Breaking news: Don’t be a dick in restaurants

by Janelle Hanchett

By now you’ve heard of the restaurant owner in Maine who yelled at some toddler who allegedly screamed for 40 minutes at a table.

I don’t want to talk about that. It’s boring. We have no idea what happened. As messed up as it is to squeal at a stranger’s baby (and that lady seemed pretty damn unhinged), it’s pretty messed up to let your kid cry for that long in a restaurant (if that’s even what happened).

What I want to talk about is the “debate” that surfaces between people with and without kids whenever an event like this occurs. In case you’ve been living in a yurt on a New Mexican bluff, the two sides go like this:

  1. Babies should not be allowed in nice restaurants because they’re assholes.
  1. Babies should be allowed in all restaurants because THEY HAVE RIGHTS even though they’re assholes.

I added the last part.

Anyway I find this debate ridiculous. Well, no. Not really. What I find ridiculous is that the whole thing could be cleared up instantly if everybody could just stop being dicks.

Let’s start with the parents.

Hey parents, How to not be a dick in a restaurant with your baby, toddler, or kids:

  1. Remember above all else that nobody likes your kids as much as you do. To you they are special snowflakes. To you they are the expression of your divine purpose. To everybody else they are tiny sticky creatures with unimpressive palates, limited conversational skills and a baffling inability to sit the fuck down.
  2. If you have a toddler and want to eat out, maybe don’t go to the tiny hipster joint full of humans too artistically profound to have children. They hate you, your uterus and the mammal it housed. They don’t think your kid is cute. They wish you’d stop ruining the fucking planet. Now pass the boutique beer.
  3. Perhaps also avoid the white-linens-only church-vibe restaurant without a dish below $50. Why? Because toddlers are fucking annoying and nobody wants to be annoyed in a $50-per-plate restaurant.
  4. I get it. You want to still go to these places. And YOU CAN. On Friday, when grandma has Johnny for the evening. I know you think you deserve all the rights and privileges of those without children. I know. I get it. But check it out: One of the rights of people without offspring is the ability to sit in a restaurant and enjoy themselves. Sure they have no meaning, depth or hope in their lives, but THEY HAVE ENJOYABLE DINING EXPERIENCES. Let’s give them that. It’s the least we can do as superior human beings.
  5. Or go to a loud, big, raucous family joint. People that hate children don’t go there. Or if they do, it’s their problem.
  6. But don’t let your toddler cry there either. That’s still a dick move. I have kids and I still don’t want to hear yours. I barely want to hear mine.
  7. So if your toddler cries or screams for more than a few minutes, TAKE HER OUT OF THE RESTAURANT. This is not rocket science.
  8. If you leave a big mess on the floor, pick it up or leave a giant fucking tip. And I mean a BIG TIP. I’m not going to pick up rice kernels on my hands and knees for 20 minutes after my baby (because I used to work in a restaurant and happen to know bussers have sweeping tools for that sort of job), but I sure as hell am going to leave at least a 25% tip. Because I try not to be a dick.
  9. Back on topic: Don’t let your kid run around. Don’t let your kid scale the booths. Don’t let your kid throw food. Don’t let your kid scream. Don’t let your kid bang things on other things. If a grown human did these things they would be escorted out of the place and instructed to stop smoking meth.
  10. So, as a general rule, do not let your child act like a tweaker.

These are not hard rules. These are easy rules. As parents I think we should be aware of the fact that we are bringing highly annoying humans into a place where adults are attempting to not be annoyed. Unless it’s a family restaurant.


There’s no boutique beer here, asshole. Only slick menus and chicken strips so leave me alone.

Really it isn’t IF my toddler is going to be annoying, it’s HOW annoying my toddler is going to be. And sometimes that level is so high I just pack our food up and eat in the car while regretting every decision I’ve made in the past 10 years and wondering if anybody would notice if I moved to a yurt in New Mexico.


But then I remember that people without kids have no meaning, depth or hope in their lives. Whew what a relief.*



On the other hand, toddlers need to learn to how to behave in restaurants so they don’t grow up to be the dude I sat next to a few weeks ago who was doing things with his sweet & sour pork and vocal cords that made me wonder if perhaps somebody should intervene.

So hey, maybe restaurant-goers sans kids can work with us here a bit too, and show a shred of compassion as we dig in our purses, pockets and souls looking for something to entertain this highly annoying small human with a limited palate so we can get some fucking nourishment.

(Trust me we aren’t expecting to enjoy ourselves. Going to a restaurant with a toddler is about as enjoyable as trying to corner a feral cat while the world looks on, judging.)

Cut me a bit of slack. Five minutes. Maybe 10. TEN AT THE MOST (not of crying. crying gets 12 seconds.). And if it doesn’t get better, I promise I’ll take my special snowflake outside to melt on the sidewalk so you can eat in peace.

Let’s just try not to be dicks. All of us.

Even in restaurants.

Kumbaya. Bon appétit. Feral cats. Whatever.

Hi, I'm Arlo, and I'll ruin your fucking life in a restaurant.

Hi, I’m Arlo, and I’ll ruin your fucking life in a restaurant.

*DEAR INTERNET: I do not actually think people who don’t have kids lead meaningless lives. I am making fun of that mentality. There are numerous cues in the writing indicating that. If you can’t find them, please ask somebody who knows how to read to help you.

  • Crissy

    Love your take.
    I absolutely don’t like going to places where there are other people’s special snowflakes. So I generally dine at bars or no child places. Thank my lucky stars they have those. I have had 4 children and I was the Mom who left fast if mine acted up. I also never took mine to places just to let them scream. I wish parents would realize that crying children drive people insane. You know your child’s attitude and I think a responsible parent wouldn’t subject their child or other innocent victims, to endless screams. JMO. I realize there are rare exceptions. However maybe take those kids to I don’t know Micky D’s or Taco Bell? Not a sit down diner or finer establishment. I understand that people will hate me for my opinion. However fact is nobody outside of Mom & Dad, enjoy the sounds of unhappy screaming. Asking for food to go, would have been completely responsible parenting. Most business owners will put a rush on those orders, don’t ask how I know lol!

    • Joyce ORourke

      Crissy I totally agree with you. There are restaurants that you take you children to and then there are others that if your child is misbehaving you leave. Common sense is key here. OOPs! Common sense. According to the dictionary says,” Common sense is a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge things, which is shared by (“common to”) nearly all people, and can be reasonably expected of nearly all people without any need for debate. Might be too much for these people.

    • Lynda Swanson

      Dear Free Range parents,
      A screaming child in a restaurant is a annoyance to other people who have come there to have a pleasant experience just like you have. If your child is inconsolable, please pick them up and walk outside with them until they calm down. This is called common courtesy.

      • Powers

        I don’t think that’s what “Free Range parenting” means.

        • Rachel

          Duh, that’s why she is telling Free Range parents what is the courteous thing to do!

          • Peter

            “Duh?” Really? This is not what Free Range is about and you don’t know it. However, you insist that you do. What an ass hat.

            • Kate

              Did you guys miss the part about not being dicks?

              • Kerry

                I think so.

              • Julia

                Bravo!! This comment wins this thread!

        • Jess

          People who let their kids be assholes in restaurants are not called Free-Range Parents, they’re called assholes.

          And to be fair, Lynda may have thought Free-Range Parenting to be like “Free-Rein Parenting,” which I just made up and, for the love of humanity, should never be a thing.

          (Free-Range Parenting doesn’t quite apply to this screaming subject age group. It’s about letting your kids have the freedom to learn and do things for themselves…like ride buses and be home alone.)

          • AE

            First of all yes it is the parents fault but as a Restaurant owner there was a better way of asking these parents to remove the child. Second of all why do you all continue to call these small children “Assholes”? They are children under the age of 3 and have know idea how disruptive they are actually being.

            • Kelly

              Because it’s funny.

              • Lauren

                I love you Kelly.

            • Rip It

              AE, assholes, regardless of age, dont necessarily know they are being an asshole.

              • Lauren

                They do if they were an asshole in a past life!

            • Fuller

              AE, you are 100% wrong! A 3 year old can be born an asshole, made into and asshole, or any combination thereof. Our parental imperative is to turn these wee beasts into considerate human beings by pounding polite behavior into them from birth. Too many parents do not do this thereby exponentially increasing the number of young assholes who will grow into adult assholes. HOLD YOUR KID RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS, PEOPLE AND TEACH THEM TO RESPECT OTHERS, ESPECIALLY ADULTS!

              • Eve

                Completely with you on the parenting goal, Fuller! I sum it up as wanting to raise children to be people that other people want to spend time with. It was simple to give time outs not based on actual time but on behavior, “Go to your room and come back when you are done screaming and crying about ___”. And parents out there, be serious art your threats of leaving or taking away something or whatever it is. Empty threats are so ineffective.

            • bplier

              the kids may not know, but the parents do and therefore, shouldn’t be dicks.

            • SS

              Because she’s a creative writer and its highly entertaining! lol

              • ()-()-(O)

                So was Little Adolf, and he was a _good_ kid!

          • Jom Tonner

            To be honest , children should be allowed , not all are annoying , screaming , brats. Some parents can’t afford a babysitter and have to bring their children there. Grandparents can’t be around a child forever. What if their parent’s are dead. Some children can be mature, if you don’t like it , eat in your own home.

            • John gaycee

              You are what people,are,referring to when they say asshole

      • K P

        Did you read the above article?!

      • Bev McGowan

        I agree 100 percent, and its seems today’s society is doing more to bring their kids to all places that many kids are not mature enough to even be in public. I see so many parents totally ignore their kids to run and knock others down in restaurants…so I know I would have blown my head being a owner of a place of a business that I depend on for income.. But I will also say I have being taking my Son out to places since he was 2months old and he has learn what to do and not do now 24 years old.. I would also tell parents do not expect your child to not act up if she has not had a nap and expect them to stay awake all day without a fuss..and bring her favorite food and some type of toy..teaching them at home first then out for a short lunch.. don’t expect your child to be good at 10pm-12midnight or later just because you want to go out then..they are not made to be out that late…

    • Elle

      Ok so, I get that some peoples kids have no tact in restaurants but, my son come out to eat with me all the time. It has been this way since he was a few weeks old. He sits in his stroller eats what is ordered for him and if he gets fussy I give him a different type of stimuli and all is well in a few moments. I go to fancy cafes, and cheep healthy places. I will not ever take my child to an establishment marketed towards children because frankly the food is often processed crap I would let near my childs mouth, let alone in it.

      So here are some tips for moms that don’t involve alienation.

      1. Bring your childs stroller or highchair. I’m.telling you this makes a HUGE difference in the kido’s behavior.

      2. Bring snacks! That food might not be done before your childs appetite becomes a pressing matter.

      3. Bring entertainment for your child. Their brain are frowning a mile a minute. Who cares if someone looks at you funny for reading your kid Winnie the Pooh in the restaurant. I promise it’s better than the “shut your son the fuck up stare.”

      4. If possible sit outside!

      5. Take your child out regularly so they understand what is expected of them in a restaurant setting.

      They key isn’t alienation of mothers and children the ley is on preparation, damage control, and routine.

      • n

        “I will not ever take my child to an establishment marketed towards children because frankly the food is often processed crap I would let near my childs mouth, let alone in it.”


        • Martin Cosby

          Why is that funny? I wouldn’t take my children anywhere I wouldn’t eat myself. They have always come to cafes and restaurants with us, and have always been good, probably because we are fairly strict and they are thoroughly used to it. They have never been near a McDonald’s, and until they are old enough to go independently and with their own money they never will. It’s just common sense, surely.

          • Jason

            Every kid should experience McDonald’s at least once as unhealthy as it is. I don’t know if I would go as far a calling it common sense to not bring them there as you did. By no means am I saying it should be part of there diet but a major problem in this world is the bubble people keep there kids in. No wonder there are so many allergies and dietary restrictions with kids these day, parents are so scarred to let there kids have anything that’s bad or them

            • Darcie

              Eating at McDonald’s has nothing to do with immunology issues.

              • Leo

                No doubt. Immunolgy isses like playing outside or in the creek or a little dirt. McDonald’s training as part of a healthy youngster? Very interesting ‘science’.

              • Frank

                do you hear that? its the sound of good old helicopter parents! Ha ha ha ha don’t play near dirt, don’t eat a chicken nugget. You helkicopter parents are the absolute worst!

                • Lynne

                  Frank, I think the point Leo was making is that a
                  little dirt IS related to building immunity, whereas
                  eating crap at McD’s is not.

                • Botch

                  You seem to think that it’s not possible to care about the well-being of your child and avoid being overprotective. Part of being a parent is being informed as to why not to be overprotective, but immunology is a branch of biomedical science—something also relevant to be informed of. I don’t know what part of that science suggests “never play in the dirt”; it seems to me you just assumed that.

              • Dave

                Yeah, you were so fired up to dis that guy that you didn’t comprehend the comments. Not letting your kids eat shit food or for that you object to if not “helkicoptor” parenting, it’s just plain old parenting. Am I a helkicoptor for having my kids eat kosher, abstaining from cows. You make no sense in your rush to judgement

                • Jen

                  Comment policy: try not to be a dick.

                  I think folks maybe missed that line huh?

              • Colleen

                That’s why you have a pet. Or parasites, but in the US we get to do it with pets. Yippee first world!

              • Dr. Alex Reagan

                Immunology? What does this have to do with the current discussion? Please raise your kids with discipline, if you can’t simply stay at home. The age of the gross helicopter parents is over.

            • Naomi

              Yeah…no…kids do not NEED to experience McDonalds. If I won’t eat there, why should I make them?? Providing your kids healthy food options is not “helicopter parenting”. But good effort trying to toss in a relevant buzz word.

          • Petriq

            I did the same thing, never took my kids to McDonalds. Ever. However, you can’t stop other people from taking your kids to McDonalds, I mean I suppose you can, but you kind of have to be a bit of an ass. And once their friends start driving, they will be going to McDonalds. A lot, and as often as they can. You THINK you are training them to be above going to McDonalds, but chances are, you are making it forbidden fruit, and we all know forbidden fruit tastes the best.

            That said, eventually, they will come to realize that McDonalds is crap and stop eating it. Reality has habit of messing with our plans.

            • Lance

              Petriq, just to add my two cents… Making it forbidden fruit for their early teen + years is a lot better IMO than feeding to them in their formative years. If their bodies have a firm nutritional foundation they have a better chance of absorbing the negative hit of crappy McDonald’s food than if they are fed Cheerios and McNuggets for the first 12 years of their life. Thoughts?

              • Jennifer Singleton

                Did you seriously just equate Cheerios to McNuggets?I can’t even…..because the directions tell me to try not to be a dick.

                • sandrakay

                  She did… and they are! They are all processed sugar and crap.

                  • M3

                    Cheerios are over-processed sugar laden crap! YAY! You would be better off eating some McNuggets for nutritional value. Scary!

        • Jason

          Lol I agree with the laughter

        • Al

          Right? Special Snowflake on 1!

      • Caro

        DO NOT bring your own stroller in a restaurant! They have certain high chairs for a reason! Safety for the employees, other patrons, and your child! Aisles in between tables are not very wide. Parking your Cadillac stroller creates an ubstruction and possible fire hazard.

        • Jen

          I was just thinking that. I can’t stand having to maneuver around those Cadillac strollers. And most restaurants will ask that you park the stroller elsewhere, or will offer to put it in the back for you while you eat.

      • PipSqueak

        I’m guessing you have an easy child. My toddler – she’s a savage and not one of those pieces of advice is going to change that in the short term. Add 6. If you have a pre-verbal toddler that is a savage, just stay home. There is plenty of time over the course of 18 years to expose a child to dining situations, and most of that time the child will have better verbal and reasoning skills than s/he does at 19 months.

      • em

        um, bringing your own food or drink into an eating establishment is not only very poor etiquette, it is against health code. Trust us, your child is not as well behaved as you think.

        • Mummy@Large

          Poor etiquette, really? Get over yourself.

          I really wonder how people think kids learn to behave in public, if they’re supposed to be kept locked away until they already can.

          • Stephanie

            I agree with you there!!!!

          • Shawn

            How do kids learn to behave in public? By learning to behave at home.
            It’s not that complicated. My children were both well behaved in public places. I never had a problem taking them out to eat, any where. Because at home they were taught to eat quietly, to sit still, to be polite. If they wanted something to entertain them, well then that was me. Let’s talk about things, quietly, with our inside voice.
            I never had this problem of unruly toddlers.
            Babies, well, I learned that maybe it’s just best to stay home. Till they have learned the rules of proper table manners.
            It’s called parenting.

          • shelly

            It is called teaching them, something of which you should have been prepared to do when you had a child. When they are too small to be reasoned with. Pick them up and leave the restaurant. Simple, it may not be a warm fuzzy for the parent, however it is what you signed up for.

          • Carol

            The way to teach your child how to behave in a restaurant is to take them to a diner outside of heavy traffic times such as business lunch hours. Then you can begin to teach them table manners without antagonizing a room full of diners. Making a game out of good behavior, such as putting your napkin on your lap, knowing where to put your knife and fork, etc. can make such outings fun for both parent and child. Subjecting children to the formalities of dining out before they know and are able to abide by the rules is unfair and sometimes even cruel to the child. And, if you intend to go to dinner at a fine dining establishment please remember the term, babysitter. Most of your parents used sitters, and you turned out fine, no?

          • Why do they need a name

            Ok if you need to bring the kid a box of triscuit crackers to make them shut up until their real dinner comes most people will thank you including the server and not consider it bad etiquette. These demons are too little to understand ediwuite so I think keeping them quiet is slightly more important until they’re a bit older.

        • Sue

          i don’t think it’s against health code to bring their bottle, glass, bag of Cheerios etc. into a restaurant. Parents know what they need to keep their children happy during dinner. The restaurant may not have any of those things. It would only be against health code if you brought enough to share with everyone and then made them eat it.

        • Susan

          Neither are many adults. People should really refer to the owner’s psychotic (she herself admits to being psychotic) rant and consider your knee jerk reaction to always believe the worst of children and the best of adults. A tantrum shouldn’t be more social acceptable when it’s an adult, even less so when it involves profuse swearing and physical threats. The issue began not over crying but the customer’s order of three full sized pancakes in a diner (again, by the owner’s own admission.)

          There’s something wrong with society when crying children are considered monsters and volatile adults are lauded.

          Don’t baby babies. Baby adults. That’s where we are as a society.

        • Julianne

          I disagree: Bringing a small snack bag of Cheerios or granola bar is not poor etiquette. It’s not like bringing a 3-course meal in! It’s holdover until the entrees arrive, just like Mommy’s delicious Chardonnay.

        • sandrakay

          We bring a snack for our toddler all the time! The other thing we do is order his meal as soon as we order our drinks.

      • Nancy Aasland

        Yes! The point is that it takes some effort on the parent’s part to help their child develop appropriate social skills in this kind of setting. That’s good for the child. And if today I am tired, and just want to sit in a restaurant and not put that extra effort in, that’s a good day to drop the little darlings at grandma’s and have a date night.

      • theresa

        Totally agree with you! We have taken our 15 month old out to restaurants since he was born. He has as a very impressive palate, sits in his high chair the entire time, and doesn’t make a mess(thanks to the best bibs!) I mean, we don’t take him to fine dining restaurants, and it’s usually breakfast, lunch or early dinner; but we always take him to restaurants that are nice! ( we don’t do processed crap foods either!) But, we would certainly take him outside and box the food if he was screaming or acting up. We STILL sometimes get dirty looks, usually from older people, even though we take him to appropriate restaurants at appropriate times. I usually smile and wave at the haters and tell them how great the restaurant is…haha…that usually shuts them up. Or they can chose to move. I’m teaching my child how to behave in a restaurant and at home the rules are the same… Why should I be punished for other parents decisions on how to raise their kids? I shouldn’t.. So, screw anyone who says anything to me for bringing my well behaved child out into our free country. If his attitude ever changes, well, then…maybe mine will too.

      • Ktina

        Ugh…you’re one of those.

    • Heather

      This article hit the nail on the head,as if I had written it myself..probably would have had more curse words though! Chrissy also drove it home! I raised 5 kids, they were lucky to see a Denny’s. We got a rude awakening about kids and restaurants.we used to go to one of those high end restaurants, you know, $15.00 for a bowl of snapper soup that smelled like ass if you ask me. We took our first born, dressed in her “Martha’s miniatures” frilly dresses, she sipped her soup while everyone smiled and complimented her blue eyes, perfect manners. At 2 she actually had an Indoor voice…the second daughter came along, what a clusterfk that was! Apparently she inherited all of the Puerto-TAllan vocal cords. I even tried tying her to a chair..bitch left with the chair tied to her back. Spending the entire time in the bathroom or out front while her father sat their clueless, causing a nut punch to ensure no more children..was not my idea of fun. I had twins next..punch did not work. we got a Baby sitter after that. I can’t under why these “my child is a special snowflake with rights” type don’t utilize these services. You know on some level they make st know their kid is an asshole!! Tonight as we head to La Piazza do Caruso, I will inform the hostess NOT to seat me by any children. The absolute worst is paying a babysitter only to be seated by someone else’s assholes!!! thankfully my kids are grown..well, according to their birth certificates anyway. If I get parked me t to the brats,I’ll toss a few drinks and make silent but threatening gestures at them 🙂

      • Sue

        Hells yeah! I have kids and 100% agree with this!! LMFAO

        • Sue Ellen

          All of it! Hell yes! I am still laughing and I agree with you 110%. I have a 4 year old son. When we take him out, it’s usually to a pub type place where we have a drink, all parents are having drinks and the folks there without children have been there all day drinking, so they could careless! I love your blog. Thank you for making me laugh!!

          • Yomomma

            Isn’t your post directly contradicting the article? If it’s a drinking establishment or pub, we don’t want to hear your kids either.. Don’t assume that because we have had a couple, we don’t give a shit that your kid is screaming. Your probably the type that would get offered if someone did say something to you. Seriosly.. Keep your kid out of the pubs.

          • Naomi

            We take our kids to pubs/sports bars all the time. The place is loud. There’s lots of TVs. People are (generally) in good moods due to libations. So now just because a place serves alcohol, my kid cant go there? What if they have a kids menu? I say, if they have a kids menu, it’s fair game! So if your local pub has a kids menu…you probably should expect the occasional kid to show up and…what….ruin your game? Can you even HEAR them over the TVs??

      • Bowlingbride

        I cannot agree more! You also have a sense of humor that all parents need. Cracking me up!!!

      • Kim

        Lmao hilarious!!!!

      • Llana

        “.bitch left with the chair tied to her back.” I nearly choked from laughing at this. Sounds just like something I would say.

        I don’t have kids can’t stand to be around most of them. Well behaved kiddos, I love. The screaming brats, wish they would just disappear!

        • Erika Moureau

          Qualifier: I raised 6 children, fairly successfully.
          Restaurant training begins at home.If you let them act like jerks at home, they will act like jerks away from home. Not just in restaurants.
          Kids are not born with manners, it’s your job to teach. Of course, if you don’t have any experience with manners yourself, you’re in a hard spot.

          • Denise

            EXACTLY!! It’s hard because you have to keep the same rules you’ve set, even if they’re pushing it again, for the 50th time today!! You have to be consistent, even when you’ve had a crappy day and would rather let them do what they want, as you down a glass of wine, stomp to your room, throw some shit around, cry sulk, take a bath, or whatever!! Yup, that’s right, you have to discipline yourself!!

            p.s. I am not comfortable with calling kids assholes so much. Firstly, it’s not what they are, it’s what they can be!! They tend to be perceived as assholes, because they haven’t learned in 2-3 years what it took us over 20 years to learn!!

