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