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Discipline Problems

There used to be a time when we would go out to eat and the restaurant would be completely child-free. More people must be becoming parents or something, because little children are present at nearly all of our dining-out experiences. I don't see the harm in bringing an older, well-behaved child out to dinner, it's just the parents who try to dine out with a 6-month old and all it's accoutrements. They lug in the stroller, which doesn't really fit anywhere. They may bring (or use&#41 a highchair, which may entail adjusting the layout of half the dining room to accommodate it. Worst of all, they bring the boxloads of colorful toys for the child to play with.

For some reason, parents are fond of bringing their kids not only to family-style restaurants (where they should be going&#41, but also to ethnic-type restaurants. We used to go to a sushi place that had a tatami room, the room where you take off your shoes and sit on the floor. They should have just called it the Romper Room, because, unfortunately for us, this was the room where they stuck all the parents with children in tow. Now, some of these kids looked to be in the four or five-year-old age range, but you can't tell me that a child who still brings toys to a restaurant is going to eat raw fish. We sat in there one night and were literally surrounded by children and children's toys. One little boy was rolling around all over the floor, kicking all the other diners in the process. Of course, the parents didn't notice…or pretended not to, anyway. Why? Why do parents bring their very loud and hyper children to a restaurant where I'm trying to have a nice, quiet, relaxing dinner after a crappy week of work? Why do we keep being interrupted by little Caitlin, who is allowed to run around freely and babble and stare at the people at every table? Some of the parents with tiny babies actually have to take turns eating while the other comforts the infant. That won't be me, I can assure you. No matter how stir crazy I ever get. Make mine delivery!  

Posted in Scowls.

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