            • Marta Towne

              if it took you 20 years to teach your kid manners, you failed. By a 18 months my daughter knew better than to be an asshole in public….restaurant, supermarket, whatever. She wasn’t perfect, but I wasn’t above taking her outside and home if she began to be a brat

          • Robin

            I agree with you completely!! My children-girl 12 boy 6 know better than to do any bullshit while out OR at home at the dinner table! They can do what they want UNTIL we are in public….I dare them to act out, we hit the bathroom so fast! It is how you raise them. If they scream and act out at home and you let them, they will do it in public! They are like animals, constantly testing the boundaries, tighten up those leashes parents!!!

      • TRACY

        Hilarious! I have just laughed out loud at work with tears in my eyes!

        “I even tried tying her to a chair..bitch left with the chair tied to her back.”

      • Susan

        Yet another person calling children assholes. Did you see how the owner conducted herself on her official facebook over the matter? Nothing but swearing and threats of bodily harm. If fussing makes a baby an asshole, what does profuse swearing and physical threats make an adult?

        People need to stop projecting their on experiences onto everything else that happens in the world. In this specific situation, the only person we have proof of being an asshole was the adult.

        And quite frankly calling toddlers and infants assholes is kind of an asshole move, too. You aren’t the cute precious snowflake you think you are when you do things like that, either, before you play the “humor” card.

      • Tiny

        ROFLMFAO!!!! You and this article had me in tears!!!

    • Vanessa

      I don’t hate your opinion. I LOVE it! you and the article are right on. I was deathly embarrassed the couple of times I gave my son the opportunity to be THAT little monster in the restaurant. IT WAS EXHAUSTING!! and again, SO embarrassing. So I stopped taking him until he was 4. All problems solved. I don’t know what it is about 4, but it was like a day and night difference. One more thing: The TRAINING starts AT HOME. For both, the children and the adults. “Table Manners” seems to have fallen off the basic training parenting list of things to do. Let’s bring ’em back. They’re nice to see when you’re out on a date with your special someone, too. As a grown up…

      • Denise

        “One more thing: The TRAINING starts AT HOME. For both, the children and the adults.” YES! You do NOT have to take your small child to non-famly restaurants to teach them table manners and how to behave during a meal. Let them learn the basics without them having to drive other diners crazy.

    • Rachel

      I was a hostess at a really nice restaurant ($100/person, at least) in a really expensive city. I do not have any kids myself, but I LOVE kids! I truly do! However, parents who let their kids scream in restaurants really make my blood boil. Toddlers who scream in restaurants are not monsters — they are acting in a completely age appropriate way. So, I take issue with the restaurant owner calling the toddler a bunch of names. The real monsters are the parents who make their toddler sit through a whole tasting menu from 8-10:30 p.m. on a Saturday night (that has really happened). The kid is unhappy, I’m unhappy, and the rest of our PAYING customers are especially unhappy that their date night is being ruined. You’re not cute and cosmopolitan with your toddler accessory… you’re a fucking asshole. I also mention that the city is expensive because people pay a FUCKLOAD for babysitters. I would get a tension headache looking at all the other parents who were obviously trying to get a nice night out AWAY from their kids having to put up with a bunch of fucktards allowing their baby to scream. Finally, for the love of god, do not let your kid run around a restaurant. I love that this article is so tongue and cheek, but on a serious note, a child running around is not just annoying but very, very dangerous. That food is hot!

      On an end note, I suspect parents who let their kids scream in restaurants were inconsiderate dicks before becoming parents, but now that they have kids, their dickishness is just all the more apparent.

    • Jenny

      I raised three kids, and we took them out to eat fairly regularly, and in all those years (they are now grown), we never had to leave a restaurant because one of them was screaming BECAUSE we taught them from before they could speak that there was something called “restaurant manners”, and they were only allowed in restaurants if they had their restaurant manners.

      Any bitching, whining, dropping things on the floor, climbing off seats, or other unpleasantness, and we would simply pack up and leave, long before it escalated to where other diners would be affected.

      By the time they were two and a half, they had it down. One reminder about restaurant manners was all it took to get them to behave.

      Of course, we also made sure we took them early enough in the evening that they weren’t overtired (arriving no later than 6pm, finishing by 7.30 at the latest), because nobody can be on their best behaviour when they are overtired.

      Common sense and clear boundaries can work miracles.

      • slavicdiva

        Exactly, Jenny!

        When I was a kid, we didn’t go out to restaurants very often. When we did, it was a special treat. My mom told me that restaurants are places for grownups, and that I was expected to be on my best behavior and mind my manners (the manners I had been taught at home). Further, if I acted up, Mom said that she would yank me right out of there, and I would never get to go again. That I would stay home with a sitter next time.

        As a result, I never acted up. I had been taught better – and I also knew that never getting to go again was far from an empty threat. My mom meant business!

    • Mary

      When my kids were little, we were (and current parents still are) lucky enough to have a local restaurant that had a back room with a cool and very sturdy built-in play castle and slide and plenty of tables and chairs. You could get decent food, a glass of wine, and the kids could play. They also had a number of books and stuffed animals. My daughter even got her first bloody lip there. Moving to the front of the restaurant literally felt like graduation. But it was the perfect blend of a family friendly restaurant without having to go to one of those horrible “family chains.” 🙂 It even has boutique beer.

    • Kat

      I don’t have kids, but saw this post on the FB wall of a friend of mine that has a little boy. I also have been a nanny. Essentially, I love kids. I do. I like their awkwardness, often, and how honest they can be. They generally make me laugh.

      I think that both groups (the with-children adults and the without-children adults) need to learn to compromise a little. If I have a raging migraine and feel sick, then I am probably going to have very little patience for a 2 year old screaming. But I stay home then. I generally only go out (for the most part; sometimes you have to go out for work-related reasons) to restaurants and the like…when I am in a good mood. If I am in a foul mood, I stay home and watch Netflix.

      Sure, some kids can scream and scream. Occasionally, if the screaming doesn’t abate, I’ll look over. If the parent is on their own/ looks exhausted etc. I sometimes will go over and just wave to the child. They sometimes stop screaming. And sometimes, you can’t do anything. Sometimes, for whatever reason, it’s not appropriate to try to help because you can sense that might just increase the parents stress or whatnot.

      Basically, I think people need to be a little more adaptable. I know many people who don’t have kids because they don’t want kids. Then there are people who don’t have kids because they don’t live a life suited to having kids, either in terms of how much they work, or the hours they keep etc. (this is why I don’t have a dog. And I love dogs). But ultimately, I don’t think it should just fall to the toddler or the parents 100% to keep things ‘calm.’ Some adults are just unreasonable and get worked up over every little thing. They can be more reactive than toddlers, occasionally.

    • Penny

      Believe me, as a mom of two, no one INSIDE that mom/dad group enjoy children screaming, either. Well, maybe, but there are special institutions for those people.

    • yvonne

      I agree with Crissy go where kids are not allowed if you dont like hearing kids being kids. As for me I,d rather be where an unrulely kid is and complain to the manager than in BAR with a bunch of drunk assholes acting like “kids” falling all over us talking so stupid it is not even funny any eating establishment is open to the PUBLIC they are there to make money a lot of them feed kids free to get adults in there to spend money I think its mostly people that dont have children that complain BUT I DO AGREE IF YOUR KIDS ARE ACTING LIKE IDIOTS TAKE THEM OUT!!! I NEVER BLAME THE KIDS I BLAME THE PARENTS TEACHING MANNERS STARTS AT HOME For those who want peace and quiet call your order in take it home and eat it For gawds sakes PUBLIC means never knowing what you are going to see or hear seems to me people act too entitled these days bigger problems in this world to protest than to cause such a big stink over kids being kids

    • Gabi...Patel

      THK U!!!

    • Katie

      Mom and Dad don’t like screaming either…

    • Meri

      Crissy, I’ve had and released three kids and totally agree with what you say, EXCEPT…(you knew there was going to be an except, right?)..the annoyance level of a shrieking spawn doesn’t change whether the screaming is unhappy OR happy. Sat in an IHOP not to long ago wincing every time the spawn two tables over insisted on happily screeching at the tops of it’s lungs about every 15 seconds while Mommy and Grandma just smiled indulgently, because, after all, the SPAWN was happy, so EVERYONE was happy. NOT. The Mates almost had to take ME outside…..

    • Kate

      You assume wrong when you say that people who don’t enjoy your screaming running snowflakes are childless. I raised two daughters who knew from an early age how to behave in public. How did I do that? Because when I was that age, I was taught to behave in public by my parents. I behaved as was expected of me whether it was McDonalds or a fine restaurant. I passed that on to my children. Parenting us your responsibility. If people can’t stand to be around your snowflakes, that’s your fault and no one else’s.

    • Kristine

      I don’t eat fast food (no McDonald’s or Taco Bell) so I’m not taking my kid there to eat that sh*t, either. My 4 1/2 year old son is very well behaved. Going out to eat is one of his favorite things ever. If he’s having a meltdown, we leave. Period. He gets 5 minutes, tops (and I’m being generous), of any sort of negative behavior before he’s removed.

      I don’t like loud kids either, but it is possible to teach them manners and respect for others.

      Also, crayons and a coloring book, your phone or iPad are great distractions – and maybe a special treat.

      There’s no reason for a 40 minute meltdown – but also no reason for a grown adult to also act like in such a childish and immature manner.

    • Fran

      I had four children, somehow all now safely grown, and my husband and I felt like it was a special event for us to be able to afford to go to a really nice restaurant. I would have absolutely hated to pay all that money for a rare opportunity to escape my children for a pleasant dinner and evening out, which included paying a baby-sitter, only to have to listen to someone else’s kids screaming. There are some places where children simply don’t belong until they are old enough to know and use good manners in public. If you have children who are too young to be civil in public, take them to a child-friendly restaurant and don’t risk ruining the evening of others who don’t love your children like you do.

  • Kati

    I love you so much.

  • Viking Mom

    Thank you!
    And Arlo rocks.

  • Rachel

    This story scares me…or more, the REACTION it is getting is what’s scaring me. I live somewhat close (I mean in a broad geographical sense) to this restaurant, and many people on my Facebook pages are applauding the owner screaming at this kid. Yes, from what I’ve read, the parents seem like dicks. Obviously, they needed a hard shake and a WTF. But the owner screamed at the TODDLER. I’m so afraid people will take this story and turn it into open season on families that may, in fact, NOT be dicks.

    Yes, when my kids are REALLY pitching a fit, I call it quits and take them out of public. But I am hyper aware of how my kids behave in public, to the point where I often stay housebound because I’m afraid of inconveniencing other people IN A PUBLIC PLACE. What I’m afraid of is people reading about what this restaurant owner did, seeing all of the people cheering her, and thinking it is now acceptable to approach me and my family and tell my kids to shut up…assuming I am an entitled bitch who thinks everyone should have to listen to my obnoxious kids…when in reality, I’m just trying to get some errands done, and feed my kids some real food, and I’m REALLY trying to do this as quickly as possible because I KNOW my kids are not in optimal behavioral mode.

    You can’t explain all that to someone shooting you dirty looks in a friggin’ APPLEBEE’S….though I sometimes really want to. 🙁

    • JonAnne

      I agree with everything you just said.

    • Jen

      From what I’ve heard, the family arent Dicks, the child doesn’t scream for 40 minutes, but was a normal child waiting 40 mins for pancakes. At a DINER…what?

      We all know there are 3 shoes to a story, both sides and then the truth.

      I just hate how it seems the mom is getting a lot of the hate when as you said we’ve all been there. You can only do so much to help your child behave when your food takes 40 mins. It’s not like they were at a fancy place it was a diner!

      • Ashley

        What everyone seems to forger is that sometimes restaurants get bombarded and hit at once. You have only a certain amount of grill space at some places. They usually cook the food in the order it comes in… but if 20 orders are ahead of yours, it can take time. That 40 minute diversion is annoying and I don’t feel has anything to do with the argument.

        • cindy

          I disagree; as a former restaurant manager and waitress, if food takes 40 minutes from order to serving, even if you’re extremely busy, you have a problem in your kitchen. Except in rare circumstances, that should only be an acceptable wait time during your start-up period.

          • Amy

            We have a breakfast restaurant in town that serves baked apple pancakes. The menu, and the sign on the wall, and the waitress tell you that they take 40 min to prepare. If that’s the case, you know what you’re in for. If it was just a 40 minute wait for regular food, I would have taken the kid out and gone somewhere else.

          • Andrea

            I agree. I waitressed for years and 40 minutes for a steak and people would start bitching. If I waited that long for a stack of pancakes, I would have said forget it, paid my bill and left. I don’t care how busy you are, that’s poor restaurant management.

          • Jason

            Clearly u have never cooked on line and don’t know what the fuck you r talking abou. Just cause u served and managed doesn’t mean you have ever been doing it right. Don’t get me wrong on a regular day ur right it should take 40 minutes for food but it does happen u
            but if you’ve only ever served and then some home how got to Manger. Doesn’t mean u know what your talking about. Any .on key can be trained to serve food

            • Jason

              Clearly u have never cooked on line and don’t know what the fuck you r talking abou. Just cause u served and managed doesn’t mean you have ever been doing it right. Don’t get me wrong on a regular day ur right it shouldn’t take 40 minutes for food but it does happen u
              but if you’ve only ever served and then some home how got to Manger. Doesn’t mean u know what your talking about. Any monkey can be trained to serve food

              • Patrick

                Your an ass Jason. I’ve also been both a restaurant manager and a server. (We did over 8 million in sales a year) I’ve seen a lot of people try and serve and fail miserably. It’s not for everyone and id like to see you serve a juiced section and in the weeds. Most people cry and quit serving. I’d bet you’d be the little girl that did exactly the same. Clearly you had shitty parents to bring about this attitude and your lack of proper grammar tells me I’m right. You are the person with the shitty kids likely and are the type of person this article is talking about. You are also the patron that will never get it.

        • Pam Weeks

          I worked in a family restaurant for years, and it was our policy to put some saltines or animal crackers on the table if there were small children in the party, JUST IN CASE the grill was backed up. I was thinking about that when I first read about the “diner incident.” Wondered why the wait staff didn’t do something to put some kind of snack in the hands of that toddler. Better yet, why the parents didn’t bring something along…

      • Elle

        A SMALL hipster diner. Take your kid to iHOP and scram. The world doesn’t like your kid.

        • Joan Crawford


        • Marcy

          And Elle just made a perfect example of someone acting like a typical dick

          • Gabi...Patel

            No, she is simply stating the truth. When u have kids, there are trade-offs & sacrifices. Use discernment & WE WILL ALL BE HAPPY.

        • yvonne

          Really? The world doesnt like kids??? you are just ignorant!!!!!!

      • Julie

        Jen. From every source I read regarding this incident, the pancakes were already on the table and the parents were not giving any to the child. If it is true, the parents have no one to blame but themselves. I would be making a big fuss too if I could see and smell the food out of my reach that my parents neglect to put in my mouth. And the owner yelled from behind the counter. She did not get into that child’s face as many think.

        • Jen

          Most Every source is from the owner trying to cover her ass! The moms account has been released.

      • Kelly

        The child wasn’t waiting 40 minutes for the pancakes, those came quickly. The parents put the the pancakes on table out of her reach, so she was crying. The owner had gone over to the table at one point and made a comment to the parents, and asked if they needed their bill (passive aggressively), and the little girl stopped crying for that minute. As soon as she left she started aagain. Everyone at the table was allegedly ignoring the little girl.

        Was the baby being an asshole? No. Were the parents? Yes. Did the owner handle it properly? No. I would’ve made a more direct comment to the parents had it been my establishment. And no, I don’t have children, I’m unable. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been around them enough, or don’t have the experience to realize if they are in distress or just being little hellion dicks.

      • Jane

        You didn’t read carefully. The pancakes were sent to the table quickly, anticipating the child acting out. The parents then refused to feed them to her. That’s when the screaming amplified.

      • Dee

        You didn’t follow the story, the food was on the table. The Dick parents just simply didn’t give it to the child. So…dick parents!

      • Kamy

        You can have snacks to hold the child over. I don’t go anywhere without a snack just in case we run into a scenario like this (where we can’t get food quickly). If the child hadn’t eaten and was screaming because he/she was hungry that was extremely poor planning on the parents part…

    • Diana

      I agree. Praising the restaurant owner may send a [bad] message to people that you can just” come slamming at our table and start yelling at my kid.” That would really turn me into a monster and could kill somebody with a fork! Sure, some parents can be dicks, but we can’t solve dick-problems by being dicks ourselves. There’ll be instances when parents would have no choice but take their kids in public places [re: groceries]. Let’s have some compassion, people.

      As a mother myself, I’d leave people in peace by not taking my kid outside to eat. I’m not only causing other diners inconvenience; I’m also causing myself some serious headache. I mean, seriously, the little rascal can’t even sit still for straight one minute! I’d rather take out our food and eat at home, when cooking your own meal’s an impossibility that day.

      And we go back to our #1 life rule: don’t be a dick. Hehe.

      • Sean

        Then don’t even take the crotch goblin out. Restraints are for civilized people with manners and respect. Children/toddlers have to be taught that. I tell parents all the time to shut their damn kids up because I don’t pay money to hear, smell or deal with kids.

        • Nikki

          Wow. “Crotch goblin”? Methinks you shouldn’t be allowed into said “restraints” (restaurants, maybe?) either, with the lack of manners and respect your comments are displaying …

        • Steve

          Here’s the thing fuckface. Kids learn to behave in public, by being in public. Taking kids to chuck e cheese or any playground / restaurant to see other kids acting like as assholes only perpetuates that behavior in other public spaces. I have removed my children when situations have gotten dicey, but they now behave very well in restaurants, museums etc…because they’ve been socialized. You’re not guaranteed peace and quiet in any public space. You clearly don’t and shouldn’t have kids. As they would be the very assholes for which you loathe.

          • Dan

            Fuckface? Now, now, Steve. Please learn to socialize without being an asshole.

            • Lauren

              Clearly from his comment, Dan wins Dad of the year if this is how he teaches his children to respond to others opinions. Wow, way to go Dad…. NICE!

            • Steve

              I was being nice

              • Christina

                Steve, you don’t think you could teach your children that mealtimes are for eating, not for screaming, at home BEFORE taking them out in public? I don’t really buy this “children will never learn how to sit their asses down and eat their food quietly like civilized beings unless they’re in a restaurant” crap. We rarely got taken to restaurants when I was a child, but we learned at home what proper dining manners were.

                • PipSqueak

                  Ding, ding, ding, Christina for the win! Agreed. There are plenty of opportunities to take a child out to a restaurant over the course of 18 years with most falling when the child is verbal and aware of others. As a parent of a savage 20 month old, we limit eating out and are working at home with her on behaving at a table. When she is verbal and capable of being coached, we’ll expand her horizons. I’m guessing she’ll never be aware that we have not taken her to cool eateries.

          • Mummy@Large

            I’m with you on this one. Kids are obviously going to behave differently in public if all their “training” is at home, because public places are full of new sights and sounds. Exposing them to those places and leaving if they get out of hand is the best solution. It seems like some people forget that they themselves were born babies and didn’t spring into the world fully grown, with proper manners.

          • yvonne

            Totally agree Steve

        • Marcy

          Seems Sean needs to be taught the same lessons he’s spewing that toddlers need to learn. Apparently, Sean is a 2-year old man-child. You need to only eat at McDonald’s.

        • Queen V

          “I tell parents all the time to shut their damn kids up”

          And you still have teeth?

        • Amy

          Sean, I’m guessing you never left the house when you were just a wee crotch goblin.

        • Dawn

          When I was but a crotch goblin, my mom would take me out to very nice places and I was able to practice the manners that I had learned at home. Being an ass was just not tolerated by my mother, aka the birthing vessel that housed this mammal.

          I grew up, sort of, and decided not to have children because birthing vessels aren’t necessarily guaranteed a life partner to help them with their own crotch goblins. All said, I would rather tolerate a screaming kid than some dickhead screaming at a kid.

          And if I really don’t want to listen to kids, I’ll go eat at a bar like the rest of the reasonable people.

          Grow some empathy dude.

          • Vagina

            Dawn is my hero of the day!

        • Alyson

          The restaurant owner swears, dehumanizes children and makes physical threats publically. How is THAT civilized?

          Apparently civility has nothing to do with actual civility and everything to do with age. Children can’t so much as make a peep but adults can rant and rave like lunatics, and that’s not only socially acceptable but apparently commendable.

    • Maddie

      YES! Thank you. I feel exactly the same way.

    • linda

      Maybe the restaurant owner needs a vacation????? I also work in customer service, and when it is close, i have very little patience for screaming adults, let alone screaming kids! When kids are acting up in my store, i try to divert them to what is going on, get them to smile, laugh. usually it works. and then the parent can get what they need and move on. it doesnt always work. but i was brought up that 2 wrongs dont make it right! so yelling at a kid while they are yelling, 2 wrongs, is not going to fix it.

    • Leah

      I think you inadvertently brought up a really good, if not sad point. You said you find yourself “housebound because I’m afraid of inconveniencing other people”. We ALL need to cut each other some serious slack! No one should feel housebound because they’re afraid of the judgement of others for having a kid.

      I hate feeling like a leper for just walking into a restaurant (or god forbid an airplane) with a baby before she even makes a peep. Yes, I know you don’t want to hear her (TRUST ME, I want to hear her less) but I will take her out if she cries. Please give me the benefit of the doubt before all the nasty faces.

      • Ruth

        Leah, unless the kids are doing something dangerous on an airplane, like not remaining belted when they should. Or if you have a small baby, please be assured that there are so many ‘older’ people out there who feel so badly for you and you should not fret. The kids are not mine so it does not bother me if they are fussy, but i sure do feel sorry for you bc you are trying to be so considerate. You are doing the best you can- dont worry. The only time i get upset in a restaurant is when the parents are trying to be over indulgent and the child is already to the point of no return. The child is really asking for the parent to be the boss- he doesnt know what he wants.

    • Chris

      Remember it takes a village to raise a toddler, or some crap like that. So if the parents are not going to yell at the toddler, then it is the responsibility of the village to do it. Everyone in that restaurant should have gotten up, gone over to that table, and yelled at both the parents and the toddler. It is only when others tell us that our behavior in public is unacceptable, do we learn how to behave in public.

      • cindy

        or maybe just go over to the table and ask them politely first. you know, like a non-dick.

        • Walker mission

          The owner of the restaurant has the right to just tell the family that enough is enough. She does not need the screaming families money or the distraction and ask them to leave. Tolerance eventually was reached with this group. It is not the desire of all that were present to listen to the craziness presented by the screaming kids family. Autism? Really?
          PTSD from being squeezed out of a small hole? Who cares, other then those trying to enjoy a reasonably quiet meal. The parents are truly the dicks. Control your children or be asked to control them. I’m sure the parents feel that they are great parents. They are wrong. The fact that they ignored requests to modify the kids behavior make them as irritating as the kid. It’s not a kids world. Children need to be taught. If they fail, have consideration for other customers and leave. Hope for success on the next try. Somewhere along the way, either the parents will get it and pass it on, or continue to be dicks and raise the screamer accordingly,continuing the minority of those that were never taught manners.
          National news? Not. Stupid apparently entitled parents need this to be a lesson and apologize. The can go anywhere they want next time, but if I owned the resarant and recognized their selfish mugs, I would give them one chance and then ask them to leave. A loud family with no control of their kids has no money value in the future for the restaurant. Obviously, this family takes no blame. I hopefully the next time they walk into the next restaurant and see their picture on the wall as non serviceable they will go home and enjoy the screaming all by theirselves

          • r m reddicks

            I’m thinking why not take some boxes over to the table, mention “I can see you’re having a difficult day so let us help you box this up. This one’s on us.” Mgt. can tip out the server.

