I titled this post the way I did because I couldn't think of a better one. Seriously. This all came about because of a dinner my family and I went on to our neighborhood restaurant. We patronize this place frequently because it is reasonably priced, close to home, and the kids eat free on Wednesdays. I am totally not ashamed to admit this. And also admittedly, the frequency and locale pales in comparison to the free Weds thing. Sorry, the books aren't paying the bills just yet. Anyway, I digress.
We were there recently, on the aforementioned kid night and the place was packed with families. Seems we aren't the only ones being frugal with a buck these days. Now, my husband and I have been bringing the kids out to dinner since they were born. In the beginning we used to put the oldest in his car carrier and shove him under the table to sleep. We would eat happily, alone or with friends, then get up at the end of the meal and pull our baby out from under the table. So fun to see the other people's reactions, especially the ones that were seated AFTER we were and never saw us stash him. But I give you the back story so you can share in my incredulity.
What the hell has happened to children's restaurant manners?
My husband and I are proud that we can take our kids to nearly (and I mean NEARLY) any restaurant designed for families and they have great manners. Can order, say please and thank you, and use a napkin. Not rocket science, I know, but come on. When they do it, I glow. But this last outing was amazing. Kids were running around the tables and aisles, babies were screaming with no adult attention, and one kid kept pulling my hair in the booth behind us. I tried "The Glare" aimed at the parents, but they obviously didn't get the memo. Crayons were thrown, rude bodily noises were overheard and kids acted up, unheeded by anyone in authority. I may not be a model mom, but if one of my kids acted that way, he or she would find themselves, as my Mum calls it, "scurffed and removed" from the table. I have said, "Do you want to eat your dinner in the van?" more times than I care to remember. But generally, they have great table manners in a restaurant and they make us both beam with pride.
So, I bitched about the other kid's behavior to my hubs all the way home. Were we too strict with the kids? Were we not allowing them to act like kids and have fun? He looked at me like I'd gone insane and said, "Not in a &^%*& restaurant!" I snapped to and realized I agreed with him. But I am, as always, interested in your thoughts.
Have you experienced this yourself? Have you addressed it? Are you one of those people who should be on "What Would You Do?" My husband is not a boat-rocker as I am and gets embarrassed to the gills when I speak up, so I don't when he is around. But I really want to know: Are you seeing the same thing as us....namely that children are not being taught core values of respect and decorum? Please post here. I'm totally dying to know!