Epic battle: kids v. old people

13 Jan

Today I set the ambitious goal of not changing out of elastic waist pants, which proved challenging after I made dinner plans with my friend (who still hasn’t read one of my posts all the way through, so really I want to kick him). Thankfully I have a sequin belt that makes any outfit a party outfit, so out I trekked in my pjs to a pretty trendy sushi place. I had Riley, the most adorable accessory in the whole world, so I knew that nobody would be paying much attention to me anyway.
You cannot possibly imagine the kind of pressure a restaurant owner feels bringing a child to dinner. I have devoted months, maybe years of my life to bitching about poorly behaved smelly pipsqueak brats who bring their clueless parents into my place with their diaper bags overflowing with magic markers, red food dye and other weapons of mass booth and carpet destruction. Before Riley was born my mom and I discussed relatively nothing at our almost-daily lunch dates except who we need to promote and/or fire, and why the fuck do these women have kids if all they want to do is ignore them and let them scream that they’re hungry/tired/invisible?
And now I’m the woman with the kid.
I spent my day compiling a cynical list of things that really piss me off about kids (and their lovely parents) at the restaurant. I was going to tell a story about a mother who apologized profusely for her sons’ horrific behavior just as she got popped in the face with a killer spitball. Launched by her husband.
So I had it all ready to go, with a little space leftover for unexpected moments of poor parenting at some point during the evening. And I got to dinner, armed with my usual arsenal of organic cheddar bunnies, one of those sticky placemats, half of the toy department of Target and a picture book about manners (call me old fashioned but I keep the iPhone and iPad for emergency situations only. It’s like using your high beams – you might think it’s really dark now but just you wait ’til we turn off the highway). Riley is one and a half. She has two teeth and is the size of a medium size 11-month-old. And as it turns out, she is a human baby just like all of the monsters at my place, and if she isn’t feeling the moment, she’s gonna let you know. So I prepare for the worst. Gay Asian Waiter (we need to start calling him Charlie because my dad said I run the risk of hurting his feelings, plus it makes the story confusing because we’re at a sushi place) is one of the helpful/understanding type friends so that made me feel even more ready for the hell on the horizon.
But something happened.
Riley sat at the table and played with chopsticks. She quietly picked at cheddar bunnies and babbled with the waitress through the salad course and snacked on our tomatoes and jicama. She double fisted her sweet potato roll and laughed and laughed and laughed.
Here I was trying to trash my kid for the sake of blog wonderfulness and she gave me NOTHING. In fact, the most significant incident of the evening was the fact that we tried to order iced tea and were informed that they don’t have any (Do you have ice, nice Japanese waitress? Because I KNOW you have tea).

So instead of making any you parents reading this feel terrified of dining at my establishment because I’ll be inspecting your family’s every move so I can turn you into a witty anecdote, I’d like to leave you with this thought:
If you are an old couple (or anyone else) and you are sitting in a trendy sushi place (or anyplace else) and the moment comes that a child is seated at the table next to you (oh please I know you roll your eyes and throw a silent temper tantrum) and that child behaves perfectly, do the parents a favor.
Tell them that you noticed.
Or even just smile, or nod, or (heaven forbid) throw the adorable child a friendly wave.
Because while a quiet, happy child involves a little bit of luck, it takes a lot of fucking work to make it happen.



One Response to “Epic battle: kids v. old people”

  1. Lori January 13, 2012 at 1:50 am #

    What an adorable child. And what a clever mother. Could I be biased, perhaps!!

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