            And then if they don’t leave call the cops and Child Protective Services cause then it’s going to get really ugly.

            Better to lose the cost of a meal than a bunch of customers.

          • Susan

            Does the owner also have the right to threaten physical violence?

            Look for the Facebook post. People are so quick to project their own attitudes and experiences onto the story without knowing it. Unless swearing profusely, bragging about being psychotic and making threats is appropriate professional behavior.

            No wonder I have such a hard time in polite society. I always try to maintain my dignity and conduct myself sanely and reasonably.

      • EN

        There would have been no need to yell. I would have given the situation about five minutes after the food was served and then gone over and spoken to the parent. Snarky response from the parent would have upped the ante, though.

        • Meli

          There surely would have been a snarky comment. There almost always is something like: “We have just as much right to be here as anyone else!” Well, yes, but, everyone in the place now thinks you’re a dick. I was in a movie a while back, Sniper, rated R, and a woman with a little girl was in the darkened theater. As the first of the shooting started, the little girl began to cry and say, “Mommy, I’m scared!” This went on 10 minutes before a voice came out of the dark and said, “For the love of God, take her OUT!” to which the mother replied, “She has just as much right….blah blah blah….” Personally, I don’t know why movie theaters let a kid in to anything other than a matinee, but that’s a debate for another day….

          • r m reddicks

            I recall going to a second run theater to see “A Clockwork Orange”. About two scenes in some gentleman? who had brought his 5 or 6 year old along with him suddenly had a bundle of fear on his hands. He, at that point anyway, did the gentlemanly thing – in fact the humane thing and took his kid out of the theater. My companions and I (who had seen the show before) were rather of the mind, “Holy fuck. Was that guy serious? Bring a little kid to this show? He probably thought they were clowns or something.”

            • The Prozac Queen

              I remember hearing a child crying in the theatre when my husband and I saw “Passion of the Christ”. I never saw “A Clockwork Orange” but PotC is *definitely* not something you want a small child to see.

          • Alyson

            Including movies meant for children?

            Then again, I remember a radio DJ in my state bragging about getting frisky with someone during The Grinch so I guess that’s what children’s movies are for, and what theaters should accommodate instead.

            As for the why, theaters want money. Not a good gamble letting kids into adult features, but the obvious and fiscally sensical choice with regards to movies that are G and PG, and even PG13 depending on age and the movie.

            Do you think the movie theater industry would be sustainable allowing only 18 and up outside of matinees?

        • Melissa

          So. Who cares? Who are you to anyone outside of your immediate family and friends? Probably no more important in the big scheme of things than I am.

      • Sarah

        So Chris, you think yelling at then takes them not to yell? Not the brightest crayon in the box are you. The point is no one should yell and interrupt others, so try the “don’t be a dick” policy.

      • Amy

        and how would yelling at a child from complete strangers help? other than terrorize that child? No one has a right to yell at a small PERSON that is not even old enough to know social rules. Use your head.

    • Jessica

      YES YES YES. There’s also the fact that Darla went on to say some really horrible things to the family in a profanity-laden FB post and also brag about her behavior. It made me really sad. We’ve all seen the video of her by now, but I’m not sure folks are seeing this:

      • Suri

        I wouldn’t go to her place just based on her ridiculous post and crappy attitude! I say to her: if you can’t write a coherent message to relay your side, then SHUT THE FUCK UP! Now a different perspective: I own a small independent store north of the border and have kids running around all the time while parents are ignoring them to look at product. Why? Because they assume that as long as the kid isn’t running outside in traffic, all is good. But we are not baby-sitters (unless you ask to do so) and we have other customers to attend to who also don’t want kids running around. And we can’t have kids screaming if we are trying to answer the phone or serve a customer. If you cannot respect the small business owner’s space to ensure that things are not broken, ripped or thrown all over, then please don’t come it. It’s stressful to the business owner and potentially an insurance nightmare (what if they trip while running? what if someone trips and falls on crap left in an aisle that your are unaware of?)If more people on both sides would have perspective and realize they are not the only ones in the universe, then we would all be way more mellow. And this kind of attitude only began in the 1980’s — parents controlled their kids and kids were more respectful of others before then. No one is special and we all need to stop thinking we are. Namaste! P.S. I did love the post and its irreverence — I made me laugh out loud!

        • Adrianne

          RE: the problem started in the 80’s. Good Point! Probably so! Before then, parents were allowed to discipline kids without someone butting in and calling the authorities for what the outsider deemed to be overly harsh or abusive behavior. These days if you are a parent, you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Other people see one little snapshot of an instant in someone else’s life and judge. Stories about parents losing their children to the system for letting them play outside!? It is illegal to swat a child on the butt in some states!? No wonder kids act like jerks! Parents dread taking them into public because of the judgements on everything, especially discipline. If I get on to my toddler for bad behavior in a manner judged to be unacceptable by anyone, I could wind up having a nice conversation with the cops or losing my child. If I let ill manners go, others think I am a shitty parent (and make rude comments), and my kids don’t learn appropriate social behavior. How about everyone not be a dick (don’t beat your kid senseless or ignore them, don’t judge one fleeting moment of a kid being an asshole or the parents’ response to said assholery) and take a deep breath, we all have to live together.

          • Jennifer

            Absolutely. A neighbor sent the police to our house because my 3 year old was screaming in a time out, in his room. You don’t even have to leave the house, or hit your child, for people to butt in about your discipline. Hooray for those parents who have mild-mannered, quiet, obedient children who do what they’re told…my youngest isn’t. My oldest was, so it’s not because of some fault in my parenting.

    • Kristen

      I’m shocked by how many people defend the diner owner. Yelling is so immature and unprofessional. No excuses. I know we are going to see more situations like this thanks to the media frenzy. We ALWAYS remove our very well behaved toddler when he tantrums more than a few minutes. I’m worried that people will start enforcing any sounds that come from my child. Some people (including this diner owner I suspect) HATE children. There are people who get annoyed by even happy baby sounds. My experiences with restaurants have been good. Most waiters adire children and happily clean up the occasional water spill. I will tip well if we make a mess and the service was otherwise good. But nothing should be resolved with aggressive confrontation. Yes the parents were dicks but the diner owner was absolutely out of line. For the record, the baby is blameless. Yet the owner called her nadty names. From birth to about 5 or 6, you can’t hold children accountable for their mmeltdowns. Parents should know better than to disrupt people for more than 5 minutes but oh well. That’s nit something to lose uour mind over. Period.

      • Walker mission

        Give me a break. The party was warned several times before the owners outburst, and it was not directed at the child, it was directed at the useless parents. The family of morons should have been asked to leave after the first request for parental control.
        There is no hate when asking repeatedly for parental control and not getting a response.
        You think a 25% tip is enough? Silly. That’s nothing when your child stressed out the entire restaurant. You should be paying for everyone’s dinner bill at that point.
        Not sure what you do for a living, but 25% should be given for good service regardless. Thinking that cleaning up the mess that an unruly child has created not only by food on the floor, but lost business as well as life stress created by the truly unrelaxed environment is ridiculous. Not only has the uncontrolled infant been a constant distraction to all, it has also made people leave early, cutting unknown revenue by those that could have had desert or after dinner cocktails. Your 25% tip is not only ridiculously low( you thought generous) , it discounts any present or future customers from ever coming back after a review on social media, or just the simple desire never to have to experience that again. Parents need to keep their kids under control and respect all those around them. Otherwise, we might as well just light up a smoke. Who cares, right?

        • Susan

          Have you not read the Facebook post? How can people keep defending this woman and accepting her side of the truth? (Especially when even she admits that a crying child, whom she continues to dehumanize on the news, was not the start of problem.)

          Parents do need to keep their kids under control but adults should be able to control themselves.

        • Charlene

          So passively aggressively throwing togo containers at the table and asking if table 5 had their bill was a reasonable warning? Whatever happened to politely asking?
          This whole situation is terrible! The parents AND the owner need to take responsibility for their poor actions. They are the adults. Not to mention that the owners response was MORE of a tantrum than the child was having no doubt.

      • Barbara Saunders

        The fact that the owner is a nut does not negate the ridiculousness of the parents’ behavior BEFORE the owner yelled.

    • Erin

      I totally agree with you! I am a semi-new mom (I have a 14 month old) and I’m actually struggling a lot lately with anxiety (to the point of seeing a therapist and considering meds), largely caused by the huge and pretty isolating life change of becoming a stay at home mom. Yes, I totally chose this life and really do love being home with my girl, but after a year, it’s become very, very hard to find a balance and get out and meet people and partake in society! The pressure put on parents that a child is supposed to act like a grown up everywhere they go or else they aren’t welcome makes it even harder. When I finally do get out of the house I’m always feeling stressed out about if my kid is bugging someone else and she’s actually very well behaved! I have to keep telling myself over and over again that it’s ok for her to make a little noise now and then, maybe bang her toy on the table a few times, and yell for a second when she’s waiting for me to cut her food. She’s a KID. Kids are human beings. They are allowed to go out in the world. If she’s having a fit and screaming, of course I’ll take her out of wherever we are. But, kids should not be expected to be silent little church mice or else be locked inside.

      But, yes. I think not being a dick is a very good universal rule of thumb. Don’t be a dick to a mom just trying to have a meal, don’t be a dick to the people around you by letting your kid scream for more than 10-15 minutes, etc…

      • Melissa

        Perfectly said.

      • Dana

        Erin, if you are feeling that isolated you should look for a Mom’s club in your area. Also joining storytime at the library or toddler swim classes is a good way to meet other stay at home Moms. It is much easier when you have a network of other mothers in similar situations to talk to.

      • Marie

        “Don’t be a dick to the people around you by letting your kid scream for more than 10-15 minutes…” If someone let their kid scream in a restaurant/diner, etc. for 10-15 minutes I would be doing more than giving them a nasty look! It is totally uncalled for for a child of any age to be screaming for that length of time! Give them a fucking pacifier/lollypop/bottle, etc. to shut them up until the food gets there. NO I DO NOT HAVE KIDS…and told my parents after my first experience of babysitting at the age of 12 that they would never have grandchildren from me. However, I do enjoy working with children and do so every day at a world famous resort area. I see kids every day have meltdowns, but its because they are tired/hot/hungry and the parents decide that they paid huge $$$ to be there and will experience everything they can, regardless of what their kid(s) are feeling. THOSE are the kids I feel bad for, because the parents are being total fucking dicks! OK…GO…waiting for the bashing to start, but I could care less because all of you bleeding hearts on here are dicks.

      • Grams

        Erin, my kids are grown and have their own kids now, but I remember having those feelings while they were young and I was a stay at home Mom. You are doing the right thing by seeking counseling. I found parenting to be very isolating. We lived in the country and had no close neighbors, my husband worked two jobs and was not often home, all of my friends worked and so had little time to socialize with me. My heart goes out to you. Find as much support as you can with your therapy, with mother’s groups, etc. I went to the library for their children’s programs, to a woman’s church group for a while (though I am not religious), and tried to find hobbies that would connect me to myself. Thoughts and prayers with you! It does get better.

      • Christina

        ….for more than 15 minutes? You think it’s reasonable for someone to have to listen to a raging temper tantrum for 15 minutes? Jeez. I could get five minutes, maybe, but a quarter of an hour we’re supposed to patiently listen to screaming banshees without giving you the stink-eye? I try not to be a dick, but come on, meet me halfway here.

      • Sara

        I know how you feel. I felt the same way after my son was born, especially since I was the first of my friends to have a child. I was asked to leave him at home and get a babysitter if I was to attend ‘day’ functions like barbecues because it was ‘adults’ only, and I was raised that children don’t belong in restaurants. Kids do make noise; you don’t have to apologize for that. It sounds like you are a very aware mother and respectful of your surroundings. Try not to stress so much. Every child is different. Its going to be a lot of trial and error. Chin up. You’re doing great.

    • Cordel

      I think people were cheering because of the 40 minutes. Most of us have had children, and know things do get out of control now and then. I was never able to deal with my babies crying for long, and cannot understand how a parent can deal with it for 40 minutes. If the family has to eat away from home because they are on holiday, or are out of town for the day, then some crying is excusable, but 40 minutes?

      I can deal with crying kids on an airplane, in the grocery store, in church, but not in a restaurant for 40 minutes. If this is likely to happen, order take out, go to a McDonalds, or get a baby sitter.

    • Dalmax

      The consensus seems to be “don’t be a dick”. I agree. *IF* that child was screaming for MORE THAN 5 minutes, there are ay number of things the parents could have done. When my kids were young, we always carried a baggie full of broken up Cheerios. Or graham crackers or saltines. Kids have the attention span of a flea.

      My daughter was “trained” early to behave. We never took her anywhere when she was tired, but when she wasn’t she went with us. We went to nice places and got all sorts of compliments.

      The MOST UNRULY that my daughter ever got was once, we were having lunch at the restaurant I was running at the time and she decided to have a conversation with the people behind us, even though she could barely see them. I watched carefully for signs of “intrusion fatigue” but saw none, our food came, and she turned back around.

      If the parents have no control over their children and plan for no contingencies in case their little snowflake turns into an effing nor’easter, that’s on them.

      AT THE SAME TIME……no one would EVER scream at my kid because I would never have let it get that far, no matter how few or many other people were in the establishment!

    • Mark

      My love, stop being so “afraid” of everything. You’re watching way too much news. The article was spot on. Most parents are so consumed with their children’s lives because they have no life of their own. They allow their children to trample on whatever is left of peace and tranquility single adults may have. Once the kids are in school, those adults submerge themselves in Yoga (their still fat), Coffee clutch talks with friends (Suicidal conversations about their honor roll child for most) and submerged in their Facebook accounts at age 42.

      Not even Calgon can make that nonsense go away.

      • Natasha

        Mark, you’re an asshole.

      • Alyson

        Do you actually know any parents?

        I don’t drink coffee. I’m not fat. I’m actually quite fit because I get to hike and have fun with a few cool kids and often their dad, though he’s not as big into the outdoors. Most grown ups are boring once you’re too old for the club scene and actually have to suffer through conversation, but it’s possible I just haven’t found my kind of people. But even the ones I didn’t like don’t perfectly align with your ridiculous stereotypes. Some were fat. Some were thin. Some were helicopter parents. Some were free range parents. A select few didn’t have a name for the kind of parents they were because they were just living life instead of getting hung up on image, which, by the way, is not exclusive to parents.

        Too many people want to believe that they are uniq

    • Jennifer

      She didn’t get in the toddler’s face and scream at her. From FIVE FEET AWAY she said (very very loudly) “this has got to stop.”

      And you know what, it stopped. If your kids are acting up and you do NOTHING, and have been asked to calm her, AND you’ve been asked to leave and you still allow them to act up and disturb other patrons, then yes, you deserved to be yelled at from 5 feet away.

      I get it, you want your kids to have dining experience. But so do other people. WITHOUT screaming and ranting snowflakes ruining it.

      You may like hearing your kids scream, but nobody else does. Even other people with kids.

    • Beverly

      If one of my three children started acting inappropriately, they would have disappeared out to the parking lot and would not have returned ……but to sit there for 40 minutes and do nothing is disrespectful to everyone else who was paying to eat there. I taught Kindergarten for 35 years….and could tell in minutes of meeting a new group for the year….. who ran the house.
      I would have had NO PROBLEM with someone telling my child to shut up because they deserved it….it wasn’t going to mess up their little psyche for life. The kid got over it and the parents need to also. But, I would not be surprised to learn that they have retained a lawyer.


      Im beginning to think the whole she was yelling at the child was directed at the whole table as she did admit to also slapping her hands on the table to get attention to the fact that she also wanted to be heard. Everyone was at fault in this except the kids. She was neglected by the parents.

    • Meli

      I don’t think she screamed at the kid specifically…. I think she was yelling in the general direction. It was probably directed as much at the parents as it was at the kid.

      • Alyson

        No, she specifically yelled at the child, and she’s been on her official facebook and the news calling the child names like monster.

    • Joan Crawford

      Are you serious? Screaming at a toddler is bad because? I am not seeing the harm here – the brat stopped crying when she screamed at her – it’s JUST what the bratty kid needed. Enough with coddling these kids — we see what the lack of discipline is doing — it’s creating overly entitled, worthless bratty adults who think they can scream and cry as an adult and get what they want. The kid deserved it. PERIOD.


        LOL’ing at Joan Crawford’s name choice. Appropriate! (And I completely agree.)

      • Susan

        You mean, like the OWNER?

    • Erica

      I have to say, not having been there and having only read the copious amounts of material (I won’t call it information) this has produced… I don’t see it as the owner yelling at a toddler. She was yelling at the parents ABOUT their toddler. And I can’t say I blame her. It appears she had already asked them to do something about the screaming, and they ignored her. Other customers were complaining and/or leaving. She has a business to run and they were driving people away.

      I’m not saying it was the “right” / sane thing to do, but I also think people aren’t paying attention to the fact that it DID shut the kid up.

    • Sally

      I agree with this. People applauding the diner owner’s screaming at the child are appalling.

      Here’s another thing – while I understand the tone of your blog post is somewhat lighthearted, and goodness knows that I get frustrated with my own kids sometimes, what is with the culture of America that it’s okay to describe children as assholes? They behave in ways that are consistent with their developmental stage.

      I think that American culture and society don’t value children. Our economic policies don’t and it seems like, from all the commenters on the Marcy’s Diner incident, that society doesn’t either.

      Children can be aggravating. But you know what? Children are also awesome. They respond well to kindness and friendliness. Sometimes they have bad days. Sometimes they are two years old. They don’t respond well to being resented, glared at, or viewed with suspicion at best. None of us would.

      • Michael Civitano

        Shows that those people have no morals or self control. The owner feels like a big guy now. I’m gonna bring my nephew in there and see if he yells at him.

    • Tulene Pattiletti

      I go out to lunch weekly…sometimes several times. I raised 4 children and ask the hostess to seat me away from children. I also tell them if they seat me near a child I will ask to be re-seated. I usually pick a booth on the end of a row so there will only be contact with one booth.

      I sometimes kid with the hostess and tell them I have a severe allergy to children and break out in a cold sweat. LOL

      My friends and I agree that we are entitled to quiet enjoyment of our meal whether it be Applebees or a high end restaurant.

      I would also like to add that I think breast feeding is awesome as I breastfed my children but I was discreet and covered myself during the entire process and only did so if the child was unruly. I find it annoying that some mothers seem to think it is ok to expose themselves in public.

      I am glad to see establishments installing changing beds for babies so mothers do not change them at the table. I see dirty diapers in parking lots and think mothers carry plastic bags and dispose of them later.

      PS. The article above is very funny but you can make your point without using profanity.

    • Andrea

      I won’t let my kids scream but assuming that the accounts are true, the restaurant owner just showed the kid that screaming in public is an acceptable behavior, so, um, yeah… She was no better.

    • MaryGM

      Here is a tip, Rachel. If you KNOW your kids are in a less than “optimal mood” finish up your errands or cut them short, head home and feed them there, or use the drive through and stuff a nugget into their nugget hole! Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT stop at a restaurant. Please!

  • Becky

    So, so many things would be cleared up if people would stop being dicks. Like almost all the things.

    Life policy: try not to be a dick.

    • Sean

      No things would be better if parents didn’t think they are the center of the universe. They need to get off their high horse. Children aren’t miracles…things have been copulation and having babies for millions of years. It’s not a concept developed recently you idiots.

      • Amber

        Not every parent thinks like that but you know what? Every militantly child free person says dick things like this. Maybe stop assuming every parent is going to be a center of the universe treat me special I did a miracle person. We’re not. We’re just people with different priorities and opinions on what makes a good life.

        • Erica

          Curious… how exactly are you defining “militantly child free”? I don’t have children, and I’m pretty militant that I’m never ever ever going to. That’s my choice (despite society acting like I’m some kind of child-hating pariah). But to lump me in with people who assume all parents are selfish asshats is just as presumptuous as what you’re railing against Sean for saying.

      • Steve

        Assholes aren’t miracles either. Everyone has one, stop talking out yours.

      • Tad

        I like to proofread before I call people idiots.

        • Randa

          Best comment in this whole long list!!!!

      • Marcy

        Geez, Sean. Your parents did a TERRIBLE job raising you. The stuff that comes out of your mouth. You talk about parents thinking kids are the center of the universe when you yourself act and talk like YOU are the center of the universe and people should cater to what YOU want.

  • Cath Gillespie

    Another excellent article. I love eating out and have three (thankfully and amazingly now-grown) sons. The first two were born 364 days apart. I had a bag of paper, colouring books, crayons and pencils and took those when we ate out. I gave up the pre- and post-dinner drinks and coffee, the first course and dessert because their attention span only allowed me a main course, but it was better than nothing, and now they’re more or less civilised human beings who know how to behave in a restaurant. Of course, I’m now incapable of spending more than forty-five minutes sitting at a restaurant meal and twitch a fair bit while I’m eating. Unsure who trained whom.

  • Brandi

    So true! And when my husband and I go out alone, it never fails we get sat by a loud family. My husband can tune out kids (surprise!) but I cant (another surprise!). I avoided restaurants at all costs, just like travel, until my kids were older…and movies. Because you’re right, it’s not fun. And my friend that constantly invited us to lunch because her son loved it and is so good…was a liar. Big time. When I wanted to practice taking them we went to McDonald’s. As a family we usually only go the family spots but occasionally we can’t and they do ok. At 6 and 9 it’s tolerable. But I would never take them anywhere fancy.

  • Michelle

    I am a 50 year old mother and grandmother. I have also spent the last 30 years in the restaraunt business. I have seen every type of meltdown a child can have! The parents are always the ones I want to smack upside the head. I have a lot of patience with little ones,but not so much with the parents! Especially now a days when their kid is screaming and throwing jellies and creamers and the parents have their faces buried in their phones. WTH?!?! Pay attention to your kid!

    • Kristen

      I completely agree with this. I see it all the time, adults sitting at a table glued to their phones while their kid is screaming a foot away from them or even more obnoxious you have a parent talking on their phone loudly plus their kids are acting up. I just don’t get it, people seem to have no shame. I don’t like either sides of this story if what either of them said was true…yelling at a toddler, letting your kid scream for a long period of time, and the restaurant owner cursing up a storm like a toddler herself. I just think people in general don’t seem to care about manners.

      • Karlie

        This happens at other places too. I was at the pharmacy yesterday, and a couple were sitting on their phones, while their 3 year old screamed, yelled, threw his GI Joe doll at people and went WWF on the blood pressure machine, kicking it, spitting on it, slamming buttons, screaming at it, using his doll to beat on it. 20 minutes this went on, and good lord the mother didn’t even look up..and she was pregnant with another brat she won’t control. Im a mom too, but my kids were immediately removed because I was embarrassed, and didn’t want to subject other humans to that wretched screeching toddlers make whenever they feel like it. Sometimes you just have to accept your toddler is going to go ape in public, and deal with it appropriately. Don’t make everyone else suffer. kost of us are good parents, dealing with it swiftly, you shouldnt allow them to get away with that behavior anyway

  • jt

    I will take my kids anywhere i want. And if im paying 50 dollars per plate, im going to sit there and eat it. Even if my kids are being loud. All because i dont give a fuck about what other people think. Kids are going to be loud no matter what. Maybe you need patience to deal with kids. Maybe you shouldnt go out to eat.

