The radio program is The Christopher Gabriel Show, and we are lucky enough to be friends - IN PERSON- with both Christopher & his amazing wife Wendy. Their oldest daughter, big C, was in Leah's class last year, and although she's being homeschooled this year, it has not changed the fact that Leah and big C are cut from fairly identical cloth. Little C is a bit younger than Ben, and keeps things lively.
Anyway, CG always teases that I don't listen to his program. But it's nothing personal - I don't really listen to ANY radio while at home, but if I do, it's his. So there.
Today I caught that The Christopher Gabriel Show was going to be discussing a restaurant that had hung a sign saying, "Screaming Children WILL NOT be tolerated!". Apparently the restaurant has seen an increase in traffic, rather than
I have no problem with people not wanting to listen to a screaming kid. It's not like I personally enjoy it, either. And if a kid IS screaming, and the parents are ignoring the child, then yes, go ahead and point out the fact that they are in PUBLIC and maybe they might want to try to parent, hmm?
If a kid is screaming and can't be consoled, most reasonable parents will leave until the child is calmed down. And if you have a child prone to screaming fits, I don't think "eating out" is at the top of your list. We are currently in the phase of Adam's life I like to refer to as "the no-restaurant zone". Since Adam was about nine months old, we have avoided restaurants except when traveling. Oh, we still eat out once in awhile, but it is much rarer than before. This is purely for our convenience - babies from about 9mo- 18 mo are just a pain to feed away from home. They are messy, eat specific foods (peas but not beans), and tend to have an attention span of approximately 3 seconds. Also, they have NO patience for waiting for food to arrive.
If we DO decide to go out to eat, we take turns walking Adam around the restaurant sight-seeing (which may be more annoying to some patrons, but can you not smile at his drooling, grinning face? I don't think so.) We also bring snacks and let him play with the crayons and kids' menus that are provided at the restaurants we frequent. Also, we hand him spoons and butter knives. But we have learned not to let him play with the creamer cups.
Here's my problem: Does this sign give you a general warm feeling about this restaurant? Um, no. Not as a parent, but even just as a human being. "Will not be tolerated" is not a phrase that I associate with "Come on in and let us serve you!"
Also, if screaming children will not be tolerated, I would hope that the following would not be tolerated, either:
1) Obnoxious laughing (the kind you can hear across restaurant)
3) Dirty jokes
4) Excessive alcohol consumption
and also, from the restaurant itself (as long as we're making rules!)
1) rudeness from staff
2) having to track down the check so we can leave
3) a sticky seat...or table
But I don't like to dwell TOO long on the negatives. Here are the things that I LUUURVE about past restaurants:
1) servers who talk to the kids and seem to genuinely enjoy them
2) being given extra napkins - and even an extra plate!
3) drinks refilled without us noticing
What do you think about the "no screaming kids" sign? Would you go in with kids? Or without kids? Have you had a really great experience at a restaurant lately? What made it great - one thing, or lots of little things?