I have no problem asking to move to a different booth in circumstances like that - have done it more than once. The wait staff have always been accommodating. I don't even bother talking to the parent(s) at all. I've also asked to be seated in a different table if they're steering us towards one next to someone with kids that age when we walk in.
On the flip side, I always compliment parents & kids for good behavior nearby when we leave. Sad to say, that's not as often as it should be.
People who take there kids places, especially restaurants...whether fast-food or not...and let them run/jump around, disturb others, etc DRIVE ME NUTS!!!!
My kids are 7 and 9, if we go out they are expected to sit quietly and not make a scene, or a mess.
I work at a Subway and we have a few people that come in fairly regularly and when we see them coming we all cringe. They let their kids climb on the seats, make a huge mess with their food, put their dirty hands all over the windows, disrupt other customers and then when they leave they just leave all their garbage all over the place.
When I was young (and I'm only in my early thirties) I would have had HELL to pay if I pulled half the crap kids today pull and get away with!
That is nasty that you had that kid coughing and sneezing all over your food! Gross!
I, too, am not a kid-person. A few years ago, a group of us equine photographers got together for lunch. One had a 2/3 yr old, and her husband, a farrier, had a couple customers that afternoon, so she told us she wouldn't be able to come unless she could bring her daughter. We said "fine" - some of us more enthusiastically than others (count me in the not-so-much group). Welll...we met at a small pizza place, had a round table in the window. Stacie had brought a few toys for Kaileigh, who is the MOST DARLING CHILD in the universe by the way - and it was a delightful 3 hours of visiting. Yes, 3 hours. The next year, Stacie gave us the same option - only this one was her infant son. We said, "bring him". Same story - different year.
Stacie & Brian Lynch (who raise top-drawer Percherons, by the way) should give parenting lessons. They'd be zillionaires!
If a hostess walks toward a table near one with kids (and there are other tables in a different area), I will request that we sit in the other - non-kid - area.
And if we happen to get 'stuck' near kids who turn out to be well-behaved, I ALWAYS make a point to go over and thank the parents for the terrific job they're doing - and thank the children, too, for being so good. Yes, I have had a lot of astonished reactions - and I tell them that I think it's important for them to be thanked and for their children to realize that mommy and daddy are not just being picky and difficult, but that manners really do matter to others.
I used to hostess at a very nice private country club. One day mid week we had a large 8 top table. There were 3 children as part of the group and a newborn baby in a carrier.
The parents let the kids run all over the restaurant. They would grab handfuls of the after dinner mints and throw them at each other. They scribbled on the table. Threw food on the floor, got food all over the fabric chairs (spaghetti of course). We had to have two of the chairs professionally cleaned.
Thankfully because it was a Tues at around 5:30 pm there were no other members there.
I did eventually feel bad for the kids. The parents never said anything to the kids about stop running, sit down, behave yourselves, ect... But when on of the kids bumped and knocked over the big heavy marble wine bottle chiller into the the baby's carrier then they yelled at the kids. And it was over the top screaming and threatening. The baby was being held by somebody but would have been seriously injured if she had been in the carrier.
At that point it was not the kids fault. They obviously had not been previously taught this was unacceptable behavior. If the parents had kept them in check earlier it wouldn't have ever become an issue. But they let them run around like a bunch of wild primates and then got overly mad when the inevetable happened- somebody gets hurt or something gets broken.
Of course, because they were members we couldn't do or say anything to them. At a country club all members are your boss. If another member had complained we might have been able to do something. My food & beverage manager refused to come down from his office to deal with it because he was a coward.
Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)
ha thanks I'm conflict avoidant in general so i always feel bad if I get into it with someone… but he just pushed my buttons LOL
I think we also felt unsupported by the restaurant, because i'm hearing him talk to the waitress and she's apologizing to him that he has to leave… umm? am I crazy??? I was ready to never go back there again, until the owner came over after we moved.
Well someone somewhere has to stand up and be an adult, solving the problem peaceably. If you don't like conflict, why not ask your waitress to move you somewhere else? Or do you not like conflict, do like to see your husband threaten to do that for you, and also want something to be mad about (with the restaurant).
So long as you and the other guy's kids were not in proximity, the problem would have been solved. Why not be the person who brings the solution?
wow, um I'm not mad at the restaurant, nor do I want my husband involved, AT ALL. I suppose next time this happens I could ask the waitress or better yet ask to speak to the manager. I was trying to give him an opportunity to change the behavior before making a scene, picking up all our food, drinks etc and shuffling along to another table.
So this weekend, we went to lunch at a local pizza place. Myself, my husband and my two kids, 11 yrs old. My husband is the type who gets very annoyed when kids are misbehaved at restaurants, banging on the booth seats etc. I am normally much more tolerant.