    • MeMe

      Thank you so much for demonstrating how to be a dick. It’s useful in a discussion on how not to do something, to have a shining example of how to do it.

    • Sheila

      Thank you for being a shining example of exactly the kind of dickish person we should all aspire not to be.

    • ashley

      You’re exactly the kind of dick she is writing about. Raising tiny dicks. You are exactly the kind of parent I loathe. Selfish.

      • Kerry

        Man, do you always get this wild range of comments?
        I always wonder what people without kids do all day, especially on weekends? I was bored with late dinners, late brunches, great trips years ago. I choose to travel and eat out with my crazies… how else witll they learn how to behave? Trick is to go early, eat fast, pick up around your table and tip well. (NOT NOT NOT giving advice…. just refuse to bow down to the idea that I have to live in a plastic, fast food shit hole until my crazies are legal age to vote)
        Being single and childless IS the definition of complete self centerdness…. who else do you have to think about?

        • Christina

          Who else do I have to think about? Errr…there are plenty of people on the planet who I didn’t have to squeeze out of my vag, you know. I think about my parents, my siblings, my friends, my partner, the clients at the homeless shelter I volunteer at — what an absolutely patronizing and condescending comment that childless people don’t have anyone but themselves to think about. That kind of smug “I’m better than you because I sprouted something from my loins, and your life is so empty” is exactly why I can’t handle hanging out with a lot of parents.

        • Tianna

          Just because I don’t have children doesn’t make me self-centered. First I don’t have children because I can’t from a health perspective so that you for being an asshole by calling me self centered. I was taught from a very early age to be quiet in restaurants and I was never a problem. That’s because my mother and my grandmother taught me manners from a very young age first. It took one tantrum and after being disciplined that was the only tantrum I had. Second, if I could have children I would not. This also does not make me self centered. It’s that I choose to have a different life than you do. A life I want to lead and not be tied down to my children. You choose to have children – then great, good for you. Then you have the responsibility to teach your special snowflake how to act in public. If you don’t or can’t for some reason then that makes you an asshole parent referred to in the article.

    • Steve

      Well there you have it.
      At least youre up front about being an inconsiderate prick. But while youre at it, why dont you just wear a shirt that identifies you as such so people who havent yet ordered can escape from the unpleasantness that is you and your ‘family’.

    • DC

      Maybe you should get a babysitter until your kids grow up and can act decent in a restaurant and by the way by reading your post you need to grow up also!

    • AG

      JT = Dick

    • 2 in 3 yrs

      Wow, good for you for at least saying it. But you’re wrong, cuz not all kids are loud while eating out. However, your attitude says a lot about how you raised your kiddos. Says a lot about your life. Says a lot about you. Good for you that you don’t give a F about other people, or what they think. Must suck to be you. Even worse, at dinner with you, or to be anywhere with you. Must suck to have to be your family, poor kids.

    • Mesastick

      Obvious troll-bait. Well done.

      • Adrianne

        my thoughts exactly/

    • TimK

      I’m a parent. I have 3 kids. I raised them like I was raised. When it comes to toddlers, we never took them to full service restaurants because we knew that they could be a problem and my wife and I respect our fellow Americans—even the ones we disagree with.

      My kids were to eat whatever my wife cooked. If they refused. I would make them sit at the table until they did. My daughter, being the most stubborn of the gaggle of chaos that my wife and I spawned into the world, holds the world record for the longest sitting at a dinner table (16 hours – with either myself or my wife keeping tabs). Little shit almost won when the food was clearly no longer edible, but my wife cooked the same exact dish and we gleefully watched as she caved, cried and ate the entire plate. She never played that game again……thankfully.

      As they got older (7,9 and 10), discipline became the norm. When any of my kids would act up in public or anywhere else, they got a smack in the face just as I did as a kid. Mind you this is not a full-force punch to the head but rather a fingers-only slap to the cheek. You know what? They fucking responded. After the first few smacks, all my kids, 2 boys and a girl never made that same mistake. Once they entered teen-dom, no amount of physical punishment would work so instead, if they pissed me off, I just took things from them. My youngest son slept in a bare bedroom on the floor his junior year of high school and only had a single outfit to wear which he had to wash every day to wear to school. I took everything from him. Why? Because the little shit thought it would be a good idea to sneak out, take my Charger SRT (without a license)and go to a local parking lot at 3am to do donuts as to impress girls. I made him pay me full retail price to get all his stuff back (which was put into his college fund which he didn’t need to now about at the time). He never fucked with me again.

      Now, 2 are in college and another is about to graduate high school and we just recently learned that she got accepted to Columbia University Pre-Med. My oldest son is an Engineering major at NJIT and my other son is at Penn State working towards an MBA (I’m thinking that his entrepreneurial spirit unlocked when he had to figure out how to buy all his stuff back his junior year).

      I love my kids and they love me. We have a great family and I could not be prouder as a parent. Kids are not meant to be put on pedestal they are meant to be taught about the harsh realities of life so they can adapt and be prepared for an ever-changing social and political landscape.

      Our kids by today’s standard would be considered free range kids. In the summer they were kicked out of the house and told to go play and not come back until lunch and after lunch, we kicked them out again to go play until dinner. We could care less what they did then so long as they came back alive and without a police escort. Just like my parents raised me. You know what? It fucking worked. Imagine that. 🙂

      Moral of the story: A smack to the face solves a lot of problems when it comes to kids. Stop spoiling them. You’ll love the results.

      • wanda lee

        you sound like an abusive asshat.

      • kati

        And here in withlies the reason that eatting disorders sustain. “clear your plate”, “you’ll eat what I gave you”, “You will sit there and eat until it’s done”, “there are children living [insert country] that are starving so you’ll eat what I gave you”.

        The issue isn’t “spoiling them”. The issue is everyone being respectful of each other. Any shaming to enact a behavior/discipline/respect/reaction is deplorable.

        I’m a stringent, predictable, consistant parent. However, there’s no shaming to acquire successful outcome of a meal.

        Don’t be suprissed when they come back with Daddy/Mommy issues related to your dining experience. This “ain’t” the depression. Dining with your family, as a negative memory, will never foster a positive relationship with you OR their own family and friends.

        Good luck with family dinners on holidays, with that approach!

        • Jax

          Did you miss the part where these kids are all grown up and functioning adults? Shaming is a huge part of social discipline. Why don’t you wear footsie pjs in public and eat with your fingers? Bullying is a different story and yes we need to teach children respect for others and respect for themselves. We also need to teach them to follow freakin’ rules. It sounds like this was more of an “I told you to do this so you are going to do it”. That is an important part of learning to be a human being who sometimes has to listen to others. Teachers, bosses, etc. teach kids to think and be proud of who they are and be confident…also teach them not to be dicks!

        • Matthew

          My parents raised me and my siblings the way they were raised, and we all turned out fine. My parents made us eat what my mom cooked because there is absolutely no reason to cook 3 separate dishes because your kid “doesn’t like meatloaf.” I was the worst perpetrator in this instance. I was the most picky eater. If it wasn’t spaghetti with red sauce or pizza, I was not a fan. I sat at the dinner table and gagged on most anything my mom put in front of me, but I had to eat it until my plate was empty anyway. (My longest run was 3 hours) I never suffered from an eating disorder.

          My parents also didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up, so we 90% of the time ate the same 4 or 5 meals every week. My dad supported a family of 5 on $65-$80 worth of groceries a week in the mid 90’s, and you know what that taught us? To be thankful that we still had food in the house, including still treating us to a few snack foods that we were still lucky enough to keep in our cabinets.

          Parents are afraid to discipline their kids these days, and that’s why a lot of them grow up to be little assholes.

          • FruitPunch

            I used to like to butt heads with my mom, too. And she was an excellent cook. The problem is, we had very, very little money because my paternal donor ran off. So the food we had was quite precious and not to be wasted. Still, I dug in my heels and refused. She said “Don’t try me.”
            I sat there for almost 4 hours defying her. She was quite calm. My brother running in and out playing, soon, it was past bedtime. There I sat, into the night. The thing was, her request was reasonable. I didn’t have to clear my plate, but at least make a good crack at it. Still, I refused to eat a bite. Finally around 11pm, she came and wrapped the food up. I was excited to have won. I got my bath and into bed smugly.
            The next morning was a Saturday and she always made a nice breakfast. Usually pancakes and orange juice. I came out to the kitchen feeling hungry and ready for the delightful smells wafting out.
   my seat, sat my uneaten dinner from the night before. My mom said “of course you may have pancakes. But you have to eat dinner first. I was soooo mad! I finally gave in and ate it. The whole time saying “this tastes awful!” And glaring daggers. Actually it wasn’t awful at all. But I was too mad to admit it.
            I got my pancakes finally, and learned my lesson and respecting this woman who busted her butt doing the job of two parents and working to provide nourishing food for her kids.
            I like to say, it was a lesson well learned. 🙂

        • Kate

          I’m sure your kids will have daddy/mommy issues a plenty. It isn’t respectful to get up from the table when dinner isn’t finished. It isn’t respectful to insist on a meal different than the one your mother or father(who probably worked all day) cooked. I think TIMK has it right! Kids are given too long a leash and they turn into little assholes. Being respectful goes both ways.

      • Rebecca berman

        Right on, THANK YOU!

      • Kimb

        Good on you TIMK! That’s how I was raised and guess what? My family has the BEST relationship! And don’t listen to the idiots about “eating disorders”, what a crock! No disorders here! And no divorce, educated successful kids….huh it DOES work! The fat kids of today are not that way from being made to finish their dinner, it’s a host of coddling issues and awful nutrtion. Betcha the naysayers don’t have it nearly as good as the kids who were raised to be responsible and pull themselves up by their bootstraps instead of being a whiny shit.
        Good job, wish parenting was still like this.

      • Alena Belleque

        I think I might actually be sick. What you’re describing is ABUSE.

        • Marie

          Another bleeding heart. TIM is right…that is how I was raised also. Have a college degree, etc. Decided kids and marriage were not for me, but doesn’t make me not successful in life. Grow a set and quit your bellyaching…no abuse described, just a way of life that a lot of us grew up with and learned to be useful, productive members of society, unlike the little asshats that someone else described that have no idea of what discipline is all about. I am glad that I don’t have a lot of years left to see what this latest generation will descend into. The current one is bad enough.

      • Casey

        Um. If smacking your kid in the face worked so well, why’d he still steal your car when he was bigger?

        • cindy

          POINT CASEY!

        • Marie

          Casey…did you ever do something just to see if you could get away with it? Probably not….just another wimpy asshole. The kid was testing his limits, and got caught, and paid the price.

      • Alia

        Advocating child abuse. Excellent. I’m sure you’ll wonder one day why your kids have eating disorders and relegate your helpless shell of a self to an old folks home and never visit.

        Newsflash: Hitting kids in the face and force-feeding them is bad parenting and produces emotionally stunted human beings.

      • cindy

        TIMK, while I could never go to the lengths you’ve described for various reasons, I think you’re right on. And I love that you made him buy back his stuff!
        Discipline from obviously caring, loving parents.

      • Louise

        I’d say the kids are successful in spite of their upbringing, not because of it. While I am no fan of excessively crying children or loose/absent discipline, this sounds like a cold and harsh way to grow up. “Gleefully” watching. Punishment a game and ridiculously disproportional to the behaviour.

      • Tad

        “No amount of physical punishment” would work? That’s a comforting statement.

        Sorry about your “Charger SRT”. Sounds like your son isn’t the only one trying to put up a façade of pseudo masculinity.

        Hit your kids so “they can adapt and be prepared for an ever-changing social and political landscape.” Harsh realities indeed. Sounds like you’re the one who is unprepared.

      • Kp

        You belong in jail.

      • Kerry

        I”m not sure what to say to your post. You’re forthcoming-ness implies that you are somewhat “proud” of your parenting style. Good luck with your kids as teenagers. If I saw you in public “smack” your kid, I’d pitch a fit. This is some 50’s style shit you got going here. “Hey kid, please don’t think, just fucking do what I tell you and don’t ask any questions”…. aka , DONT FUCKING learn to reason or think for yourself. Good luck with that!
        I have three young boys. They “practice” manners at home, they go out with us (not date night) to nice restaurants, they get “way to go’s” by wait staff. It starts with us. It starts with us teaching them how to behave like decent humans. They’ve been in stressed situations and for the most part, know how to buck up. They don’t do it out of FEAR, they do it because they know how to behave.
        For fuck’s sake, use your head, not your hands.

      • Alyson

        They create more in my experience. No two people are alike, and what works for one does not work for another. What I want to know is why nobody is questioning the parent of the restaurant owner who doesn’t even know how to behave or conduct herself professionally online or off. While you were busy bragging about your kids (TL;DR) you should have done a quick glance at the facebook post. That woman was a lunatic with a serious anger management problem. A hungry crying two year old is a hungry crying two year old. A hungry child’s problem can’t be solved by a slap in the face, but that owner’s problem might be aided by some time on a chain gang with someone who can outscream her.

      • goldilocks

        I won that “sit at the table” battle. Venison was served and I refused to eat Bambi. Venison was removed from my menu.

    • Jay See

      Maybe you should stay home and your kids go out to eat.

    • Anissa

      HERE – HERE! I agree with YOU 100% I have raised my kids and remember all too well what it is like and my heart goes out to single parents who just want a freakin’ meal and everyone else thinks they should be at home. Fuck that. If I wanted a meal out my special little snowflake was not going to stop that process. And if one of them had a meltdown – tough. They’re a small human trying to navigate a big world and sometimes they get it wrong. That souldn’t mean I have to hide myself away until they are done. How about some compassion for the mom instead and mayne asking if there is anything you can help her with instead of “assuming” she’s a brain dead dick???

      • Taylor

        “How about some compassion for the mom instead and mayne asking if there is anything you can help her with instead of “assuming” she’s a brain dead dick???”

        How about compassion for every other person in the restaurant who doesn’t want to listen to your child having a meltdown! Like… you’re not the be all end all of the world and you need to have respect and consideration for the people around you.

      • Matthew

        Sooooo, you think it’s acceptable to allow your child to scream just so that you can enjoy a “nice meal?” You are part of the problem then, lady. Isn’t parenting supposed to be about sacrifice? If your kid is acting up in a restaurant and you can’t control him/her, then you need to have your food put in a doggy bag and get the hell out of there. You have to sacrifice your night out of your child is inconsolable. If your steak is more important than calming your child down, then maybe you should have used a condom.

      • rjflamingo

        Because you’ve just demonstrated that you’re a brain dead dick. (Your words). Sweetiedarling Anissa, here’s a newsflash for you: You gave up your right to do anything you please whenever you please, however you please wherever you please, the moment that little mammal poked his/her head out of your body. Your first responsibility is to that tiny human, not yourself. If you want a meal out, go someplace your special snowflake won’t disrupt other people and their special snowflakes. Or get a babysitter. Can’t afford one? Well, you should have thought about that in relation to your personal desires, prior to bearing said tiny mammal. Sorry. Many nice restaurants deliver through GrubHub, BiteSquad, or DeliveryWow, online. Compassion? Sure, I feel for you. But really? You want a total stranger walking up to you in a restaurant and asking if they can help YOU? Now YOUR snowflake is MY responsibility? Get your head out of your ass, lady. The world does not revolve around you and your larva, nor do you get to pass your responsibility as a parent on to me.

        • Matthew

          LMFAO @ LARVA

    • Red

      I love your style!

    • jennifer Smith

      And that’s why you, JT, ARE an asshole! Kudos to Renegade Mom for telling it like it is! I didn’t go anywhere until my daughter was 5 years old, no restaurants, no movies, no nothing… because I was raised with manners and respect for other people. JT you ARE a dick!

    • Amybeth Hurst

      The restaurant’s rules are obvious to anyone who can read beyond a fourth grade education. And, a clearly obvious one is “no loud obnoxious behavior.” If you come to my restaurant and your children are loud, I will ask you to leave. If you refuse, I will throw you out, and yes it’s legal. Whether you’re an adult, a teenager or a toddler, you do not have the “right” to sit and disturb others, even for $50. Sorry, but you are 100% completely in the wrong here, JT. 100% in the wrong, it’s not a matter of opinion.

    • Kari

      Spoken like a true dick

    • Ruth

      Did you post this just to start an argument or do you really believe this? Wow! Either way.

    • Marie

      Maybe you need to keep your bratty, unruly children and your piss-poor,all about me attitude at home and let civilized people enjoy a peaceful evening out. Sounds like you were one of the “I’ll call 911 and CPS if you yell at me or punish me!” kids that threatened your parents with this and they let you get away with everything.

    • Boinkdorfer

      Maybe you should think about going to a $30 a plate place instead of a $50 a plate place and spending the savings on a babysitter. That way you might enjoy your meal more and maybe feel less wound up and angry.

  • Jennifer

    This situation was handled poorly by every adult involved and this kid suffered the consequences. For the sake of a streamlined narrative let’s say the kid was screaming for 40 minutes. The parents pretended like the kid wasn’t losing his/her mind for almost an hour…can you imagine what else gets ignored when they’re not in public? I’ve been to this restaurant and it has 5 or 6 tables plus a small counter…I imagine they had to wait for a table in the first place and then another 40 minutes for food. Why didn’t they have a light bulb moment “Hey maybe we should get something else for little Suzie or go somewhere else?” Even if h/she is a special snowflake and they want to socialize her or whatever…prepare ahead, it’s not fair to make him/her wait so long for food. Shit, I get hangry after 30 minutes. Consideration goes both ways. I always attempt an effort to wrangle my kids when out in public (not always successfully) and I’d say two-thirds of the time I get a “don’t worry about it”, sympathetic smile, or even some help from the strangers I’m trying to protect from my monsters.

    The owner/manager is just as much a toddler as the actual two year old. She could have offered crayons or a piece of fruit or bread to keep the kid calm but instead she was just as much a dick as the parents were. I’m so over this “tough love” cover for being an asshole. This is not the village mentality people talk about when it comes to kids.

    • AG

      I think you missed the point of this post Jennifer. She isn’t debating anything about the story in the diner and in fact the first line of the second paragraph says, “I don’t want to talk about that”. This article is about general guidelines for people with and without children to deal with each other in restaurants. It’s called common courtesy, or as Janelle awesomely puts it, “Don’t be a dick”. The article stated that the parents had already ordered and received the food for the child, three pancakes bigger than the kids head if I recall, and just weren’t feeding them to her. Hence the meltdown. The point I took away from this is that everyone, kids or no kids, should have a little patience with each other and ultimately, if your kids or any member of your party is acting up at a restaurant, take them out so the other diners can still enjoy their meals. When did it become the job of the owners/managers of restaurants to “offer crayons or a piece of fruit or bread to keep the kid calm”? It’s not their kid to care for in the first place. I don’t condone anyone yelling at the toddler but the parents are the real a**holes in this situation, end of story.

      • Ken

        These articles have left out a lot of information. The kid was not crying 40 min. Another patron confirms it was only a few minutes. It was pouring rain so taking child outside wasn’t a great option. They were visiting from out of town so didn’t have orion to take food to go because they were headed back home, ect. As for they child not being given the food I think it was cooling down. I am not saying the parent did the right thing. I wasn’t there. I’m very strict with my children and they get a minute before I remove them from a restaurant, but no one is perfect. We dont always know what is going on with other people. So to me as long as it’s a family type place, like a diner or a Friday’s I choose to be compassionate and not a judgemental dick.

        • Rachel

          The child could have been taken to the car.

          • Michael Civitano

            The owner could have asked the parents to please take your child out to the car. Not yell at the kid. It was handled wrong by all parties. It makes me sick to see people applauding the owner for screaming at a two year old. Every article I Read said something different anyway. So who knows what really happened. Anyone else would be arrested for abuse.

    • PrincessButterball

      The thing about “village mentality” is that parents like you (not all parents) want it to only go one way. You want fruit or bread provided, but not rules and discipline. I wasn’t there, I don’t know what happened. Frankly, is irrelevant to this conversation. I’m just sick of seeing parents expecting those of us around them to help their snowflake, but deal with shitty behavior. Sorry. It doesn’t work that way. I understand that small children get overwhelmed. Once breakdown mode has started, that’s pretty much it. Three year olds aren’t known for their logic and empathy. That’s okay. I don’t expect them to be perfect. I do expect their guardians to respond appropriately. Sometimes that means boxing your food up, paying, and leaving. It really is that simple.

  • Aimee

    If you really hate eating with kids, stick with bars, that way you’re only stuck eating with 21+ and can get hit on by tweakers-bonus!

    • AG

      Or maybe if you can’t control your children for 1 hour in a public place you should stick with restaurants equipped with a play place. Why do you expect others to alter their eating choices because you decided to have a kid and then didn’t raise it properly?

      • kati


        Or maybe, YOU personally can’t handle anything more mature, than a father, mother and child only a few years +/- your own age?

        You can be more mature than that thought. At your education and age, can’t you?

        I don’t see any other animal on earth, throwing such a hissy fit, as the human race. We are a disgrace.

        Think about yourself, if it was you desperate to get out of the “nursery” (a few year ago or in many years from now), just wanting to get the F outta the living room; to feel like a part of society; TRYING their best to figure out how to feel like their old self/who they long to be again/a fleeting feeling of belongning to society….by just. going out. to. dinner. at a 2/3 star place, at best.

        Can you please decribe the last time that you “controlled” a 1 day old a 4 year old “in public”? How many of your friends control themselves in public when they haven’t had their needs meet or voice heard?

        Don’t get me wrong! I have a few of those kids that parents look at me (strangers) and ask, how do you get them to pay attention? Because, I’ve given them experience since 1 month on….however!

        We’re all human. And, we ALL started out at some age (just like when you adopt a puppy/kitten!!!) and had to figure out their social graces.

        Give parents (for the most part) the benefit of the doubt. They are doing their best for the split- SECOND that they are in! Who knows what that kid’s going through that they are that upset (health, emotion)? Their parents maybe going through YOU’RE 5 minutes of annoyance 23 hours a day! Maybe their 5 minuets of disruption of reintegrating into society after 15 months of horrible pregnancy plus birth trauma is their ticket to save their sanity. GIVE. THEM. A. BREAK!

        • Jax

          Again, read the comment before you respond to a straw man. The posts explicitly says go to a restaurant that is family oriented. I have taken kids out in public. They have misbehaved, I have left the building/diner/pool. You and your children aren’t entitled to make life miserable for others. Kids act up, all the time, yes they are trying to figure out how to deal. It’s your job to teach them. I’m not saying run away at the first whimper but seriously other people have a right to their sanity. They did not sign up for the whole listening to the toddler scream thing…you did.

        • Over it

          I’ve about had it with this poor mom can’t have a meal out stichk. There are other people in this world you inconsiderate ass. People who are choosing to spend their hard earned money on a luxery. They did not choose to have your kid, they do not want to have your kid. You want to go out tht bad? What is wrong with getting a babysitter? And seriously did you just say a one day old? Smh. Look I adopted a puppy, I did not bring that puppy to stores that it was not wanted, I got him socialized at a DOG park, not a regular park, I paid extra for the pass, I bring everything he could possibly need whenever we go somewhere, and I always ask friends before bringing him over, if he can’t I either don’t go or I get a damn dog sitter as he is a PUPPY and cannot be left alone. This is a DOG you have a CHILD, how hard is it to do really? I made the choice to get the puppy and accepted the responsibility of that as an adult, you choose to keep your kid, accept the responsibilities of that choice. Also there are teens out there dying for like $20, don’t trust them? Pay an adult more. Don’t trust them? Put in nanny cams. Don’t want to pay? Get over it your choices have an impact on others.

