Sunday, June 10, 2007

I'm gonna be the only one, but...

First and foremost: I GOT MY CHERRY PITTER!!!

Ok. I must talk about kids (specifically toddlers) in restaurants. I've already had this discussion with Ryan's birth group and I seemed to be a minority with my feelings, but I'm gonna share them anyway.

I happen to feel that most times, if you are taking a toddler to a restaurant its by choice. I must clarify that fast food does not count in this discussion. I mean a place that has servers, etc. So, you choose to take your child out. Fine by me. I just feel you owe the other customers some courtesy. If your child is having a meltdown you need to go outside...or even leave. I know....terrible of me. How could I? I'm a mom. I know what they are going through...EXACTLY MY POINT.

This happened to us a few weeks ago. I must say that when Ethan asked if I wanted to go out to dinner with his family and a cousin that was in town from Utah I said NO. That's right...NO. He didn't listen to me. He ignored the mommy which is always a terrible thing to do. What did I know that he didn't? Actually, he knew. The question is what do I pay attention to that he doesn't. Let's see: #1 Ryan had a crappy nap that day #2 Ryan was at grandma's that afternoon (while we were test driving cars) and she is more liberal with the snacks. She doesn't give bad snacks, just more than he would normally get at home. So, I knew he would not be hungry at his usualy 5:00 dinnertime. If a toddler is not gonna eat then what do they do? Throw a fit...no, fits plural. I knew this, but for some reason, I went along with it. THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.

It was a miserable experience. I had to take Ryan home as the food arrived. He ate a cheesestick in the bath and went to bed. He is a kid where you cannot mess with his schedule. I know this cuz I'm his mommy.

So, discussion ensued with some friends. They all told me I was screwing myself for later on when he is older and he won't know how to behave cuz we never take him to restaurants. My argument was that my sanity was too important right now. I get major anxiety with stuff like that. Why put myself through it? I worry about the other people sitting around us. It's not fair, even if they are parents. They probably wanted a night out and look who they get stuck sitting next to. A family with a screaming kid. Fun for them! They chose not to bring their kids. That actually happened to us today. We went out to lunch while Ryan hung out with Aunt Lisa and Grandma. We are two tables away from a screaming toddler. He had the same mannerisms as Ryan. Throwing the head back, shaking his head no, and then there was the roll on the ground fit. They took him outside for a while, he came back in, ate about three bites of something and it started again. Ethan can tune much of this out. MUST BE NICE. But for me, I really felt like I had Ryan sitting at the table with me. Then the woman told the other people at her table that she knew it was a bad idea to bring him out at this time of the day.

As she walked by us she apologized and said "i hope you weren't out today getting away from your own screaming kid." She thought that was funny. Well, it was true. Not that he had a bad day today, just anytime we take him to a restaurant its bad. And anytime we can get out alone we do it.

I probably sound terrible. For me, its all about choice. I choose not to take him because I don't want the stress. Maybe I am screwing myself for later, but I'll deal with that later I guess. I just care enough about the people around me. Now I know everyone has bad days....things happen. I just had to say this cuz I'm probably the only who thinks this way. There are people out there that want to take their kids with them everywhere. That is great for them. We on the other hand need some time to ourselves out of the house.

This happened to us when Ryan was around 8 months old too. My mom was visiting so we had a night out. We rarely got those before we moved here. We decided on BeniHana in Carlsbad. We got a table right away on a Saturday night...a table with 3 kids. Now, they were all great kids, though the youngest, probably 3 was scared and didn't want to sit by me. The mom was embarassed and told me all about her stranger anxiety. Fine. She was a bit whiny about the food, etc. Then the mom looked over at us and said she felt sorry for us having to sit with them on our night out alone. I did tell her we had a baby at home so it was fine. Not really fine...I guess I understood, but at the same time, wanted a kid free night all the same.

I mentioned earlier that I was gonna post about taking Ryan to McDonalds last week but something else happened. I believe it was MY LIST. But I did take him last Tuesday. He did great, though he didn't like his chicken. He ate french fries and cherries. We had a 45 min drive to get there so he was more than hungry which is a must. We sat by the door so he had people going in and out--always something to look at. Then we headed over to Trader Joes for our favorite things. He was great there too. So, baby steps. First fast food--then maybe we'll try a restaurant again. My mom joked that drive thru should have been our first try, LOL.

1 comment:

judy_cushing said...

It's all good, Brandi. Like I said before-do what you think is best. People will always judge you no matter what....I have taken a while to learn to just realize that is THEIR problem and those are THEIR issues. If you don't feel comfortable...wait a little while and try again.
Thinking of you...