's baby (also 9 mos, but 6 at the time) crawl around on the floor in a big mostly empty room they had us in. Totally awesome.
 

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We were in an Italian restaurant in Billings, MO and DH hung DD in the Jolly Jumper from the doorway of our little nook. She was a hit. She's not eating solids yet though so I'm a little off topic!


And another
for ethnic restaurants, the sushi place we go to with all the kids is GREAT and they have always been accepting of our kids and have made only positive comments about the baby, including breastfeeding in the restaurant (and taking up an extra booth to do so).
 

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I'm sorry that happend. We have been lucky overall. We have always taken our kids with us out to eat with no problems. Although, now with three littles we sometimes get looks/whispers while being seated or leaving.
 

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I remember getting a few odd looks when dd was about 8 months old and I fed her rice and guacamole at a Chipotle. It's kind of funny to watch people react to feeding non-pureed stuff. My mom's whole side of the family was awestruck when I emailed a pic around 7 months of her eating a big hunk of steamed broccoli.
 
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