        • Elle

          I hate that argument, “You only need to put up with them for 5 minutes, I have to 24 hours a day.”

          Did you think parenting would be pleasant? Leave people alone who are doing their jobs or had the foresight NOT to have kids. Stay home and feed your kids saltines.

          • Marcy

            Elle – please just shut up. All of your posts show what an awful human being you are.

        • AG

          Actually the last time I controlled kids (18 months, 4, and 9) in public was last Saturday when *gasp* we went out and none of the kids had a meltdown, ran around the restaurant, or were even using anything but inside voices. I’ve been there many times, I have lots of friends that have well behaved children and if the child isn’t tolerating it then they remove themselves from the situation until the child is calm. I have no problem with children or families going out to restaurants or any public place and I never suggested that people with children should hide away until the kids are grown. What I do have a problem with are people like Aimee and yourself that seem to think that the whole world has to change their lives for your family. Aimee suggested that people who don’t want their meal interrupted should stick to bars, what about recovering alcoholics or people who don’t enjoy bars? They only get one choice? Avoid places where people under 21 are allowed or deal with families that don’t give a shit about the other people in the restaurant? Those same people are also just looking to get out and have a nice evening like you say parents are desperate for, what makes your need more important than theirs just because you have offspring?

          The point I was trying to make with my previous comment was not a reflection on my attitude towards kids at all. I understand that children are often loud and messy and I have no problem with parents having a night out with the kids as long as they are actually ATTEMPTING to keep their children calm and respectful. It’s the people that insist that I should happily look up at your toddler dumping food on me over the back of the seat and screaming bloody murder in my ear while saying “that’s ok, you have kids, I don’t care if my dinner experience is ruined because you obviously need it more than I do” that I have a problem with. I work just as hard for my money and want to enjoy my dinner just as much as the people that CHOOSE to bring children to a restaurant.

          So maybe next time you want to go off on someone thinking you know them because of a 48 word comment on a blog post maybe you should heed your own advice and “GIVE. THEM. A. BREAK”!!

          • Matthew


    • Amybeth Hurst

      Even if it’s not a bar, if it’s a rib joint, the loud obnoxious teenagers would be asked to leave, so why not a screaming toddler? Sorry, but you’re wrong. No one has to stick to eating in bars to avoid obnoxious behavior. As the writer says, no one thinks your kids are cute except you, so please be courteous of others.

  • aoc

    Family vacation coming up, and I have been warning the extended crew about my similar restaurant policy. Been a bit of a dick about it so I don’t have to be a dick later. This is helpful. Thank you. Also, thanks for the opportunity to talk about myself against this dicky backdrop.

    • Jennifer

      Dicky Backdrop = my new band name

      • AOC

        Dicky backdrop foreshadows the comments you will likely read below. Holy hell–so serious, so wacky, so touchy–and hilarious, which is why we read the comments. Well, that and we all get to see who can be the most insightful or comical or idiotic or clueless and assess our own thoughts against those of fellow readers. (I am feeling good about myself because you all got crazy up in here.) Carry on, Internet, good showing today.

  • Rachel @ The Mama Files

    This reminds me of the time recently when my husband and I optimistically tried to take our 8-month-old to a lovely Thai restaurant so we could celebrate my first ever Mother’s Day. It sucked big hairy balls. On the bright side I now excel at bolting down an entire meal in five minutes flat. It’s not quite what you’d call ‘savouring’ but it’s better than always sitting at home on the couch…

  • K

    Because people without kids have no meaning, depth or hope in their lives. LOL.
    Hilarious. Love the rant.

  • Latasha Mobiglia

    You are the BEST BLOGGER! Keeping it real! I love everything you write❤️Keep it coming… Makes me feel normal.

    • Amybeth Hurst

      Amen. This article is brilliant. And since my kids are grown and I live that empty boring life of an elderly former hippy, lol, I do avoid Friendly’s and certainly a pizza joint with games. But, at a local rib joint, if a group of obnoxious teenagers were being loud, the owner could ask them to leave, she would not have to go through the parents.

  • Kari

    Yeah ! We always took our son outside of the restaurant even after a couple minutes of crying / outbursts for his own good as well as everybody else’s , but that’s just us. What really bothers me is that some people view children as easy targets to take out whatever kind of bad day/ week they’re having. Friends laughing loudly , joking Loudly? No problem! The guy with the loud voice who thinks he knows everything ? No problem ! But god forbid a baby should cry or a toddler yells no ! What some people forget is that they were once babies also and other people had to listen to them too.

    • jess

      Yes! Where are the posts about the annoying and rude adults?

      A couple of years ago I flew on an overnight, international flight. The cabin lights were dimmed and everyone was trying to get some shut eye. There was an extremely loud drunk guy sitting behind me who laughed uproariously at the show he was watching, had loud conversations with the flight attendants and was constantly asking for more alcohol. His loud behaviour kept waking up my 2 year old who was asleep in the bassinet. I’d then have to spent 20 minutes rocking her and shushing her to get her back to sleep. And apparently crying babies are the problems on flights.

      • Missy

        Yeah that guy was allowed by his parents to act any way he wanted in public as a child.
        When I was in grad school, we learned about how Human Resources has changed with Millenials ( I am one depending on which psychologist you ask). For the first time, Human Resource Departments are dealing with PARENTS calling to complain about their 20-30 something adult child’s boss. This blows my mind. I guess that’s what you get with the Trophy Generation, and now we are all having babies.

  • Ang

    Thank you again for being the voice of common sense! Everyone just be normal and use some common sense. My kids are wicked crazy so we didn’t take them to a restaurant until they had the self control to sit for more than 20 minutes! Even now, we have a bag full of crap for entertainment and are ready to bolt of need be.

  • Amy

    This is such a great article. Witty and really funny. I work at a bakery and upset kids being paid no attention to drives me nuts. Hey, your kid is trying to tell you something and its that they don’t want to be in a restaurant. Having said that, maybe lay off how unfulfilling and empty the lives of childless people are. I’m sure a woman with infertility issues LOVES hearing that her time on earth is pointless cause she can’t reproduce. I have opted to not have children BECAUSE I have a rich, full life that I enjoy and there is no place for a child in it. Don’t be so judgmental.

    • renegademama


      You recognize this post as “funny” but then think I’m serious when I say people without kids “have no meaning, depth or hope in their lives?”

      You are a confusing commenter.


      • Notadick

        I knew you were kidding but kind of felt crappy when I read that line anyway. It’s just that we single, childless women in our 30s and older get SO MUCH CRAP from everyone about how abnormal and sad we are that it’s hard not to internalize it and feel defensive. So then when someone with kids makes that kind of joke a part of me is like NO NOT AGAIN. But then the rational part kicked in and reminded me that jokes exist.

        • Sally

          I agree. I understand sarcasm but that line, written twice no less, really bothered me too. -Another non-Mom with an awesome life.

        • notadickeitherwellmaybealittlebitdickish

          I agree with everything NotADick said, except that I prefer “child free” to “childless.” I’m 43 and I love my meaningless, shallow and hopeless child-free life, and wouldn’t change it for anything. I do still enjoy reading rant-y parenting blogs for entertainment sometimes, even though it’s arguable that participating in any of this crap makes us all a little bit dickish… wouldn’t you agree?

          • D.I.N.K.'s

            Love the comment. I myself am a 46 year old D.I.N.K. (double income no kids) and enjoy the $h!% out of my kid free life. Vacation where and when I want, watch any TV show I want, no soccer practice 4 times a week. I don’t mind kids in restaurants as long as the parent acts like a parent.

      • renegademama

        Haha Minty beat me to it.

        • Eileen

          I think the problem is that, despite the fact most of us can read and appreciate the inherent sarcasm, it still makes the target audienceof that statement feel bad on some level because it’s very hard not to internalize all the negative messages that are thrown at us daily about childless women. It’s funny. You don’t believe it. We get it. But it’s still shitty that it’s a sentiment that exists and is given credence by a large segment of the population.

      • Amy

        I understand sarcasm, thank you very much. I have a great sense of humor, not to toot my own horn. I am a sarcastic little shit. Alas, I am a woman SO TIRED of hearing other WOMEN try and make me feel inferior for not having or wanting children. “You’ll regret it in a few years” “It’s the best thing you could do with your life” “What happened to you as a child?” Even as a sarcastic comment in a light-hearted article it still gets under my skin because 95% of the time people ARE being serious.
        Just because one comment gets on my nerves doesn’t mean the humor in the whole piece is lost on me.

    • Abram

      Well said. Thank you.

  • Ranie

    Can’t stop laughing, thank you

  • Jessica

    Every once in a while we think, “Hey, let’s go out for dinner.” So we take our 3 yo and 5 mo and go to a restaurant. We usually end up at a family restaurant with no wait because we’re hungry and there’s no way I’m waiting for a table with a toddler and a baby. Even still, we end up trying to entertain a toddler while we wait to order, wait for our food, eat our food, etc while juggling a baby who wants to nurse right when my food arrives. Every time we go out I come out thinking, “Why did I think this was a good idea?”

  • Cindy

    My kids are all grown up now, but I look forward to reading every word you have to share on the whole parenting experience. I appreciate your perspective that our children aren’t perfect little snowflakes and can annoy the crap out of us as well as others. I enjoyed the sarcasm as usual ( referring to your previous post about people not getting sarcasm and chuckling to myself again). Keep up the good work.


  • Kate

    Yes. Just yes.

  • Kevin

    I have no children, nor any desire to have children because I know my strengths and weaknesses. That said, I am an instant fan of your blog. You are hilarious. Thank you for bringing a little more laughter into the world.

  • Irma

    Great post! 5min of screaming max, and take your kiddo out of the restaurant to cool off… That’s just common sense and courtesy – perhaps common courtesy is not so common.
    Perhaps they should have ‘kid’ and ‘kid free’ zones in restaurants like they used to with smoking and smoke free). Have the families with kids be in sound proof area …let them scream their brains out… Except like you said, I don’t want to hear other peoples’ kids or my own even scream.

    • mibelle

      Don’t mean to deviate from the sarcasm and turn too serious because I absolutely get it. Separate dining areas sounds plausible then I think of the empty cry rooms and nurseries in churches that go unused because parents want their “snowflakes” with them at all times and are clueless how disruptive their children can be during services. The parents aren’t paying attention to the church service so not only do they miss out, but everyone around them can’t focus and devote this time to God. I am a parent of two, worked in the church nursery and took my children to the nursery. It was the best hour for all of us. I worked in the nursery so that I could give other parents the same deserving time with God so they could prioritize and be in a good frame of mind for the week ahead. Replenishes the soul.

      • AMS-PNW

        I used to volunteer in the church nursery when I was a teen and back then parents were beyond grateful to have a place to dump their kids so they could be grown-ups and concentrate on their Sunday worship. Many times mom and dad looked a bit disappointed when the service was over and they had to pick up the kidlets. But I was sure glad to be rid of them! I no longer attend church, but my brother is a pastor and constant disruptions are a major issue.

  • Annie

    People with kids, don’t be selfish asshats. People without kids, don’t be selfish asshats. People, don’t be selfish asshats.

  • Lauri

    So, I love this, except…you’re kind of being a dick.

    I get that you’re trying to be funny when you say, “But then I remember that people without kids have no meaning, depth or hope in their lives. ” I get that. I do. I understand sarcasm, and yes, recognize the humor in the post. But at the same time, you reflect an idea that many, many parents have, and it’s pretty fucked up. I’ve literally had parents I consider dear friends tell me how empty and meaningless and sad they find my existence because they drank some kind of ridiculous kool-aid about their own superiority. To my face. That has happened.

    I’m sorry, but no.

    I know, I know — I saw the link above posted to Amy, but meant sarcastically or not, I cringe. I cringe when I think of my friend who lost her uterus to cancer before it ever held a desperately wanted baby, I cringe when I think of the homeless mother I met last weekend who cried because she had just signed the adoption papers for her only child, I cringe when I think of the birth announcement I held with the most perfect feet that would never grow from a friend who had just built a beautiful empty nursery. Don’t assume that not having kids equals not wanting kids. When you say something like this, flip or not, there are a lot of open wounds to accept that salt.

    It would just be a better piece of writing without that meanness.

    • Mame

      I have to agree with this. The first time, it hurt but I brushed it off as your humor, but you kept the ‘joke’ up. And it, yes, it’s nasty to the childfree by choice too, not only the childless,

    • Deb

      read my mind exactly…humor or not. After 15 years of infertility I do feel empty…and hopeless…and not by choice! Careful….sarcasm can really hurt!

    • Caitlin

      You’re my hero Lauri.

      You summed up perfectly every piece of sanctimonious judgment that has ever been handed down to me over the last 10 years since I decided that my life would be one without children in it. It was a choice, my choice and I get so sick of the breeders in my life telling me that I would change my mind, that it would be different if the children were mine.

      Guess what? I know myself well enough to acknowledge that I don’t want children. That I can have just as rich a life without them: that I can have a career, travel the world, have a LIFE without them. I don’t judge people for their choice to have children. So don’t judge me for not wanting them.

    • Amybeth Hurst

      He’s trying, I believe (and yes, through sarcasm) to show the absurdity of those feelings that people without kids are empty. Geezum.

    • Alena Belleque

      Agreed. I appreciate sarcasm, too, but even laughing the familiar ache was there. I had two miscarriages and for years of agonized longing before my daughter was born, and in the there years since, another miscarriage and more fertility problems, and last week I found out I have to have a hysterectomy. I also have a sister who, while childless by choice, gets a TON of crap about it that hurts and angers her. Just…it want meant to be anything but sarcastic humor, but next time…?

  • Meredith

    That’s the best f’ing thing I’ve read all week. Thank you!

  • Jodie Day

    This was an awesome read and I completely agree, but I did find one tiny section offensive. I understand that this was not only an opinionated writing piece, but it was comical as well. When you wrote, “But then I remember that people without kids have no meaning, depth or hope in their lives. Whew what a relief.

    DODGED THAT BULLET,” you forgot to keep in mind that a lot of people do not have children or lost children. What if they’re reading this too?

    • AC

      Then they might be offended, but hopefully they can also see that it was meant in jest. And, hopefully they will realize a padded existence of trigger warnings and sanitized content will not make them whole again.

  • Kristin

    A couple of years ago, I was at my parents country club to have dinner with them and my family (and my 3 kids). My kids were older and past the melting snowflake stage. There was a “kids” room where parents could let their children watch TV while they dined. There was no age stipulation for this room and I kid you not, I incepted a crawling baby (maybe 8-9 months) make its way out of the unsupervised kids room and crawl its way in front of the door to the kitchen where the wait staff was exiting with heavy trays of food. I can not believe the sense of entitlement I witnessed that night. The child could have been seriously injured, the waitstaff could have been as well. I picked up the baby and walked into the diner area and loudly ask “who is in charge of this baby?” I got ice cold response from the parents after I told them where I found the baby. I could have left with a new baby that night! I never let my kids hang out in that room at any age.

  • Meaghan

    i agree with 99% of what you said. The part I’m having trouble with is:

    “But then I remember that people without kids have no meaning, depth or hope in their lives.”

    Ouch. As someone with infertility, that definitely stung.

    • TM

      As an infertile person as well, I had to laugh because I hear that from people all the time.

  • Juliette

    I like all of this post, except the part about how people without kids have shallow meaningless lives. That’s kind of a dick thing to say. Some of us can’t have kids or some of us are perfectly fulfilled with childless lives of travel and friends and engaging work. So have kids or don’t, eat where ever you want kids or not, but dont be a dick and don’t let your kids be either.

  • krista

    YES. I don’t understand people who get upset that others don’t want to hear their crying beasts like “it’s a fact of life” you know what else is a fact of life? Not everyone is going to like you, regardless of how awesome your parents tell you you are.

  • Skipper

    I agree with all of this. As the mother of a 4 year old, who is very prone to temper tantrums and difficult behaviour, we rarely eat out at restaurants for this very reason: we don’t want to annoy other patrons. However, I must say this: toddlers are still toddlers (the frontal cortex is not yet developed) and all the good intentions and good parenting in the world cannot 100% prevent a tantrum or bad behaviour, nor can a parent “control” the child’s behaviour. The best we can do is guide the child towards better behaviour, distract him/her or, if necessary, remove the child from the situation. Perhaps this is what people are referring to when they say “control your child” but I dislike the use of the word “control” in this context. Sometime kids just act shitty for no logical reason; and it’s not because the parent is a shitty parent. There is often no logic or reasoning when dealing with a child, especially one in the middle of an outburst; they are not adults and are incapable of thinking like one. I agree that people should be ‘minding’ their children at restaurants so as not to annoy other patrons but when a child does act up, I wish that other patrons would not automatically judge with the “what a shitty parent” comments.

    • Rachel

      But they will if you don’t remove your sprog from the restaurant.

  • Erika Harrison

    It’s not a debate between those with and those without children. It’s a debate between those who are considerate to those around them and those who act like entitled dicks. When my kids were little, I was mortified if they made too much of a ruckus in public. I was ready at a moment’s notice to drop everything, pick up my kid, and make a quick exit if they started crying, screaming, or otherwise acting uncivilized. Acceptable behavior in public means acting in a way that does not impede others’ enjoyment. If your kids can’t meet those standards, they aren’t ready to be in public…and that’s okay. You wouldn’t put them in big girl panties before they are potty trained. So don’t put them in any other situations that they aren’t ready for. Keep your precious snowflakes at home until they can sit still and communicate at a civilized level for the duration of your outing. Then and only then, should you reward them with going to a restaurant (or anywhere else). If you are going to take them out, no matter how they behave, they will never learn to not be assholes. And if you think they just grow out of that, ask a few parents with teen-aged kids how much they enjoy their little entitled assholes now and if they wish they had maybe spent a little more time teaching them manners and respect.

    • Kirsten Zilke

      Exactly and thank you for saying is so well. My sentiments exactly.

    • Kirsten Zilke

      I took my 3 year old to a nice restaurant in San Francisco when he was 3. We were treated quite poorly when we entered the restaurant (obviously children were hot welcome). However, after he ordered the squid ink risotto, ate it without a mess, had quiet conversation with his parents and kindly thanked the waitstaff every time they helped him they could not have been nicer. My point is that I would never have brought my toddler if I didn’t know and expect he would behave properly. And had he not I would have removed him in an instant which is exactly why he behaved (and yes he could have had a bad night…but we would have left). It pains me to see the poor parenting that teaches kids that poor dining behavior is ok..and,no, handing them an electronic device to shut them up does not count as good parenting.

      • Jesslin

        Thank you! Thank you for being the parent I actually enjoy seeing, i.e. a good example. I admit to being intolerant of children in general, so when I see families out and around with children learning to have a good public face, I’m *very* appreciative – I *need* to be reminded that they’re little people sometimes, not just noise generators. And the restaurant staff hopefully learned a little more tolerance too.

        To be clear, I’m not exactly appreciative of grown-up noise generators either, so please don’t think I’m picking only on the kids – I just figure the noisy adults were probably the noisy kids with parents who didn’t care enough to help them find they’re good public face. It’s sadly too late to help them now.

  • Natasha

    I agreed with it all… except this little gem of bullshit:
    “But then I remember that people without kids have no meaning, depth or hope in their lives. Whew what a relief.”

    No kids here, never want any, and I have plenty of meaning, depth, and hope in my life. Argh, crap statements like that are why childfree folks hate kids and their sanctimonious parents.

    • TM

      It’s a joke. Because people say that about childless people with all the earnestness in the world. So the author mocks that by repeating it several times.

      • renegademama


        • Elizabeth Bowen

          New lines to the K*I*S*S*I*N*G* song is running through my head.

          something something babies in the restaurant chairs

  • Diac

    Well said. Now I’d like to see an article about the assholes who are unplesant to be seated near that don’t have kids to blame it on.

  • Jan

    Another excellent article! For me this post does solve the debate on whether one should dine or not dine with children in public places. Thanks Janelle! This granny loves your point of view!

  • XaurreauX

    I was once on a bus ride from NYC to Providence, RI–a four-hour ride–and there was a kid that screamed for three and one half hours of that journey. I honestly don’t know what the bus driver or the mother could/should have done.

    • Eileen

      You can’t really complain about kids on buses and planes…it is what it is…expecting a baby to behave on a four hour bus ride or in a cramped airplane isn’t realistic, unless they are the most special of angels, or drugged. The parents can’t take them outside. We can’t force them to slip benadryl into their bottles…I took the train home with a mother of 17 month old triplets and a five year old the other day – the 17 month olds were screaming bloody murder and I couldn’t move because it was so packed and we had our dog with us…so we played with the five year old while the mother tried to calm the babies…I suppose I could have slammed my hands down and screamed at the triplets to shut up, but–I don’t smoke meth anymore, so I didn’t.

  • Tina Laskey

    I agree with everything with one exception: “But then I remember that people without kids have no meaning, depth or hope in their lives. Whew what a relief.” That was an asshole thing to say and makes you come off like the sanctimonious dick you are trying to portray yourself not to be.

  • Katy

    But then I remember that people without kids have no meaning, depth or hope in their lives. Whew what a relief.

    Really, cunt, really?

    So many women CANNOT get pregnant and others choose to not do so because they’re busy doing better things.

    • TM

      And some of still manage to be busy and have a sense of humor.

    • Kat

      Hey Katy, calling another woman a c*nt? Nice mouth you have there. Apparently you are not capable of saying something intelligent without resorting to vulgarity and name calling. How proud your parents must be.


      Dollar bet if you respond, it will, once again, be with vulgarity.


    • CJ

      Busy doing “better” things? Or maybe just “different” things. Maybe don’t call someone a cunt in the same post that you write like one.

    • Kate

      you are a moron. and a c*nt.

  • Beep

    The biggest dicks in a scenario like this are the ones who let their beloved little podling carry on without end, effectively telling everyone else around them that they have little regard for anyone else other than themselves, and tough shit for us.

    This article made me grateful for something: Every time I hear a kid squalling in a restaurant, and see the facial expressions on the faces of said child’s parents (anything from embarassment to the dead-eyed, checked-out gaze of a taxidermied salmon), it reminds me of how awesome it is to go home to a nice, quiet, childfree house, where none of that ever happens! LOL!

  • Becca Davis

    We (my mother, niece and I) were in much the same situation: crowded restaurant, screaming child across the restaurant, when my 3 year old niece stood up on her chair turned around and yelled at the top of her lungs “SHU’UP KID”. Then turned back around, sat down and went back to eating her lunch. My mother was torn between embarrassment and amusement. I was laughing hilariously. Meanwhile the large part of the rest of the restaurant goers applauded and cheered her. The parents of said child slunk out. I guess they couldn’t take being called out by a better behaved child. So you CAN raise your children not to be uncivilized little hellions in public. It is just a matter of whether or not you are willing to put the energy into it. I know when *I* was growing up – as one of 7 children – if one of us had acted like that our mother would have have put the fear of God into us. Right there in public. Where the shaming would have done the most good.

    • Natasha

      Omg… now THAT I would have loved to have seen!!! LMAO.

  • Amy DuBois

    Haha! Right on, Mama! As always, I laugh at the brutal honesty in everything you write. Geez, people on this thread need to ease up on the asshattery. Maybe open a chain named Assholes R Us: A Cafe For the Pefectly Childless Pricks.

  • TM

    Loved this.
    I’m a nonparent. I basically expect that I don’t want to be subjected to anyone else’s business while I’m eating. Loud adults or loud kids suck.

