My SIL, BooBoo, and I decided to take the kids out to dinner last night since her hubby was out of town and mine was working late. Apparently it was Geriatric Night at the Golden Corral. We did not get the memo. We were the youngest people there by a few decades . . . and possibly a couple World Wars.
Dear Old People,
I know it has been a long time, (and I do mean a LOOOOOOOONG time,) since you’ve had children this age, but please try to have a little empathy. This is not The Palm at 8:00 PM on a Saturday; it’s the Golden Corral right off the highway in Podunk, Virginia, and while I realize it’s a step up the Fancy Meter from Kids-Eat-Free night at the IHOP, let’s keep it all in perspective, shall we? It’s 5 PM on a Wednesday night. We’re just two mommies with six boys between us (the oldest and best-behaved in public was not with us, however,) trying to get through The Witching Hour without anyone complaining about what we’re making them eat. I feel there are a few points that should be made:
I am aware that the baby is throwing food on the floor, and I have every intention of picking it up. Eventually. Unless he pegs you in the forehead with a kidney bean, I could do without the stares and eye rolls, thank you.
Contrary to popular belief, the fact that he’s throwing food does NOT necessarily mean that he’s not hungry, though I certainly appreciate the fact that you, Complete Stranger, know how to parent my child better than I do.
We were here first. You rolled your oxygen tank over here and chose the table next to ours. Chose it. Willingly. Of your own volition. Lots of other tables available. The Golden Corral is one of those fancy establishments where you sit wherever you damn well please, so it’s not as if a host/hostess brought you here as if marching you to your execution.
I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you are hard-of-hearing and have no idea how loudly you are making derogatory comments regarding my children’s behavior, because only a rude person would speak so unkindly on purpose.
Might I suggest that when you see a mother with an infant and two other sons trying to balance a baby on one hip and two dinner plates filled with nutritious meal choices like macaroni and cheese, pizza, applesauce, and a brownie, that you assume she is doing her very best (and possibly that she is persweaty and close to a nervous breakdown right there in front of the hot bar.)
Yes, I know that Medium dropped his dessert on the floor and now there are gummy bear carcasses drowning in a sea of chocolate-vanilla swirled frozen non-dairy soft-serve. It was an accident. Sh*t happens.
Please don’t tell my hubby that the baby’s dinner consisted of oyster crackers and red jello. (Or that I ate three rolls. Three. I’m disgusted with myself.) I tried to feed him fruit and vegetables, but in the end I realized I paid for MY meal, and I should be allowed to eat some of it. If red dye #5 and cracker crumbs are what it takes for a few minutes of projectile-free dining, then so be it. He’ll get his fruit and veggies tomorrow, I promise.
Again, Perfect Stranger Who Knows How to Raise My Kids, it’s 5:00. No, it’s not the baby’s bed time. He is 13 months old and does not like to be confined to a high chair. He wants to explore, but I find the 1970’s carpet of a buffet-style restaurant frequented by truck drivers and families of ten to be an inappropriate play area for my child. He’s been eyeing that tube in your nose, however, so maybe he could play with that.
I have been to restaurants where the parents are oblivious to their kids’ behavior. I am not one of those parents. My children are not misbehaving, save for the occasional loud talking and anxiousness to get a new plate of wholesome goodness from the food bar. I’m doing my best . . . cut me some slack, will ya?