People have the capacity to be so many things, they can be really kind or can be pure and utter assholes.
Saturday we took Adam and Jo out for dinner at Boston Pizza. They love that place because of so many things; they kids pack, the free dessert with the meal and the awesome pizza (for Adam I think he just goes for the pizza). With all the great kid-friendly options that Boston Pizza has I would assume you could safely consider it a family restaurant? Apparently not all people think that. At least not the jerk who had something to say to the table behind us.
Let me back up a bit. Although we had an enjoyable and relatively quiet meal, thanks to an uncharacteristically docile Jo, the table behind us wasn’t so lucky. Their toddler was apparently having a bad day and was suffering one tantrum after the other. He was screaming and crying his head off for minutes on end, and no sooner did his parents calm him down then something else set him off and it started all over again.
Being a mom of two boys myself, I know that kids are not controllable robots and there are days when they are just having a bad day and there is nothing you can do about it. And while I strive to make every effort to avoid affecting the people around us there will be times when it just can’t be helped. Yes I will avoid adult only places, and places that are not even adult only but where kids just don’t fit in. And yes I will adjust my life and my schedule to suit my kids and keep them out of people’s way when they are not at their best. But I have a right to get a break and more importantly I have a right to be in certain places even if my kids will not play the ‘mute robot’ game. One example; a trans-atlantic flight with a grump baby. Another example, a family-friendly restaurant, where families (meaning kids), are more than welcome.
So while the screaming toddler was not the background music we were looking for, I still felt more sorry for the parents then annoyed at the kid. But apparently one of the other customers didn’t feel the same way. As this ‘man’ (coined loosely) was leaving, he stopped and looked over the divider directly beside their table and snarled
“You’ve got to be kidding me”. He then turned around and exited the restaurant.
The father and mother both got up and tried to explain or talk back or tell him off, but it was too late and he was gone. the damage had been done.
We were leaving ourselves at the same time. And I was getting my coat I heard her tell her husband to take their (still) screaming boy to the car while she asked for their food to go.
She then turned to her eldest son (who was around 5) and told him
“I’m sorry sweetie, we’ll have to postpone your speical dinner. But I can get you food from anywhere else you like.”
That’s it. I was pissed. I watched her husband leave with the toddler and I turned around to her as she was packing up her baby in her car seat
“You know. He’s the idiot. You really shouldn’t let him ruin your dinner. If he’s not happy with the noise, then go to a bar or something.”
She looked at me and I could see the tears shimmering behind her eyes.
I turned around feeling at loss for words. Extremely angry at the man for being so cruel and mean and feeling helpless at not being able to help her. Yes, it wasn’t me in her shoes but with kids it could have easily been Jo who was screaming his head off. If I can’t count on people to be understanding and cut me some slack then this is definitely a cruel,cruel world.
I know that the sound of a screaming kid is not something any of us would like to her but do you think that guy was justified? Or that the family should have left the restaurant just because that boy was having a tantrum?