  • Taryn

    I didn’t hear the news, but the summary of the instance makes me think of the shitty family I had to sit behind in a Chinese restaurant. The parents had a booth behind us and they couldn’t control their kids. Being the oldest child of four, I can generally tune most kid noises out. These ones, however, were a whole new level of awful. When they weren’t bouncing on the seat, they were sticking their heads between ours and screaming at the top of their lungs. The parents response? “Here, sit down and have more mountain dew.” Needless to say, I was happy to leave.

  • Krystal

    I always take a screaming tot out of the situation. Not for everyone else’s sanity but for the child’s and my own. But somebody would get cut yelling at my child like they wipe their ass and nurse em everyday, for sure.

  • Nancy Fyrberg

    Absolutely BRILLIANT!! My favorite line: (Trust me we aren’t expecting to enjoy ourselves. Going to a restaurant with toddler is about as enjoyable as trying to corner a feral cat while the world looks on, judging.)
    I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. This is the perfect description. Thank you for writing this piece.
    Mother of twin feral cats..I mean, special snowflakes.

  • Andrea

    You had me right up until “[.]people without kids have no meaning, depth or hope in their lives.”
    As a human rights attorney dealing mainly with abused minors I can honestly say my clients find I have great “meaning and depth.” Additionally, there was noting I could have done to prevent the injury which left me unable to conceive.
    It’s fine if you want to tell people to treat each others how they would want to be treated, be considerate, Golden Rule and all, but you might want to steer clear of language that makes you look like a dick.
    I like kids, a crying baby or toddler doesn’t bother me. In fact I’m the loser on the airplane who reminds other passengers “He/She is just a baby, their ear might hurt from the flight and they can’t do anything to make it better, so cut the kid slack.” I entertain the little face popping over the booth wall making faces at me (Family restaurant or Hipster Dive). I never roll my eyes at what might be considered “bad parenting” when kids run all over the store I’m in, because I really have no idea what that mom or dad is dealing with right now.
    But your words give me pause, maybe I should be less “tolerant”- if that is what you’d like to call it. Because maybe that overtired mom, sitting in that booth next to the kid who suddenly realized there was no five-point harness on this seat, is you. And you are just looking at me like I am worthless because I don’t have kids. Maybe I should extend the same shit attitude back at you.

      • Andrea

        It’s called “irony punctuation”. It indicates sarcasm and is a standard used in sarcasm that is typed so the deadpan over sensitive topics (such as noted) isn’t mistaken for insensitivity. No irony punctuation was in the article (and still isn’t) until it was changed to add a disclaimer after I read it.

        • Natasha

          Thank you… people aren’t seeing the sarcasm because it doesnt feel like sarcasm and its not written as sarcasm.

          • AMS-PNW

            Not all sarcasm is successful sarcasm. I immediately understood that she was being sarcastic but I felt the tone was a bit out of step with the rest of this (excellent) post. As someone who has blogged for a major site and been raked over the coals for so many little things, I know it sucks when readers don’t understand the point you’re trying to make. I also think it’s fair for people to leave constructive criticism without being accused of lacking the sarcasm-appreciation gene — apparently they’re the antichrist /s — and can only assume the author clarified the post because more than a couple of people didn’t get it or appreciate it. It’s still her prerogative to include it, but in my opinion not cool to blast people for leaving thoughtful responses about it.

  • Shay

    Hi Janelle!

    So true! All of it! And it really all does boil down to just one point for everyone- don’t be a dick! 🙂

  • Riley

    Hey there,

    As a non-parent I agree with absolutely every single thing that you have said in this article, except one: “But then I remember that people without kids have no meaning, depth or hope in their lives.”

    Well, some of us can’t have kids (like me), and some of us have terminally ill parents (like me) who require so much of our time and act so much like children, that the thought of having any actual children to add to the madness is unfathomable. Heck, some of us have so much mess going on, period (like, a lot of childless people) that kids are not an option whatsoever, so can you cut us some slack there too, please?

    Just because I did not, can not procreate, doesn’t mean I don’t have any meaning, depth or hope. I’m not selfish, so much as my circumstances were selfish with me, and I think I speak for most childless people when I say that being scrutinized constantly for not taking that step is pretty tiresome.

    I praise you for your choices, and I especially praise you for this post. Now please, stop judging me for what had to be my choices, and let’s all be friends.

    Thanks for reading and peace out.

  • Demi Pengelly

    Yep, I agree and love this post. Indeed.

  • Brenda

    I love this article. I can so relate. I am a 63 year old grandma. with 8 grandchildren. I remember back in the early 80’s. My ex husband took for out for supper to a lovely high end restaurant. We lived 50 minutes out of town at the time. We hired a babysitter to look after our 3 young children. We got to this nice upscale restaurant and proceeded to order our wine. All of sudden this toddler from a family of three children started wailing. OMG it went on and on. The parent took he kid out for a few minutes but then came back. It stared up again, went on and on. I couldn’t stand it. I went to the manager and begged them to tell these people to leave. If I wanted to hear this crap, I would have brought our kids with us. (am pretty sure they would have been better behaved than this). The manager asked them to leave PHEW!

  • Heather

    As the Mom of two special TEENAGE snowflakes let me just say, it applies to them too. And I’ve been known to drop everything in my basket at Target and walk out when they were or are being particularly *lovely*.. We need your post to go viral, or at least be required reading material in the postpartum recovery room..

  • ethan

    parental social oppression #1: when i was young, Joan was accosted by a stranger in a store because I was screaming at the top of my lungs becuase I didn’t get something that I wanted. Boohoo, right? Well, the woman stalked mom and accused her of child abuse and threatened her. because i didn’t get a bag of marshallows or something. No blaming commodity culture and the sugar (slave) industry and the evil forces of marketing, but a woman entirely ready to use the full force of the system to cement my sense of power and entitlement.

    parental social oppression #2: public embarassment. there are social pressures that parents perceive — that I think are real, such as from that restaurant owner and other people who don’t understand that THE YOUNG OF OUR SPECIES AND GENERALLY ALL SPECIES are a pretty loud and racuous bunch, and not necessarily (though sometimes) for evil purpose. the best response to this I saw while riding a bus into PSU several years ago: a child was screaming on the bus, and the parent (can’t remember whether it was mom or dad) was talking really angrily and coercively and threateningly to the kid. And some dude casually turned to the parent and calmly said, “you have nothing to feel ashamed about except your own behavior.” and something in the parent melted, hard features softened, and the kid (though still loud and racuous) quieted down considerably a few minutes later.

  • Maureen Wanket

    When you write your book I am going to be first in line at your book signing. Or maybe last so I can get more time to tell you how awesome you are. I can’t wait. Because you need to have a book or a one woman show or a stand up special on Showtime or SOMETHING.

  • Laurel

    Yes, Yes…. Yesssssss oh that felt good….lol

  • miki

    “*DEAR HUMANS ON THE INTERNET: I do not actually think people who don’t have kids lead meaningless lives. I am making fun of that mentality. There are numerous cues in the writing indicating that. If you can’t find them, please ask somebody who knows how to read to help you.”

    But probably not most of Janelle’s fans, you’ll just get offended when we snicker before diving in to help.

    • Minty

      I don’t get what’s so hard about this.

      OBVIOUSLY the line about childless people having empty lives is sarcasm. The whole post is about people with kids not allowing them to be dicks in public as far as possible. How likely is it that the author would then follow it with a GENUINE statement about the pointlessness of not having kids?!

      It’s a JOKE people, meant to mock those who genuinely think like that.

      It took me 8 years of struggle before I concieved my son and even in the darkest times I know I would’ve recognised this for what it was. A JOKE. I love a high horse as much as anyone but seriously, get a sense of humor or stop reading.

  • Julie

    I love the rant! And I totally agree. When my children were that age there’s no way I would take them to a restaurant where I knew that other people were trying to enjoy their experience. Because if I took the time to find a babysitter, and pay them good money to watch my tiny tyrant, so that we could go out to dinner without our children, the last thing I wanted to do was listen to someone else’s child screaming the whole time. Make smart choices people. If you know that your toddler doesn’t have the ability to sit there and behave then go to a restaurant where it’s not important to anybody whether they sit there and behave! Pretty darn simple. Basically, treat others the way you want to be treated, be considerate. And I agree it works both ways, that restaurant owner should not have yelled at the toddler… it was the parents who needed the scolding.
    And that excuse parents use to excuse their child’s behavior…you know the one…”kids will be kids”, is exactly why you SHOULDN’T Take toddlers to certain restaurants. Oh, and they have this neat little thing called “take-out”. You call in your order, and then go to these neat little places called eat, your toddlers expends energy, everyone goes home happy! 🙂 That was always our favorite!

  • Gabrielle

    This is amazing on so many levels. I read this and laughed my ass off as I held my sleeping infant asshole…err, I mean snowflake.

  • Elizabeth Bowen

    now…. I dont want to be a dick or anything. But I just want to say that when my parents took all of us kids out to eat (by the time I was 11 there was 7 of us) people would come up to them and compliment them on how well behaved we were. And it had less to do with how well our parents trained us than it did with how much us kids didnt like being embarrassed publicly.

    We HATED public embarrassment. Once I said, “I dont want no pickles” when I was nine or ten to a waitress at restaurant that served mostly rednecks and truckers and the double negative makes me BURN in shame to this day. I felt horrible after saying it, even worse when I realized that she didnt registered that it was a double negative and WRONG way to make my request, and then even worse later on in the van when my whole family ribbed me about it. See? The family waited till we were out of sight of strangers to make fun of me. Public embarrassment phobes, all of us.

    Us kids had this pact that when we were in sight of people not our family we would act textbook polite.

    Get us home alone together and we would rip each other to bits, throw food at each other, have belching contest, bounce on chairs, yell at each other accross the table, do that whole “MOooooOOOOM, MICHEAL IS LOOKING AT MEEEEEE.” and generally be brats. As soon as there was company in our midst or strangers that could see or hear us acting like insane circus folk we suddenly become the most caring, soft spoken, respectful creatures on the planet.

    I distinctly recall some raaather tipsy people tell them, while the drunk people were leaving, that when they saw our clan on 9 people walk in and get seated they were planning on leaving at the first sign of hooligan behavior. I just remember the sound of the word as it left the guy’s mouth…. “hoooOOOooooloogan” and thinking that he was being too loud and obnoxious to be eating out in public.

    Anyways, a rather bunny trail sequitur. Thanks for prompting my memory. 🙂

    • Denise (the real Bitch) Krupa

      Same here

  • BexJ

    Nice article !
    Add trying to eat out with toddlers in another country with a menu in a foreign language and the circle is complete !

  • Nics

    Erm… where did this rubbish come from “One of the rights of people without offspring is the ability to sit in a restaurant and enjoy themselves. Sure they have no meaning, depth or hope in their lives, but THEY HAVE ENJOYABLE DINING EXPERIENCES.” I am really hoping this is said with irony or as if from the point of view of the asshole parents who brought their sprog with them, because if not you are an asshole yourself!!!

  • Denise (the real Bitch) Krupa

    What has happened to this world that supposedly smart people are so fucking wrapped up in themselves that they totally disregard common courtesy and common sense. If your child starts to cry for the love of a dog get up and remove said offender to an outside venue. I hate saying this but I am going to…When I was a kid if we misbehaved in a restaurant we were removed IMMEDIATELY and damn it all we knew it was on with grampa cause he was not having any of it and our hinnies were used to get that point across. (I know politically incorrect) Seriously though when I was a child we behaved while out in the public or we were removed out of courtesy to fellow diners these dicks as you so eloquently put it showed that their self centered attitude with NO concern for others should have been the ones yelled at and asked to leave. And though people don’t want to hear this it does take a village/town/city to raise up our children and this not my Johnny attitude is why we have hoodlums running amuck (here we go again) when I was a kid if you mouthed off to the little old lady down the street she boxed our ears and by the time we got home mom was waiting to finish the job what happened to respect of your elders and of each other??? Sometimes enough is enough!

  • TealRose

    Unbelievable. How you think you are going to teach babies and children to eat and drink nicely, behave nicely in a restaurant then is beyond me. You and many others here are SO intolerant of children it borders on misopedia ie hate of children.

    So, your precious meal is upset. Too bad. Do I like that myself? No of course not, but if the child is crying etc perhaps you and I should be more interested in if the child is ok and not injured or sick.

    I am a Brit and now live in northern Portugal where it is normal to see children of ALL ages in restaurants of all types at all hours … and no one gets upset if a child cries, or runs about a bit as long as they aren’t yelling the place down! And THAT is not the child’s fault .. it’s the parent’s for not stopping them and calming them down. In the 6yrs I have lived here .. I have seldom seen a child causing any problems. Perhaps the respect and love they are given here by their elders .. is returned by them … because they aren’t treated like unwanted THINGS.

    In my experience as a 60 yr old grandmother, the times there have been ‘problems’ with children in restaurants .. or even shopping malls and supermarkets etc has been more the fact that the parents were not taking any notice or care of their children. They left toddlers and young children to themselves to roam the store .. and you cannot blame a child for that. It’s time for the parents to step up and take the responsibility that goes with a child. And one of those responsibilities .. is to take childre to all types of restaurants so they can learn how to eat and act properly!

  • BElle

    Maybe the parents were total dicks, maybe the restaurant owner is a psycho, whatever the case may be, I bet hell freezes over before that kid screams in a restaurant again.

  • Abby

    Yas! I love this.
    I go to that diner often. It’s a TINY cash only diner and is usually frequented by an older crowd and the Maine College of Art students. The owner claimed she turned around, slapped her hands on the bar and said, “This needs to stop” and pointed at the kid… I don’t know but that hardly sounds like screaming at a child, it’s not like she walked over to her and screamed at the top of her lungs. The kid probably stopped screaming because she was distracted by someone else yelling, I doubt she knew the owner was yelling at her… She’s three. Also, I keep seeing people complain that she had to wait 40 minutes for her pancakes… Are you saying that every time a kid goes into a restaurant, they should be able to skip everyone else who has also been waiting to get their food, just because they’re a kid? How is that teaching them anything other than they can have whatever they want if they scream? I understand that a kid is a kid and they don’t have a lot of patience, but why not do something with him or her to distract them while you wait?
    Anyway, I’m not saying I don’t like being around kids in restaurants, my sister has three kids under four years old and they often eat out, but as soon as one acts up, either she or her husband will take them outside until they calm down, because they’re not dicks.

  • Brandi

    Ugh. I had to stop reading the comments. Sometimes I don’t want to be inside other peoples’ heads. I have 5 kids. My husband works a lot and travels and I am often the crazy lady taking her kids around town, nursing in public, and GASP, taking them to restaurants. Sometimes by myself. Yes, my kids are ‘pretty good’ and yes I try my best to high tail it home if things are crazy, but sometimes I have to nurse in public (dragging a different comment thread from my head into this one). Sometimes the baby is crazy and I’m trying to get the waitress to bring me the check. A little compassion goes a long way. Just don’t be a dick.

    • Justin

      I don’t think people mind if you are clearly aware and trying to remedy the situation. This story is different. THe kid had been at it for 40 minutes and the woman was clearly not invested in remedying the situation. I also don’t know what nursing in public has to do with a screaming kid.

      • Brandi

        Justin I found the subjects similar in that I was reading the same ‘keep your kids at home’ mentality in this article’s comments as in another I read recently about breastfeeding in public. I just don’t want any more insight into what other people think and wish folks could have a little more compassion. Mostly I get lots of compliments on my kids, but everybody has their moments. Today we went to a diner–at off peak time, where I know the menu and could order without even looking as soon as I sat down…but it all still went to pot. My kids saw friends they haven’t seen in weeks and were loud and excited, the baby started melting down and I simply couldn’t get the check fast enough. It happens. But it’s one of about twenty times I’ve gone to this restaurant with my kids. I just don’t think it’s wise to jump to conclusions on so little.

  • Justin

    I have kids. Young ones at that. I don’t take them to nice restaurants. They don’t have the right to cause havoc and ruin people’s evening. If they are screaming in a crappy restaurant I pull them out to the car. Some people are just ignorant to the others around them. Many people don’t even watch their kids. I have stopped many a toddler from running into roads in public places while their parents are no where to be found.

  • Leah

    Having lived in Europe for a few years now, where they have almost no “family friendly” restaurants and where you regularly see well behaved children eating in nice places Ive noticed a pattern. In general, when children are only taken to places where they are allowed and even expected to run and scream thats is all they know. When children are given the time and place to be children and then brought to a restaurant where they need to behave they learn the difference and are able to control themselves. I wish there was a primer how to do this because I cant remember on time where Ive seen a child crying in a restaurant. I think it just the cultural expectation.

  • Mary

    I have only had one cup of coffee so far this morning, so I cannot blame the caffeine, but I cannot stop laughing. I will probably laugh about this all day and then every time I’m in a restaurant. Janelle, you are amazing! Everything you said, and more importantly, the WAY you said it, is perfect!

  • Heather

    This non parent absolutely loves this article. In fact I love it so much I think I’m in love with you. 😉

  • Gypsy

    Hi, I am one of those people that lead a meaningless life (JOKE). I kinda have to side with the owner on this one. I’m sure she has worked hard to get where she is now, and to have a child having a fit in her place. I sure she saw several unhappy customers, and wanted to any regulars that don’t bring kids. I’m thinking it must be like you work had to save some money to get that car you’ve been dreaming about, you finally get it and then people come by it when parked on the street and pee on it. After a few times, I bet you’d have at least yelled at that person, even if it was the first time. I’m sure this wasn’t the first child the owner has had to put up with, more than likely she’s had to endure many kids/parents like that. And this one just happened to break the owners back. I wish the parents could remember before they had kids, what it was like going out to eat…or shop…or movies…and some kid screaming…how did they enjoy that? How did they want to (but may have never done) act or say to these parents. I feel bad for both sides, but the parents should have done something, and the owner could have done something other…like pack their order up to go, bring it to the family, tell them it’s on the house and to please not return with the child unless the child can act much better. Sure she may have lost them for customers, but really it would be worth it for her sanity…lol

    I’m sure not many people here will agree with me, it’s just my opinion, but for once I wanted to share my feelings about this subject. I used to have to teach parenting skills to parents as a last ditch effort before losing their kids to the courts, and I learned there are two types of parents, those who will work with their kids to be decent humans, and those that just don’t have it in them to be a decent parent.

    Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox now. Thank you for letting me voice my opinion…and I wish for all you parents that you have happy, healthy and well behaved children.

  • Arsenio

    I love this, and now I love you. Thank you for saying this.

  • jay

    The only problem here is that the owner actually does seem to be somewhat crazy. Other patrons at the time have said it was closer to 5 minutes than 40 minutes, and the owner also went and cursed out the mother and challenged the family to a fight on Facebook.

  • Deets

    So awesome. And why are people bringing up the Maine story? (It’s purposefully not a focus in this article.) Wonderfully written and so spot on!!!
    -Guy without kids who leads a meaningless life, has a sense of humor and understands sarcasm

  • Rose Gilbert

    Also I find the comments such an amusing amalgam of the vast array of thoughts and opinions on every subject and it almost makes me glad that there was no internet when mine were toddlers because the I would have gotten whiplash and had to curl up in a corner sucking my thumb. But then I think that I really wish there had been a blog like this 10 years ago and then I get confused with my conflicting wishes…and… and

  • Rose

    Also I find the comments such an amusing amalgam of the vast array of thoughts and opinions on every subject and it almost makes me glad that there was no internet when mine were toddlers because then I would have gotten whiplash and had to curl up in a corner sucking my thumb. But then I think that I really wish there had been a blog like this 10 years ago and then I get confused with my conflicting wishes…and… and

  • Connie Peacock

    There is no reason children can not go to restaurants, IF the parents can teach their children manners and respect. An infant and toddler are a bit different. The parents should have removed the child from the situation. But apparently the parents have No respect for other people. Back many years ago I was in a restaurant with my family. My Grand Daughter at the time was an infant. She started crying. My Daughter-in-law could not get her to stop. Then my son tired. To no avail they could not calm her down. After about 5 minutes I took her and went outside with her. We were out for 10 to 15 minutes. It was during lunch and the place was packed with business people. Out of Respect for the other patrons I took care of her. When I came back in with her the waitress came over and asked if I would like her to get me another plate, because my food was cold and everyone else was finished eating. I said no just box it and I will take it home. She cleared my plate along with the rest of the table and came back about 10 minutes later with a fresh meal in a to go box. The manager took my meal off the bill, with a Thank on the bill. There was 9 of us and 5 of them were children. They were children were very good. Because they were taught respect. They were 2 to 10 years old. So show some respect Parents and teach your children well. They will be better adults in the future. It is call Respect for others.

  • Kim @ FrontRow

    This was the funniest post (Only Post) I have read in ages!!




  • Aut

    Here’s my two cents. It took 40 min for the kid’s meal to come out. There’s a guy posting who said he sat next to the parents, and said the kid cried for about 4 minutes towards the end of the meal. To all of those people who are complaining that the parents didn’t feed thenkid, maybe they were waiting for the pancakes to cool down. To those parents who are.saying the parents are dicks for letting the kid cry, in her rant, the owner says after the parent’s 4th attempt she lost it, which means the parents WERE trying to calm the kid down. Apparently, it was raining that day, so it’s not like the parents could’ve taken the kid outside. The owner was pissed off at the get go because the parents ordered 3 pancakes foe their kid. Supposedly the pancakes are huge. The parents are out-of-toeners, so they probably didn’t knoe. The owner complained about the 3 pancakes taking up space on her griddle. Perhaps she needs to rethink the size of the pancakes, get a bigger griddle, or not serve pancakes. Now that I think about it, what difference would it make if it was an adult ordering those pancakes? The owner is bat shit crazy.

  • Barbara Ruth

    I didn’t go to a restaurant without a kid’s menu until my youngest one started eating regular adult food instead of chicken strips. He was 12. I decided to have kids and hard sacrifices needed to be made. Not taking my kids to a place where I was afraid they may fuss and disturb other people is just one of the things I feel was necessary. It’s not fair to the kids to put pressure on them to behave in a way that isn’t natural to a little one. Have some compassion on your kids, the other diners, and also importantly yourself.

  • Elizabeth

    I love this and you are brilliant.

    Mother of five year old.

  • Bee Jay

    I would have enjoyed your article much more if your language had been less offensive. Displaying your vulgarity does not help to solve the problem.

    • Minty

      Hahahahahahahahaha! Good one.

      (I assume you’re being sarcastic. No?)

    • Natasha

      This, coming from a person named, Bee Jay?

    • Ella

      Cripes, one of THOSE people….

  • Dianne

    My parents owned a Chinese restaurant where a lot of people would bring their kids. Our pet peeve was that the parents would totally ignore their children and let them run around the restaurant like it was a playground. Of course, this would be the same parents who would sue our ass if their precious snowflakes bumped into a waitress and caused her to drop some hot burning dish all over their precious snowflake. Being Chinese, Chinese parents promptly drag their screaming kids out of restaurants after one minute of screaming.

    Some four star restaurants have signs that they don’t allow children under 8 (bravo) and at a Shakespearean theatre production there are signs indicating that children should be kept quiet and in one case an usher came over and told the mother gently that her kids should quiet down. Hello who takes 7 year olds to a play that they cant understand – of course they would be fidgety. And JT, I want to come up to you and scream in your ear for 10minutes and see if you enjoy that. Or better yet, take my kids, plop them beside you and let them scream to their hearts contents and then tell you to suck it up. Why do you think you are so special that the ENTIRE restaurant wants to listen to your whiney kids for more than 10 minutes?

  • Daddy Scratches

    Outstandingly well done. Not sure how I haven’t come across you before. Great piece.