So we sit down, and shortly afterwards, a father, alone with three boys under 5 sits down behind me in the next booth. His two youngest kids, probably 2 and 3? I didn't get a good look and am bad at kids ages, sit right behind me, he sits across from them.
Immediately the kids begin walking all over the booth, jumping on the seat and generally making a disturbance. I hear the dad talk to them about it, albeit meekly, but I got the sense he was trying at least so I try to ignore it.
Then the youngest kid, who is standing on the booth bench, decides he needs to interact with us, leaning over the booth towards me and my daughter, coughing and sneezing all over us and our food. I don't find out of control young children' belonging to stranger amusing or cute… so my husband sensing my displeasure, said "sir can you please help?" meaning help with the fact that his child is bothering me. My daughter is literally covering her food and trying to eat while being coughed on.
This is met with no answer whatsoever. We continue eating… then I overhear him telling the waitress that he wants his pizza to go because he doesn't "want to deal with them". I assumed he meant the kids LOL… but apparently he meant US. And she kept saying, oh we can move you, no no, i just want to get out of here. But he is still waiting for his pizza so he is still sitting there with his kid in my personal space.
Then I hear him telling his kids that he is going home, and they said, but we just got here…. and he said and I quote, "these RUDE people do not like you, they do not think you are cute, and I don't want to be anywhere near them". So at this point, I'm furious.. and I turn around and say, "it has nothing to do with being cute or not, just being rude, I don't' want your kid coughing all over my food. And I said, hey I get it, I have kids, as you can see but this is just rude"
At this point, we get up and move to a booth across the restaurant.
My husband was ready to come to blows with this guy LOL…
SO, am I wrong and I'm supposed to tolerate every kid who wants to be in personal space or was HE rude? I confess, I am not a kid person, not the one who will ooh and ah over babies in general, much less those belonging to complete strangers clearly spreading their germs on my food.
Or, how would you have handled this?
Afterwards, the owner did come over and apologized, said he had no idea what was going on until it got out of control.
No, you don't have to like their kids or tolerate their rudeness. The reason people have become like this is because people just sit there and let it happen without saying or doing anything. I would not have been anywhere near as polite...but then, usually when I go into a restaurant and see people sitting with kids, especially small ones, I make a point to tell the host/hostess that I do NOT want to be seated by children, and they are more than glad to comply.
The last time I went to one sit-down fast food joint I used to frequent, someone had a kid literally WALKING ON THEIR TABLE. With their own food on it! Playing with and swinging the lamp over their table! What the hell is that?! My parents would have slapped me so hard my ancestors would have felt it if I had behaved like that in public!
I've always made my son behave in restaurants and was often surprised to get compliments on his behavior. It's too bad good behavior is not the norm.
My best story was when my son was about 5 years old and we went to a restaurant. A mother with a 3 or 4 year old sat in the next booth and the kid was standing on the booth the whole time, even while eating. My son, loud enough for the mother to hear, kept saying things like "why is she standing up on her seat?" "her mother should make her sit down". It was great, because it was everything I wanted to say but didn't have to! Unfortunately, the mother did nothing about it.
One time I did say something to a family whose kid was staring at us while we were trying to eat. They made the kid turn around and sit down, but were very irritated with me for saying something.
I probably would have done something a lot less polite.
I'm not that old (20s) but my grandma babysat me from the time I was a baby and we always went to restaurants just her and I. The point was to teach me how to behave in public. Talking and colouring the picture on the kids placemat was what I did, but there was none of this getting up out of your seat stuff. If I didn't behave we went home, which to me was the worst punishment.
Typically, I'm not too worried about germs and bugs and stuff. But this winter, thanks to surgery back in August and my body putting so much work and effort into healing, my immune system is crap and I am picking up every little bug that trots my way. I get cranky when ADULTS cough near me. So, yeah, I totally see not wanting some little germy kids hanging over the booth, over my shoulder and coughing and sniffling RIGHT THERE.
I would have had my ass beat if I'd stood up and turned around in the booth at a restaurant....ah, those were the days.
I have asked to be moved or not seated near children in restaurants. I think there is nothing wrong with that, even if you have children. You go out to eat and spend time with your family, not being harassed by unruly little pathogen bags. If he feels put out, maybe he'll think twice before taking his little wild apes out and letting them run amuck.
I just read a story about the head chef at Alinea in Chicago (an VERY high end, Michellin rated restaurant) pondering, on Twitter, if he should ban kids from his restaurant after parents brought their screaming 8 month old with them. Needless to say, some parents are up in arms about him even considering it (even though this place is a $200+ a plate type of joint). I can't even imagine thinking bringing ANY kid there, let alone a cranky 8 month old.
I say all of this with the disclaimer that I am not the world's most child friendly person. I do like some kids, but they are a group that have to earn my appreciation and don't just get it because they're "cute."