Why is it that going out to eat can be so traumatic for me? If it's just me, the kids and my husband, no problems. I never have issues that I can't deal with. But, throw someone else and their child in the mix and all hell is probably going to break loose!
Not all kids, mind you, but certain ones. Why do I keep agreeing to go eat with them? And it's not the kids fault. It's the parents. (Note: If the adults you're dining with are disciplining your child more than you, you should probably pay more attention.) What makes you think anyone wants to continue the evening if your kid screams bloody murder because they can't hold the "buzzer" while we wait for our table? What makes you think that my idea of a perfect evening hasn't been ruined when I have to tell your kid, not once but three times, to put their ass in the seat and stop acting like their on an episode of Romper Room? What makes you think that I don't want to call it a night after bread and appetizers when I'm stuck sitting next to my kids and your child because you "don't mind if they sit over there"? Are you completely ignorant? Never mind...I should answer my own question.
My history with restaurants is mostly pleasant. I tend to pick them apart when I arrive. No one is safe - least of all, management. I will go through the operations with a fine tooth comb. I should be a health inspector/mystery shopper. I've been reduced to cleaning the bathroom in an Olive Garden before. Don't worry; I'm not embarrassed by it. If it had been up to par when I walked in, I wouldn't have had to do it. That's just my take. Yep, owning and managing my very own restaurant would make me as giddy as a school girl. Not only am I certain that I could do it, but I'm positive that I'd do it with skill, poise and professionalism. If nothing else, you could feel comfy about eating off the bathroom floor...if you wanted to. I base my standards on what I expect. But, I digress.
As for the company with which I have chosen to dine with recently, it may have been a mistake. I can no longer take the ridiculous behavior that comes with this particular human being's parents. They take every opportunity with others as a "break" from their child...a child that is starving for attention. It is this child that makes me realize how special child care providers really are. I always knew that particular profession wouldn't suit me...but never has it been more evident than when I'm exposed to this little ankle biter. Then there comes the awkward situation when the "Dad" talks about how sorry "Mom" is at the whole parenting thing and the only reason they aren't having anymore (Hallelujah!) is because he already feels like he has two kids with Mom and child. (While I totally agree with his statement, still awkward for the rest of us.)
Perhaps it's pity that makes me agree to this once in a blue moon. But, when I can't make it through dinner without downing several Blue Moons, I think it's time to reconsider present company.