    (Also: As someone who several years ago got SWARMED by the “Childfree” masses for a blog post I wrote, I can relate all too well with your footnote.)

  • InMyOpinion

    No matter WHAT the restaurant,even “family types” from McDonald’s to Sweet Tomatoes to Golden Corral or your favorite Chinese Buffet, your kids shouldn’t be:

    1)Sitting ON / Crawling UNDER tables 2) Leaning over the next booth watching people eat 3) Screaming at the top of their lungs 4) Running up and down or playing the aisles. 5)Serving themselves in the buffet line if they don’t understand the concept of using utensils, not your hands, to GET the food and that YOU DON’T PUT FOOD BACK once you’ve put it on your plate.

    Sadly, WAY too many supposed ADULTS don’t understand #5.

    • The Prozac Queen

      …and a corrolary to #4-if your kid runs in the aisles and runs into a server, don’t glare at *the server*…it’s not like they intended to knock your kid down, they probably didn’t see her over the dishes they were carrying!

  • Lindsay

    This. All. Of. This.
    I would like to add timing. Can any time past 8pm be relatively melt-down kid free? It’s 6pm, you live in a cool neighborhood, you go out with your kid, I kinda get it. But if it’s after 8pm and there are drinks on the menu and it’s not a chain or family joint, how about leaving the kids at home? If I go out after 8pm to a place known for their cocktail menu, I kinda expect that toddlers will be home in bed.

    Also, if you decide to take your little one to a bar that happens to have an awesome kitchen, you don’t get to be upset with me for having adult conversations with other adults that your kid can hear because he keeps coming over to my table. You get to control the conversation at your table, not at mine.

    Even as a non-parent I get that parents need to go out, especially in the EARLY part of the dinner hour. For the most part I have oodles of sympathy and patience for parents who are showing that they are attempting to teach their little snowflakes how to behave in public. It’s the ones who are ignoring their melting flakes that drive me batty. A frustrated but present parent has all my support. A parent so wrapped up in their phone or their meal while ignoring their child’s asshole behavior is just a dick.

  • Isabel

    Nailed it! Let us all try not to be dicks. I think we should make that our nation’s motto. 🙂

  • Elisa

    “On the other hand, toddlers need to learn to how to behave in restaurants so they don’t grow up to be the dude I sat next to a few weeks ago who was doing things with his sweet & sour pork and vocal cords that made me wonder if perhaps somebody should intervene.”

    THIS. This is what always seems to be missing from the debate. Plus, the whole issue of rewarding tantrums with attention. But the 10 minute limit is perfect.


  • Connie

    as one of those people who have no meaning, depth or hope in their lives, I give parents all kinds of slack IF they appear to be trying to entertain their children. Parents who are pretending to be oblivious (man I hope they are pretending) to their children’s behavior and do nothing about the running or the crying etc are the ones who get absolutely no slack from me.

  • Simone

    GREAT post!

    We owned a restaurant and if someone came in who had a toddler that screamed like that, I would offer to box up their food, throw in dessert and ask them to kindly remove the child as it was upsetting for my other patrons who were also there, paying for their dinner. (We were a ‘casual fine dining establishment). Having raised nine kids, we had one incident where we were invited to dinner by my mother in law (only had three kids then-and learned quickly!) to go to a very nice place, that was semi family oriented. As we went to the salad bar, our son who was 2 at the time, screamed out : MOMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!! I HAVE TO GO POOPY, NOW!!!! There was NO denying who his parents were as I am quite sure his father and I were as red as the tomatoes at that salad bar! That child is now 35 and I chuckle at the memory and wonder if someday his child will not also grace his parents with such an outburst!

    Peace to you!

    • AMS-PNW

      First time reader here. That joke did strike me as a little mean-spirited too, even under the guise of sarcasm. Though I caught it immediately, even without her disclaimer, and am all for sarcasm, the repetition sort of bothered me for some reason. It’s one thing for a childless person to say it as a joke, because we’re used to hearing it from others and it’s directed at our lives. But so many parents actually think that about us that it’s hard not to be a smidge defensive seeing it in all caps, over and over. That said, knowing her very clear intention does make a difference to me, and if the rest of the blog is as good and funny as this post, I’m a new fan!

      • renegademama


        Since you’ve left repeated comments (I didn’t publish one because it was a duplicate of another) and I’ve had it with the people and their heartfelt analysis of my attempt at humor, I’m going to write this once (to everyone “offended” not just you) and then I’m going to move on: Sometimes people use humor to CALL OUT and SPEAK AGAINST a certain mentality. This is called satire. Possibly irony. My point in repeating that ridiculous line (which I wrote with tears on my cheeks I was laughing so hard, FYI) was to reiterate its ridiculousness. I also wrote that part about being “obviously superior humans” and “Dodged that bullet.” COME ON. If a person thinks that’s serious they’re a moron. That’s not subtle humor. That’s OBVIOUS humor. If they can’t see that my humor/sarcasm/satire is an attempt to highlight and decimate a bullshit societal narrative (namely that people without kids are somehow lacking), then that is not my problem.

        Or, maybe I’m a shit writer and not funny. Entirely possible. I work on my craft every day. In the meantime, LUCKILY there is this super handy trick called “clicking off the personal blog” that will immediately remove me from your life, poorly written humor and all.

        As a “blogger for a major site” I’m sure you understand a writer’s inability to please everybody or accommodate every reading level or preference. Even with an asterisk/footnote people say “Oh then you shouldn’t joke about that.” yeah yeah yeah. I know. It offends. Everything I write offends somebody. I should just start posting kitten videos. Happy times for all!


        • Natasha

          Just discovered this blog today through STFU, Parents.

          I love you. That is all.

  • Alisa

    Hilarious! Laughed out loud and really enjoyed! You got both sides of it perfectly. Thank you!

    But, I’m a gal with no kids. And, kinda went ‘booo…<>’ at this statement:

    “One of the rights of people without offspring is the ability to sit in a restaurant and enjoy themselves. Sure they have no meaning, depth or hope in their lives, but…”

    Not true for all of us gals without kids. Just want to point that out. :o)

  • Gala

    Our son is now all of those years he had only one melt down in a restaurant. After 5 minutes of inconsolable crying he and I went to the car where I realized he was feverish and we left. I have the right to eat out but I don’t have the right to make others meal unbearable. When our son was young I came prepared. .small toys..a zippy cup..Cheerios in a baggie. It’s not rocket science people. Little people can’t express their needs and good parents anticipate. He may be my special snowflake. .but he’s not yours and shouldn’t mess up the evening you are paying for. That’s how not to be a dick.

  • Kari

    THANK YOU! I live in Portland, but I never took my kids to anyplace where you would have to wait for breakfast (or any meal) and always someplace that was kid friendly.

  • Jesslin

    As one of the highly child intolerant, I will add – actively trying to solve the problem will actually buy you time from most of the rest of us. Just shushing the screamer won’t save you (that’s almost as infuriating as the screaming, frankly), but if I see you actively trying to bring your toddler around to the light side with whatever you have in your magic parental arsenal, I will root for you with all my heart. I’d rather we all have a good time. Seriously. And then we can go poke the noisy adults and show them your kids are better behaved than they are!

  • Mame

    “There are numerous cues in the writing indicating that. If you can’t find them, please ask somebody who knows how to read to help you”

    Or maybe you need to find someone who knows how to edit your stuff first to help you improve your writing. You were writing in a voice of someone who was cool, who knew children and parents could be dicks too, but then you wrote a few lines in the voice of a Mombie, with no lead in to it, then you switched back again. The change in the voice made no literary sense, therefore people read it all in one voice – the voice of the cool person and that’s why it annoyed because the cool person said it.

    The entire piece was supposed to be about not being a dick, then you actually wrote like a dick and there was no irony connection to the rest of the writing, so it didn’t really fit into the tone of the piece.

    You can learn to be a better writer or you can insult people further, blaming them for not reading correctly. The choice to be cool or not is yours.

    • Natasha


      Yeah, the insult was a pretty shitty thing to do to readers.

      • KG

        Dude, just because the sarcasm went over your head doesn’t mean you have to get all offended. It pretty obvious it’s a joke, I didn’t even need the disclaimer to tell me that. This I precisely why I try to avoid social media :/

  • Tori

    I think that the restaurant owner should have spoken to the parents and asked them to calm the child down or take her out of the restaurant. I have spent many restaurant meals, school concerts and plays, even a writing workshop where children were loud, crying, or allowed to run around. I don’t blame the child, I blame the parents. When I took my children to restaurants or other public events, I went prepared with toys, games, and snacks to distract them. If that didn’t work, I’d take them outside until they could calm down. There were some places I wouldn’t bring my toddlers, because I knew they couldn’t behave appropriately. I don’t understand why so many parents of small children lose all sense of common courtesy for others who are sharing the same space with their screaming children.

  • Broche

    Shakespeare? Please. Alighieri? Non. How about Hemingway, or Plath, or Woolf?
    Mais, non.

  • KG

    Holy Shit! I knew as soon as I read this post that there would be a shitstorm over the “meaningless lives of childless people” line. You might wanna move the disclaimer to the top of the page, although I’m pretty sure people who get their panties all in a bunch over this shit will still cry.

    I don’t have kids. Partly by choice and partly not (it’s complicated and more than I care to lay out here), but I find this post and this blog hilarious and insightful, as always. LIGHTEN THE FUCK UP, PEOPLE! If everyone was careful to never say anything that would hurt someone else’s feelings then this world would be one sad, boring place. Keep up the good work Janelle, you write for more than just the renegade mothers of the world, you write for the human race! The part of the human race that’s trying not to be dicks, anyways.

    On a separate note, can we start using the word cunt more? Just saying, it has one hell of an impact when you throw it out there!

  • Kam

    I’m just your typical city gal w/o kids and this is perfect. I’ll add that we don’t mind well behaved kids. My Goddaughter is two (going on 20), and is so good that whenever I take her to brunch everyone is impressed at how well behaved she is. It’s the kids that cry for long periods of time, kick my chair relentlessly, hit me (seriously, get your child), and throw stuff that are the problem.

    Also, this might be a DC thing but the “babies in bars” trend has got stop. Serving food doesn’t make it a restaurant. We had to show ID to get in here. There’s a DJ. People are drunk. The fact that people think it’s ok for their small children to be in a bar while mommy and daddy get hammered makes me cringe.

  • Linda

    loVE THE sARCASM with the last paragraph!!! i am dying!!!! LOVE!!!!

  • Mizz Etiquette

    Loved the article!

    However the part about “leaving a big tip when your kid makes a mess” stood out.

    I understand bussers have sweeping tools. But it is not their job to clean up a after your kid when they create a sh*t-storm on their chair. On the floor. On a 5 foot radius around them. Maybe don’t let your child leave a big mess on the floor. Teach them some manners and how to sit politely at a table.

    I’ve read of other parents who think as long as they leave a big tip, it’s ok. Would that be ok if I came to your dining table, threw my food all over your floor, and gave you money to pay for a cleaning person?

    • CPark

      Yes! Assuming you would normally tip 20% for a good restaurant meal, do you really think tacking on another 5% is enough to cover the mess a kid can make? That probably equates to an additional $1-2.

      And those little floor cleaners aren’t as magical as you may think. They do not pick up French fries mashed into a carpet. They do not clean the ketchup fingerprints all over the table, the chair/booth, the salt and pepper shakers, or the milk that was spilled inexplicably between the booth and the wall. They SUCK at cleaning up rice (sorry to dispel that myth). So if more of your kid’s (or hell, your adult friend’s) meal ends up on, under, and around the table instead of in someone’s stomach, leave more than 25%… or get on your hands and knees yourself. Especially if it’s somewhere you ever plan to return to… servers have VERY long memories.

  • Chris Redd

    Dont. Be. A. Dick.

    I love this article, and am giving you many many shares on FB right now.

    I am an adult who leads a dull uninteresting meaningless existence as I have chosen not to have children, but I thank you and others like you for understanding that I would like to take my sadness and eat quietly.

  • Lisanyc

    The f you I’m a parent attitude is getting old and I think people are tired of it. I’m tired of it. The moral of the story is that many parents think they can steamroll over everyone because they are a patent and entitled. You’re kids are not entitled. Everyone is tired of arguing about it. Some of the posts here are indictitive of this behavior. These nutty parenting bloggers posting ridiculous posts about disliking xyz and it’s so hard to be a parent are so old. If it’s so hard, don’t have kids. There are people with real problems who can’t even afford food. Set a precedent. Be a good parent or go home, not a selfish a hole.

  • Kathy

    I love this! You have the sense of humor that will get you through parenthood. But I do have to add my two cents. I am in my late 60s, mother of six, grandmother of 14 and I have paid my dues and done my time. My old husband and I rarely go to fast food or family restaurants in fact most of our eating out is confined to casino restaurants which are pretty much adult by nature. We don’t hate kids at all, but truly don’t want to listen to or watch an unruly child while we are trying to eat. It makes us nervous, afraid they will get hurt, afraid they will trip a waiter carrying a heavy tray, spill something that will cause someone else to fall, etc. etc. And the noise, we definitely don’t want the noise. If your child can sit and enjoy the meal and the experience then please bring them in. If they get upset or want to run around, please take them out. Thanks!

  • lisanyc

    The more you allow your child to have terrible behavior now, the more it will haunt you and everyone else in the future….your kids will misbehave, have no kids, be lonely etc. Teach your kids the right way to behave to help them be happy in the future or they will always have a hard time, as will you. No one wants to invite that poorly behaved kid or parent to the party. Eventually others will send a message. The whole “F” you I’m a parent and I can do what I want thing is going to backfire when you’re kids have isolated everyone, can’t find a job as an adult because they act like a jerk and you’re going to have to pay for them. HAHA, you’ll get yours I guess!

  • Kali

    You are fucking hilarious. People like you make the internet worth it.

  • Ellie

    You are my new favorite writer.

  • No Snowflake Here

    Hi, special snowflake-less adult here. Plenty of depth, meaning, and hope in my life PLUS I get to do whatever I want and buy whatever I want and spend all the time I want with my significant other and friends. Its wonderful.

    I despise the sound of screaming children, so I do the non-dick move of not eating at family restaurants (food stinks anyways!) and rarely ever going out to eat before 8:30pm. If I put myself in a situation where a child is screaming, I try to remove myself before becoming a dick.

    I would appreciate if everybody followed your ideas of how to not be a dick (especially the dick parents).

  • Eleri

    The thing that grabs me the most about stories like this, is how many adult human beings treat non-adult human beings in ways that they would *never* treat other adults. And in some cases treat children in ways that would be considered *assault* if directed towards an adult.

    Yelling and screaming, rudeness, agressive physical contact… I see and hear of people doing this all the time to kids, and people think it is ok, because they’re doing it to children.

    Imagine if this business owner had gone off on an adult customer like this- we’d be hearing a very different story.

    • Skipper

      I couldn’t agree more.

    • Ella

      Imagine if an adult had gone off in a restaurant like this instead of a child.

      It would have ended with a call to police. Or a mental institution.

      I’m not advocating child abuse. The women SHOULD have screamed at the lazy-ass parents instead.

  • Julie

    Oh how perfect your words are to me! Just yesterday I had a “friend”, who knows I don’t have children, say to me how people who don’t have children must not have a purpose in life. This sentiment has been made to me by several women over the past three years – WTF! I love being an Auntie and enjoy children when they behave better than my dog (percentages are in favor of my dog) but don’t understand women who think that if you are not a breeder than life is not worth living. As for dining experiences, you truly hit it on the head!

  • Lenae

    I usually don’t like reading articles, and honestly, reading at all in fact, but THIS post however got my full attention, and I have to say, brava! I just wish the news, or anyone could be as professionally blunt as you have performed just now. Kudos and Thank you…

  • Jane

    What do you think of this then? She basically says that adults rule in restaurants, but kids rule on airplanes.

  • francine Perri

    Great story My husband and I were on a flight from Chicago to NY The plane was delayed almost four hours Right behind me was a sreaming baby and I mean screaming NON STOP The mother didn’t have a bottle, never changed her and asked the stewardess for a cup of ice because she likes ice, so the kid starts throwing the ice. A cookie fell on the dirty floor and she picks it up and gives it to the kid. Finally a nice gentleman with a computer sat next to her and showed some cartoons, Finally, she fell asleep, Now the plane takes off and guess what??? She starts screaming again all through the flight home. So what does one do when something like that happens on a plane??

    • tygerstripes

      Ear plugs. I never fly without ear plugs. Industrial ear plugs.

    • Ella

      Well if there are open seats, you can move into any one of those. No, you actually can. There is no rule against this.

      I bought a pair of noise canceling headphones for this and lots of other things I hate about flying.

      Keep in mind that their ears hurt like hell during takeoff and landing. Mine didn’t stop hurting until i was about 20.

      And keep also in mind that despite the inflated cost, you’re essentially taking public transportation.

      Hey parents.. DRUG YOUR KIDS. Seriously. Give them melatonin. It’s safe, non-addictive and occurs naturally in the body. If that doesn’t work, give them a little nyquil. Unless they’re flying every day, putting them to sleep won’t freaking hurt them. Come on. YOU’LL suffer less. WE’LL suffer less. THE KID will suffer less.

  • Adam

    I dine with my kids at “white table” restaurants all the time. Here’s how to do it:

    1. If you are dining at a white-table restaurant, practice a lot with your kids ahead of time. Practice manners. Sitting still. Putting the napkin in your lap. All the things they will need to know.

    2. If your kid is misbehaving, let them know politely. They need to learn.

    3. Go on a “field trip.” There are plenty of places in many nice restaurants to take the kids that will have zero impact on the diners or waiters: to the bathroom, to the lobby, to the bar, outside, or other places that will entertain the kids and make the time pleasant. If the kitchen is visible and there is somewhere to stand, show ’em the kitchen.

    4. Reserve dinner early. Food comes faster (good for kids who have harder time sitting still) and the place is less crowded.

    5. By all means, if your kid shouts or melts down, take them outside.

    6. Bring small distractions. A toy car (as long as it will not be thrown) or a book are fine.

    7. Be ready to play a game with the kids. We play “I spy” at pretty much every fancy restaurant. It sedentary, and there are lots of interesting things to see in a restaurant.

    • Ella

      See and my parents did too. Because we knew if we didn’t behave properly, we’d be leaving in disgrace and there would be no pitstops at McDonald’s on the way home either. We’d get a tuna sandwich back at the house and sent to bed early. If i hadn’t had whacked out blood sugar, I doubt I would have gotten that much. Kids aren’t dumb and they can absolutely be taught not to behave like shitheads in public.

      A two year old is kind of an exception to this rule. 2 year olds are psychotic apes with impulse control problems. They’re supposed to be. It’s their job to suck as much as possible. We get this and we have some empathy for the occasional meltdown.

      But it’s their parents’ jobs to make sure that their kid isn’t at large. All the time. Without exception. We get it. You’re tired and cranky and hate your kid right now (shut up, we know you feel that way sometimes and it’s ok) but YOU made the kid and now YOU’RE paying the piper. If your kid tantrums out and you just don’t want to deal with it, suck it up. Because you have to deal with it. You actually seriously don’t come first in your life anymore, that’s the beauty and horror of being a parent.

  • JJ

    Boy oh boy you’re not kidding! Compassion from each side so we can all meet in the middle. Parents, make good choices and plan to spend your time in a restaurant with anyone under 15 TEACHING them how to eat at a restaurant. Wait staff, help us out and please ask first, if there’s anything you can do to help.

    Because I’ve spent a LOT of time teaching people with Autism how to eat in a restaurant. I’ve seen the stares, been the butt of the comments behind our backs and to our faces (Yes, an elderly lady walked UP to a student of mine, got in his face, and said “You’re a BAD, BAD BOY”).

    So maaaaybe…. in the middle of a tantrum, it’s catastrophic to take someone with Autism out ~ because next time guess what? More tantrums.

    And maaaaybe… my kid is totally typically developed and I’m DYING to take him out of there but I’ve been waiting 35 minute for a freaking check and don’t want you to think I skipped out of Dodge.

    And Maaaayyyybbbee… we could go on and on, right?

    So ask! Communicate, ask, work together, and we can get this child raising thing done.

    • Ella

      Anything they can do to help?? These people are working a miserable job for poverty pay that, without tips, does not even sustain the basic necessities of life and now you’re asking them to be an on-call shrink for your antisocial kid?

      There is only one person who can help when a child is having a tantrum in public and you already know who that person is. YOU. It’s YOUR job to manage your kid, not minimum wage employees who don’t WANT to cater to your chaos.


      In return, I will do the same with mine.

  • kathleen

    Love it and agree. I have 8 kiddos and they know that if they do not behave they are in huge trouble. We are big tippers and actually stress a little too much for our table neighbor’s experience. Children need to go out to eat- Yes, they do need to learn…Learn to respect others and realize they are not the center of the universe. That said. Was in Madrid on a romantic weekend walking into an expensive restaurant and was bummed to see children there. To me even worse that parents will forgo a sitter and demand a kiddy menu and have said precious offspring sitting there on a Nintendo whatever…really? Kid falls over after scoring some kind of intergalactic goal. Cries. Kills my champagne buzz. I wish restaurants could actually turn away a child for that reason. Get a sitter already. The Nintendo toy is not making your child ‘good’ or ‘well behaved ‘. And it is even creepier to see a family out together that is not interacting AT ALL.

  • Bhavna

    Love this!!! I have a 3.5 yr old daughter and i do my best to keep from being a dick about the noise and meltdowns that she creates on an incredibly regular basis. I know she’ll grow out of it and it won’t always be a freakin nightmare every time, but in the meantime…….nothing fancy for me unless she’s being cared for by grandparents. Xoxo

    • Ella

      Look and we get it. I feel nothing but empathy and “Can i buy you a glass of very strong booze”ishness for parents who are dealing with tantrumy kids.

      It’s the parents who AREN’T dealing with tantrumy kids that deserve whatever they get 🙂

  • HikesWithDogs

    Also don’t bring you kid into the dam bar and then give me a dirty look when I let a word like “fuck” slip out, I sit at the bar so I can talk “adult” without having to filter myself.

    Also the restaurant bar is not a “waiting area” for you and your family while you wait for a booth\table…….again no dirty looks while I guzzle margaritas and swear like a sailor.

    There’s a logical reason most states don’t allow anyone under 18 at\in the bar…………………

    • Ella

      I fuckbomb on airplanes when a kid kicks the back of my seat and the parents do nothing about it. When the parents make a stink, I tell them they, and only they, have the power to stop it. If they choose to call the flight attendant over to complain, I’m all too happy to explain myself. My husband is an FA and they DO NOT tolerate parents who let their kids kick seats 🙂

  • Skipper

    The problem I have with a lot of the arguments in this debate are that we (society) are seeming here to expect ‘perfection’ of both the children and the parents. That no child at a restaurant should ever act up, and that no parent should ever lapse in disciplinary measures for said acting up child!

    It’s a bit ridiculous and unrealistic. Common courtesy, decency and manners – ABSOLUTELY – but there are a lot of holier-than-thou judgments being made towards the parents in these comments re: “control your child or don’t go out” etc. etc. and I find this troubling. So only the ‘perfectly behaved’ are permitted to leave the house?!

    Children can’t learn how to behave in a restaurant environment if they are not given the opportunity to do so. And it’s not necessarily going to go well on the first few tries! Why isn’t that okay?! And yes, I also grew up in the generation of having to behave properly at a restaurant ‘or else’. Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for manners and courtesy. What I’m not for is this bizarre expectation of perfectionism of both children and parents and that apparently no one can have a bad parenting day in public and no child is allowed to act shitty, EVER.

