Saturday, 28 February 2015

Family meal out (Boast alert!)

I  am not usually someone who boasts about their children. I don't think telling a child they are constantly fantastic and the world's best is healthy. My girls can be regular horrors sometimes and I will be the first to admit that. But.... let me tell you a tale of our family lunch today at the pub.

It started off on a bit of a downer, a 25 minute wait for a table but the waiter gave the girls paper and crayons to appease them. They drew pictures, chatted to bar staff and played on mummy's phone really nicely the whole time. So already we were doing well, bored children do not mix well with pub meals.
 We were sat in the family section next to several other family's.  The ones directly behind us had been seated about five minutes before and were deciding their order. There was two boys about 15 
and 10-12, and their parents. The youngest boy was loud and rude. Declaring the entire menu "shit" and demanding to go elsewhere to eat.

We ordered our food quickly (having chosen whilst waiting) and whisked the girls to the salad cart before they picked up to many of his choice phrases and language. 
The girls choose a nice selection each of salady things and a bread roll with butter. They sat at the table beautifully, eating with knife and fork (and ketchup. But you get away with ketchup on salad when your four lol). They thanked the waiter when he passed them their drinks without prompting, DD didn't like something she'd picked and just pushed it to the side of the bowl and said she'd just leave it there. 

When our meals came they ate them nicely, asked politely to be passed yet more ketchup etc. Happily swapped some of their dinners so we could all try everyone's food. DD is a slow eater who likes to rest part way through a big meal and she played on my phone quietly while we carried on. After about ten minutes she continued eating almost clearing everything.
At pudding there was more pleases and thank yous to the staff, ice creams eaten nicely (if messily! But pubs insist on serving it in towering glass vase type dishes). They ate until they were full and politely pushed their remainder away. 
The only time a loud noise came from our table was when the ketchup bottle made an unfortunate noise (you know the one) and the girls giggled. 
They were impeccable, and a delight to eat with, other tables commented on how well behaved they were and that our children were a credit to us. I was on cloud 9!

The other table? Screamed, shouted, swore, argued with each other and the staff. The youngest boy had something he didn't like the taste off and spat it on the floor, followed by the contents of his salad bowl. The server had food snatched from their hands and told how slow and useless they were, how bad the food was etc. 
The two boys would randomly leave the table throughout the whole meal in huffs and storm outside until one of the parents retrieved them. 
During desert the youngest son actually struck his poor mother in face over something (I was trying not to notice them and keep the girls distracted, DD naturally found them fascinating!)
They paid and left about 15 minutes before anyone else in a hail of "too effing expensive" and  "never taking you out again". 

The entire section breathed a sigh of relief as they departed. Probably the staff to, who had to clear a table full of half chewed piles of food (youngest son again)

Now I don't know their story, the son may have had a behaviour problem etc or something that would explain some things.....but I  do know that we were so proud of our girls we took them to Asda on the way home and let them pick a treat each as a reward for their good behaviour.
DD commented a few times in the car that "you don't hit people do you mummy?" and "we were very good girls mummy".  She had obviously studied them somewhat, but had known by her own moral compass that you shouldn't copy their example. 

I'm so proud of them both. Today I feel like a good parent, that I am raising my girls right and making a mental note to remember this day forever as evidence for days when I don't feel so confident.

X x X


  1. Well done, Mum and Dad!

    It's all down to how you raise them. First time, mine acted up in MacDonalds (I know, a classy place), I simply walked them to the car and their food was left on the table. They never acted up again in a restaurant.

    Now, my 24 yo son comments on peoples childrens behaviour, he said he remembers well leaving that cheeseburger happy meal on the table!

  2. I am proud of them also. Bad language is getting to be very common in some people and it is NOT attractive. Also hitting a parent is a no, no also!!

  3. People forget, if you don't train your children how to behave at home, to sit yo the table, to speak politely and so on, then they won't do it out and about either. You've done such a good job with those children xx

  4. Well done - to you too for your patient parenting, and and to your girls for their behaviour. And your last sentence is SO wise - we ALL have days when we feel we have not been the best mother we'd have like to have been - but NOBODY is perfect at this, and sounds like you're doing a great job xx[ps glad your dearly beloved is behaving well too!]

  5. I went into a local carvery with 2 of my children when they were about 3 & 7, the older couple at the next table looked horrified at our arrival. When they had finished their meal they came over & complimented me on my children's behaviour & apologised for thinking the worst when we'd arrived

  6. It's worth bearing in mind that the son could of possibly had some issues and I say that as a parent of a child with autism.
    My son is non-verbal and at one time the only way he could communicate to me that something was distressing him or he was in pain was to hit me (not hard). In time we worked on a strategy for him to communicate this to me in another way but it took a lot of work, a lot of time and lots of patience and understanding!
    I am a very good and devoted parent so just because my young son use to hit me because he didn't know any other way to tell me, then for someone to think I was a bad parent because of that would be mega unfair!
    Also we take him to restaurants so he can get use to the setting and environment.
    Of course these could just be two very rude kids but I think people are very quick to judge!!

    1. I agree with what you are saying. I don't think the boy in question had any underlying issues. I would imagine though if I was sat at the table next to you I'd see you using tried and tested strategies to calm the situation, that you wouldn't be so antagonistic in the first place. To be honest I think it was a question who was going to hit first as they carried on.
      X x

  7. How right you are to b proud of your two - but be proud of yourselves too, as they do't just learn the behaviour by chance! You know how to help them be the best they can be.
    I did appreciate your comment that the other family might have had issues that you didn't know about. Sometimes people are too quick to imagine the worst - however, I can't help thinking that even with behavioural problems their behaviour sounds a little too extreme!!
    But well done to the Frugal Handmade Family


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