Posted by: workforcookies | May 9, 2010

From One Mother to Another on Mother’s Day

My husband had to work this Mother’s Day, so I decided the kids would take me out to dinner! My brother-in-law and niece came with us, which meant much more fun for the kids—cousins are always more fun than mom! I guess that the cousins had a little bit too much fun though because as we were leaving the restaurant, a woman with a thick British accent called me over to tell me that she couldn’t believe how poorly behaved my children were in the restaurant. I didn’t catch every word of it, but got the gist and remember that she ended her brief rant by saying: “I’m appalled.”

I wish I would have thought fast enough to respond by telling her Happy Mother’s Day, but she took me by surprise, so all I could think to say was: “Sorry,” followed by, “C’mon kids, let’s go!”

On the drive home, I tried to figure out what exactly it was that was so appalling. We were sitting in the very back of the restaurant with two empty tables between us and the rest of the diners and our kids stayed at our table through the entire meal (except for one trip to the bathroom for the girls). There were a few times that the kids were standing in our booth rather than sitting and there was one time that I worried they were too loud. I asked them to quiet down and quickly scanned the restaurant to see if we were disturbing the peace. I didn’t see anyone glaring in our direction, or even glancing.

In fairness to the woman who filed the complaint with me, there was one appalling incident. When it was time to leave the restaurant, we began gathering kids and jackets. I told my son it was time to leave and he took me at my word. As I was putting my niece’s jacket on her, my four-year-old son walked out of the front door of the restaurant. I was appalled, as was my son when I told him that he would have to forfeit his newly acquired (and much loved) Legos tow truck as punishment. But I seriously doubt anyone other than myself and my son were too disturbed by this incident.

On the way to the car, I told my brother-in-law about the woman who complained. He too was confused and thought the kids were fine. He also pointed out that we were in a kid-friendly, not-at-all-fancy establishment (the kind of place where you order your food at a counter and a waiter brings it out to you). He also sagely suggested I forget about the silly woman and her comment.

Believe me, I’ve tried. And hopefully by tomorrow, I will have succeeded. But for now, I’m still wondering why another mother (she had what appeared to be her teenage son sitting next to her) would have anything but empathy for another mother in a restaurant with three kids between the ages of two and four.

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Responses

  1. Well, that is just weird. I think it is difficult to blow off a remark from a seemingly normal person. However, I think you may need to re-classify this person as “not working with a full deck”. It sounds like you did everything a good Mom would do, like keeping their noise level in check and making sure you weren’t bothering other people. This is about her, not you. She has something going on in her life that gives her a very tainted view of the world. I am so sorry to hear that she shared her ugliness with you. I know you are not asking for Kudos, but I think you are one of the most mindful and fun-loving Mamas out there! You are a great role-model for your kids and other Mamas alike. Happy Mother’s Day! Maybe you could talk to your husband about a “do-over” and have him and the kids do somthing nice for you this week!

  2. What nerve! Having recently been to a restaurant with you and your precious kids, I’ve seen them in “restaurant action”, and I was amazed to see how well behaved they were and how quickly you re-directed them if they started to get even slightly loud. This person is obviously completely removed from any experience with four and two year old children. Maybe she hadn’t had her medication! Hope your had a great Mother’s Day.


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