I went for lunch yesterday and was really enjoying it, until a child started whinging across from me. It was then I noticed that our table was surrounded by ill-behaved and crying children. There were four tables around ours and at every single table there was a baby or toddler, all of whom seem determined to take it in turns to cry, scream or bang the table with cutlery given to them by their ever so thoughtful parents!!
Now I understand I was in a restaurant that obviously welcomes children/babies/toddlers but OMG – the bloody noise!!! It was like a creche gone wrong…There was one child in particular who was constantly screaming and sobbing so I dared a look in that direction. Both parents were sitting there, blatantly ignoring the child and staring at their phones. ‘Daddy’ then gave the child a spoon, which was banged incessantly on the table for a solid two minutes before he took the spoon off the child, child starts bawling again and it’s back to the phone. ‘Mammy’ never looked at the child!
The next table had three children – two toddlers and a baby – a family meet up or maybe friends. Every time the baby made a sound she was passed over to another person – it was like a game of pass the parcel. The toddlers were quiet for a short time but then the taunting and screaming at each other started. Not one of the adults corrected them, told them to be quiet or even really looked at them. I guess they have become used to ignoring them and continuing conversations over the constant whinging and fighting.
The other two tables had older children who devised a plan that they would race up and down the restaurant, until one of them fell and screamed the place down. My blood pressure was sky high by the time I was finished my lunch! The only option was to pay promptly, forget about the cappuccino and get the hell out of there as quickly as I could.
I know parents of small children have to eat and are entitled to go to restaurants – I have no problem with this. What I do have a problem with is parents who refuse to discipline their children or will not have them behave in an appropriate manner in a restaurant or any other public area. I flipping well paid enough for my meal and had every right to eat it in peace. And before anyone suggests that I should have asked to be moved, why should I! I had a lovely table beside the open fire on a cold, snowy day – picture perfect and cosy – completely ruined by adults who don’t care how their little ‘darlings’ behave in public.
I don’t blame the children whatsoever! It’s the parents – they just don’t care anymore. The children rule the roost and do whatever they want while the parents stare at their phones, look the other way or agree with whatever the child says and lets them make the decisions. Who’s the adult??? It drives me insane! I only had this conversation with a friend last week, some people seem to just have children as some sort of accessory – they don’t want to mind them themselves, they don’t want to discipline them themselves and they certainly don’t want anyone else to enjoy their lunch in peace while they are around!!
All I ask is if parents insist on bringing their children out in public with them, make sure they can behave themselves…..Rant over!!