    Sometimes I’m overwhelmed as a parent when my child is acting up and I’m not in the mood for more yelling/discplinary action, etc. I’m not feeling “entitled” in these moments; I’m feeling drained and overwhelmed. Frankly, I find the attitude of the people on the other side of this debate to be just as ‘entitled’. Shit happens; my child is not trying to deliberately ruin your dining experience, nor am I. Sometimes you will have a crappy dining experience due to a variety of reasons; the expectation of ‘no bratty child shall ever ruin my dining experience’ is rather arrogant, especially if you are at a regular restaurant. Fine-dining, sure, that’s a different situation.

    As I said above, kids act up sometimes, despite a parent’s best efforts. How about a little compassion from others instead of all the judgment. Most of us parents are doing our best but it’s never going to be perfect.

  • Ilse

    How about “no snowflake zones”…are you listening Zagot.

  • Michelle

    Problem is, people are, always have been, and always will be dicks. Its the law of nature. So….there’s no solution and the absolutely endless, pointless hot air is just going to keep on blowing on this and other comparable issues.

  • tygerstripes

    Ten minutes? Nope, not even five. You have two. One minute for your lil precious to scream, and one minute for you to say, ‘I’m going to count to ten, and if you don’t settle down by ten, we’re going outside. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. Okay, now we’re going outside.’

    That’s it. Two minutes, then out you go. Because if I have to sit there listening to screaming for five minutes plus, I’m joining in on minute six, or I’m leaving the restaurant and never coming back. We all have to learn to live together, I don’t care how old we are.

  • Tree Khartam

    The concept of “social contracts” seems like it’s useful in this situation, and as restaurant staff are asking for certain behavior out of parents, it seems like a good time to outline what concessions I’d offer in return:

    If you ask for crayons, or crackers, or mashed potatoes without parsley, I will get them for you as quickly as possible. Service is all about prioritization, and I know that children are very now-based, so those crayons are likely to be more important than refilling someone’s coffee. Controlling kids is hard, and if you tell me how to help, I will.

    I will check in with you for dang near everything. I will not suggest desserts (or if I do, it’ll be very subtly), because many kids will suddenly decide that they NEED ice cream even tho they’ll be going to bed as soon as you get home. I will absolutely *never* bring ice cream or any other ingestible to your table without asking if it’s okay first, because there are lots of things which might make it so that the child can’t have that, and it’s best if it just never crosses their mind.

    Also in that vein, I will back whatever play you make. If your child wants a burger, but you say, “They’re out of burgers, honey, but how about a grilled cheese?”, I will say, “Yeah, sorry we ran out, but grilled cheese is so much yummier anyway!”. I will accept that you had some reason for the burger lie, and if I wonder about it, it will be only for my own imaginative amusement. I will not judge your exhausted tone as your child questions the function of every item in the restaurant, nor the sharpness in your voice as you stop a child from throwing a ketchup-dripping french fry at the back of another customer’s head.

    If your child starts crying, I will try to check in and see if there’s anything I can do to help; see: crayons, crackers, parsley clause. If you take a crying child outside, I will have sympathy for your ordeal and try to make your time with us suck less, even if that means quickly and politely packaging your food and running your check if your child is inconsolable. I will not think that you are a terrible person or that your child is a monster if they won’t stop crying; judging is above my pay grade.

    I will clean up after you, and I will deeply appreciate if you make even a small effort towards making that easier for me. You don’t need to do much, as we have bus tubs and rags and a sink that we can wash our hands in. I will especially notice if I can clear the table without having to directly grab anything gross, like the syrup-coated everything scattered everywhere, but when it happens, I will roll my eyes and clean it and remember the far-worse messes I’ve seen from some adults. I will wash my hands after every table I bus, whether or not they have a kid. (That’s not just for you, people are cesspools and I don’t like being a recipient or distribution point for disease, when I can help it.)

    If you are a jerk, if you cause a needless ordeal or leave a lousy tip or suchnot, I will remember that it’s because you’re a jerk, not that you’re a parent.

    If you point it out to me, I will have stern words with the management about getting baby changing stations in bathrooms accessible to all genders. I will defend your right to breast feed in the restaurant. I will do everything in my power to make sure that your stay is pleasant and accommodating, whether or not you have a kid with you.

  • wkmtca

    thank you. i have a special snowflake that was actually well behaved in restaurants but a total asshat in grocery stores. he never went in them until he was about 10. i like my kid (pretty much) but opk.. not so much. but i never wanted to listen to mine or any ones else’s scream or boo-hoo.

    • Lauren

      Hahahahahaha you said asshat

  • MikeinMaine

    All I can say is be nice to kids.. they’ll be paying your social security in the future.

  • vee

    not my circus, not my monkeys. my kids are grown and flown. thank the gods.

  • Meaghan

    So I see you added a statement about the responses of folks like me. You were quick to point out that if we missed the humor, we’re illiterate. So I’m going to be returning my masters degree to CUNY Brooklyn because I never learned to read. Honestly, I think you’re so defensive because you can’t admit you behaved like a dick. You think you are so superior with your sarcastic approach to motherhood you can’t possibly understand people who actually want children so bad it hurts.

    • renegademama

      There are two issues here: 1. People who can’t read sarcasm and are taking me seriously. And yes. I’m saying they can’t read.
      2. People who are offended by my jokes.

      Neither are my problem because I have little control over either. As a writer, I will always offend somebody. Every time I talk shit about children or having children, somebody tells me I shouldn’t because some people can’t have children. Every time I write ANYTHING I offend SOMEBODY. I choose to continue writing anyway. If that makes me a superior dick then yes. I am 100% a superior dick.

      I can only suggest that those who are struggling with infertility, which I can only imagine is excruciating, not read a blog about MOTHERING because surely it will throw salt in an already gaping wound. I cannot anticipate and write in a way that will accommodate all humans. or, perhaps better said, I won’t. Because then I’d be saying nothing. Ultimately though I think that’s precisely what some people want: say nothing. Offend nobody. But as I’m sure you learned in graduate school, that gets nobody anywhere.

  • Darth Kater

    What I don’t understand: the parents were allegedly told that there would be a 30 minute wait. IMO, that should have negated their decision to dine there, and led to them going somewhere else possibly more conducive to the needs of a hungry little girl (not themselves). I’m not a parent, but I have spent enough time with kids of all ages, to know that toddlers DO NOT have patience or much self-control (especially if they’re tired, hungry, or coming down with something). Parents know that, too, and these parents chose poorly.

    Most moms I know: have snack sized items on hand—juice boxes, raisins, fruit, etc. How hard would it have been to stop into a local grocery or convenience store, to grab some yogurt, juice, a carton of milk, a muffin, and a banana … something to tide the child over, BEFORE attempting to go out for breakfast????????? The kid was hungry, and placed into an unfortunate situation by her parents. She shouldn’t have had to wait to be fed. 10 minutes is like an eternity to a toddler, let alone 30–40, for a hungry toddler. (And was there nothing in Mommy’s bag to distract or occupy the child? Crayons? A book? Maybe play a game of Eye Spy?)

    The restaurant owner doesn’t appear to be all that refined; she’s clearly rough around the edges, in general. Full of piss and vinegar. Given her appearance, she also appears to be of menopausal or peri menopausal age; maybe her rage was possibly hormonally related, and she lost her cool in a BIG WAY.

    I’m not saying that she was right to lose her cool in such a fashion. The situation should not have escalated to such a point. The parents’ poor, inconsiderate decisions (and a bit of selfishness) were at fault, in my opinion. It was unfair to the child to expect her to wait for food; the parents were warned in advance. It was unfair to other patrons (though some may have been sympathetic and compassionate) to have their meals disturbed by a whining, crying, hungry child. It wasn’t fair to the proprietor to have her request (to calm the child/step outside) ignored. She’s running a business—not a daycare or a Romper Room, for meltdowns.

    It shouldn’t have come to the point where the owner lost her cool in such a demonstrative fashion; but she DID accomplish shutting the child up. The onus was on the parents to have made better decisions in the interest of their little snowflake, lest have something like this unfold. The customer isn’t always right. None of this had to happen.

  • Karen

    I had a troublesome child. I walked out of more malls and restaurants than I can count with him screaming and tucked under my arm. (I always felt lucky I didn’t get arrested but I guess I just looked long-suffering and not abusive as I left.) There was no way I was inflicting that on anyone and no way I would put up with it from him. If he had a tantrum, he was excluded from society. Ironically, he and I later used to joke about how we “survived the baby at Chilis” who screamed throughout our meal. That was obviously on one of his good days. I don’t understand parents who allow food-throwing or screaming. My son got through this period and turned out great but it was tough while it lasted.

  • Stagnant Artist

    As a person that has opted out of the children realm, for purely selfish reasons of wanting to go do things with other adults, I have experienced the crying child in a restaurant. I agree with parts of the article. Yes, if I’m at a diner or an establishment, I know that most likely I am going to have to deal with situations like this. But if I’m out for a nice dinner with a nice bottle of wine or a fancy cocktail, knowing that it’s going to be about $20 per plate and a $100 meal in the end, then no, I don’t want to hear your kid or watch them misbehave.

    I have worked in the industry, so I do know that most parents who would go out to eat with their children (and weren’t total self centered assholes) would go eat out early. Around 5:30 to 7:30 pm. As a waitress, I would always have their check ready as I saw the start of a terrible melt down which would make the parents frantically try to pack up and pay. I didn’t mind these people because they “got” it. They understood. Now for the parents that would bring their child in at 9/10 pm. You are assholes. Go home, put your kid to bed and eat your frozen Trader Joe’s meal (which are rather tasty). Don’t drag your kid out at this hour.

    A new-ish thing in the NYC area that has been happening is parents bringing their kids to bars. Now this I can’t stand. There is a reason that a bar is 21 plus. No one wants to drink with a kid. No one wants to see you have many drinks and ignore your kid. I’ve gone to a biergarten where I saw a kids birthday party (gasp) and the parents are letting their kids run around like it’s kindergarten. No. The answer is a big fat no. You are not watching your child, you are not making good judgement calls and don’t even think of getting mad at me for having a loud potty mouth.

    I get that you want to still have a life and feel like you are a part of the world, but guess what…. you made that choice. I made mine. Don’t fault me for my life decisions. But don’t force your decisions on me as well. Just be smart and think about others first. I have the ability to pop out a kid, I just know I like being able to travel, go to nice restaurants and bars. My mom got baby sitters for me, you can do the same and remember what life was like before children…..

  • knitbunnie

    Four kids here, all now grown, and all quite civilized. We had meals together at home every evening, and there was conversation, there were manners, and yes, there was some monkey business, much to my husband’s dismay. Having meals together as a family laid the groundwork for non-disruptive behavior in restaurants. It’s hard to expect a child to be in a restaurant and act appropriately if there is not that expectation on a consistent basis at home.

  • Rhonda

    I am so glad to live in a country where children are people and this type of embarrassment just doesn’t happen.

  • Kimiko

    OMG LOVE this. Beautiful. Just beautiful. Our precious snowflake has been spending approximately 90% of our restaurant time melting on the sidewalk outside while Daddy and I take turns eating. Your sense of humour is delightful and refreshing. I’m so happy to have stumbled onto your blog today! 😀


    Absolutely hilarious, and accurate about beastly children in restaurants. The only inaccurate part is that those who didn’t breed have vapid lives, but if that makes you sleep better at night for the choices you all made, I am happy to give you that.
    After being a restaurant manager for the past decade-plus, I only thank god I never bred. I have spent more time than most parents cleaning up after children in restaurants, which is probably why the thought of ever having any of my own filled my psyche with terror. I have experienced all the horribleness mentioned (and more) of oblivious, inconsiderate, and self-entitled breeders and all I can say is, good for you if you wanted to do this but don’t impose your misery on the rest of us. I too have had the urge to scream at an oblivious idiot with a screaming, unsupervised brat but when I have reached my limit, I go in the office and hide. If I had my own place, I too might ask one of these horribly inconsiderate parents to leave my establishment with their wretched brood. Of course, I would worry that it would cost me the business of other breeders which would be so sad because then I wouldn’t get to clean up after the little b*st*rds or enjoy the screaming and yelling and running all over the booths and throughout the restaurant that the “family friendly” establishments get to “enjoy”.
    So many appallingly indulgent parents out there, terrified at the thought of disciplining their children to behave in social settings, or belligerent about their “right” to impose their hellish nightmares on the rest of us because they did something “special”, that hasn’t already been done 7 BILLION times before.

  • Howard Barnett

    1. Know what you want when it’s time to order.
    2. If your child is incapable of ordering in a clear loud voice, order for them. This extends to all behaviour you need to control
    3. Have your money out and ready when it’s time to pay.
    These rules are in place so that the other people you don’t think exist aren’t being imposed upon by your idiocy.

  • Ashley

    seriously…this is the best.ever.

  • Liz

    Parents have the responsibility of figuring out how to manage their children in a variety of social settings. Sometimes it goes wrong, and it becomes necessary to flee with your squalling snowflake and try to figure out how you can prevent the child having such a meltdown in the future.

    I don’t work in a restaurant, but I do work in a full service children’s shoe store. If I hear a toddler beginning to fuss, even if it’s not my client, I pass by and say, in a light tone, “Oh, you’re getting mad! What are these strange shoe ladies doing to your feet?” And usually the tot is distracted enough by the new person who has not been trying to put her foot on the metal measuring device that she stops crying. I take a moment to get her to smile, and everything’s fine. If not, I bust out the bubbles. Bubbles solve 95% of toddler problems, at least long enough to get a foot measured or a shoe on!

    There is one situation that has nothing to do with noise, though, that I would love more parents to be aware of – if your tot drops a load in their diaper while you are in public, DEAL WITH IT. Amend the situation quickly.

    At my store, we are allowed to politely suggest parents take advantage of our changing table and complimentary diapers, but only if the parent makes a comment about the poop themselves. I am consistently amazed how frequently customers do not even acknowledge that the child has filled their diaper and stinks to high heaven, or worse, opt out of our offer for a free, quick change, and decide to ‘power through’ 30 more minutes of shoe selection with a child who reeks of feces. We are patient people, particularly of children, but even your staunchest salesperson is going to hate you, at least a bit, for forcing us to endure doing our job while inhaling the smell of sh*t.

    We understand that you are trying, possibly desperately, to get through a necessary task with your child. We want to help. But anyone who has gotten so bogged down in the daily raising of a child that they can’t think clearly enough to realize that service staff deserves consideration when you decide to ‘power through’ the smell, well, it’s time to hire a babysitter and take an evening off. Your perspective’s gotten warped.

  • Lauren

    I don’t think the 2nd argument is necessarily that babies have rights. I think it’s that customers take the “The Customer Is Always Right” thing a bit far. Or that they don’t understand that while yes, restaurants (& bars, in my case) SERVE customers, we have to serve ALL the customers, not just you & your screaming child (or in my case, your really bad vein popping karaoke screaming table of hipsters). So if 1 party is disturbing all the other parties, to the point where the majority of the room is ready to GTFO, then for the greater good it’s simple CUSTOMER SERVICE to shut the offending party down. Politely, of course.

    But it’s a complicated distinction sometimes. And since people seem to have less & less dignity as the years go by, it’s more difficult for venue managers.

  • Debbie

    I’ve been to Marcy’s. It’s too dive-y even for Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. No worries that it was”fine dining” that was being disrupted.

    I don’t think anyone disagrees that perhaps the parents should have taken the child out of the restaurant 4.25 minutes into his meltdown. For her own sake as much as anyone elses. Be that as it may, however, you never yell at a baby. Unless they are doing something unsafe. I dont have children, but I do not have the “I don’t have kids so I shouldnt be subjected to yours” mentality. Do I want to listen to a baby cry for 40 minutes? No, but that’s mostly because it’s not good for them, it obviously means something is wrong. I’ll take a baby crying for 40 minutes, though, over a selfish idiot on their phone in a restaurant. Every time.

    What I dont love about all of this is not just the yelling at the baby, but how she brags about it on social media and on the news. Today she’s yelling at a baby. Tomorrow she might be yelling at you for not leaving a big enoug tip. Or for wearing a green shirt on a Saturday. I’m glad she’s not representative of most restaurant owners here.

  • Elisabeth

    There’s a very busy hipster restaurant in my city where the staff actually helps soothe fussy babies. One lady even offers to hold babies while the parents dine. This lady was the owner and had no children of her own. But it’s crowded and loud and happy and people kindly assist with the crabby babies. It’s such a gift to have places like this. They are worth researching to find. It sounds like nobody even tried to be hospitable for this family @ Marcy’s. It might not be required to be understanding of families but it’s a perk I’m grateful for at other establishments. It is considered good customer service to be helpful to unsettled babies. We get good customer service everywhere we go with our children. We don’t tolerate bad manners but kids are never perfect in public. We’ve never had anyone approach us and never had waiters that dont help in some way when are kids are restless.

  • jessa

    I love this! I have 11 children from ages 14 all the way down to my youngest that is 2. I have always had them with me everywhere I go for the most part with that being the case if I eat out they usually do. However if I get the rare occasion to go kid free with my hubby the last thing I want is to sit listening to someone else’s child scream or run circles around my table. I have not yelled at another person’s child I have pulled out some colors from my purse found a menu or other scrap offering it to THAT child if I see that mom is just at that point she doesn’t need to hear it she gets it already. If mom is to this point Chick fil a is the place to go offering a service mom’s order drive through pay then when they go in food is at the table request across from the clean Playland. Don’t go to a place alcohol is served or other things that point out not everyone will have a kid at their table. My children know to keep voices low they are told lower than normal they know that because their are so many they can be so loud that is not the time or the place. They pick up what falls on the floor push in chairs when they get up. I stack plates wipe tables anything to make it easier on the waitress along with leaving a big tip if your polite to my children. I have a bag that I leave in our bus full of activities for even the older kids. I refuse and can not stand for a child to have electronic devices at the table so kids are not aloud their phones instead look at the art on walls watch people we have this ring with games wrote on cards they play OK even I play sometimes. Now I aloud guilty of letting the little ones look at pictures on my phone if nothing else works or their learning tabs. The free colors they give them at some places are always kept and come in use!! Even so I still have to remove 1 or 2 sometimes. Even the little ones I pull outside or if bathroom is empty stall we go there they. They are told what is expected asked to straighten up them told consequences to come if not. They know of if we have to leave mom is not going to be the only one upset with them. I wouldn’t even hear of letting them bother someone by misbehaving especially that amount of time.

    • Caitlyn

      Jessa, my brain LITERALLY stopped functioning when i read that you have 11 kids. I feel like you should have an alter I can worship in front of. And then you went on to say that you do actually get kid free outings, and I swear I started to slow clap all by myself in the middle of my living room.

  • Neil

    Sorry. Items one through five are morally bankrupt bullshit. Your age (or the age of your family) does not determine the types of establishments you can or should frequent. You can dislike my kids, but excluding them is no different from excluding black people, or women, or whatever other group you choose to dislike.

    Behaviour is fair game. But no double standards. My kids are pretty well behaved, but yes, there may be the occasional brief explosion. I will address that, and will step out if it needs some cooling down time. Did you throw out that arguing couple in the next booth when things got a bit loud. Or the guy that thinks he needs to shout in order for the cell phone mic to pick him up? Then kids at comparable decibel levels are no different.

    This is a weird fixation we seem to have here. That somehow children are just less human, less deserving of fair treatment, than adults. I just got back from Europe, and it was amazing. I dined in some pretty nice places. They all had high chairs, and no one, not even once, suggested we go elsewhere. In Slovakia, they even had play areas. Everywhere. Even the bar.

    I understand there’s a culture gap going on here, but cultural relativism only extents so far. And the right to fair and equal treatment, not subject to discrimination based on age, gender, race, orientation, etc, is not something that should be up for discussion.

    • SH

      This first comment I totally agree with (in its entirety). Thank you! I could not have said it better.

  • JB

    Freakin’ spot on.

    – The childless one

  • Ellyn

    Yes! All of this should be obvious, but I am constantly surprised by the lack of decency and common sense. However! I would just like to take this moment to brag that, when out-of-state family was in town, we were all “treated” to dinner at a very upscale restaurant. My husband and I were expected to bring our toddler, so we did. We were there for over TWO HOURS, with my two year old was in his first non-strapped in booster seat (set upon an alarmingly high bar-type chair). Due to my and my husband’s diligent attention to any possible tantrum triggers and somehow being able to entertain him with some bread, napkin rings, and crayons that kept rolling off the tale and finding their way to the darkest corners, we never had to get up and leave to walk him around or anything! However, my conversation with my family was pretty limited to “What?”, “Um, yeah.” because I could not ignore my child for much longer than that if I wanted him to remain calm. Sorry grandma!

  • Diane DeLongchamp

    Actually, I don’t like the tone of it. I think it just creates more division than understanding. I think parents do need to be reminded that people go out for dinner to relax, and that it is difficult to see and hear children crying for whatever reason. On the other hand, some harried parents do need to get out of the house to stay sane and not everyone has relatives and baby-sitters at their disposal. Aunts and uncles without kids are greatly appreciated when they can take over once in a while. Like they say, it takes a village. Perhaps a fast-food outlet would be appropriate for screaming toddlers. smile emoticon

  • ramona del fuego

    THANK you!!!!!YOu are right! Just because a mom loves the piercing shrill scream of their spawn,it dosent mean that the rest of us do…Im not a kid-hater but I am getting tired of screaming whiny kids…Thank you for putting it in such a kind way!r,but I understand the

  • Doug

    I am from Maine so naturally I have been asked about this topic several times a day since it’s occurrence. I try hard to voice my opinion in a neutral way but inevitably I piss people off… this article is everything I want to say and more! From now on when people bring it up, I’m going to direct them here.

    Though I don’t have children myself, my mother has a daycare so I’ve spent a good part off my life surrounded by children of varying levels of dickiness.. most of the time it’s caused by the patents inability to parent. Yes, kids will be kids.. but parents need to understand that THEY are the ones responsible for teaching their children how to act. However, non-parents also need to realize that kids are dicks, sometimes for no apparent reason.. the parents probably aren’t enjoying it either.

    Side Story: I helped manage a small general store for years. On a daily basis I’d see little terrors come in as well as little angels. But there was this one minion of hell in particular that I’ll never forget. He was probably 4 years old and daily would come in with his parents.. screaming, running around, throwing things, hitting his mother, etc. His parents ignored the behaviors consistently. After several horrible experiences I mentioned to his parents that if it continues they will need to start paying for all the products he destroys. It continued. So, I set up a time-out chair. Within ONE WEEK all of the bad behavior stopped because he knew he couldn’t get away with it there. One day, after nearly two months without incidents, the reformed demon came in with a friend and his friend started acting up.. none of the four adults with the two children said anything.. but the 4 year old told his friend that if he behaved that way I’d put him in time-out. Problem solved.. no crazy FB posts, shooting matches or physical threats needed.

  • Melissa

    How about this? TEACH your child how to behave in restaurant! It isn’t that hard! If your child is a “savage” as one commenter put it, then you ARE DOING IT WRONG!

    Neither of my children, once of the age to understand what “NO” meant(about 18 months), was allowed to act like a little ass hat in public. If you want to have productive children that are accepted by society, you actually have to teach them things, not just screw your brains out and pop them out as fast as you can and forget about teaching them anything.

    • PipSqueak

      That’s fabulous for you, but having worked with literally 1,000s of children in my life some are easier than others. Some kids take longer to learn than others. Therefore for those of us with “savages,” since I was the one who said that, do need to avoid public settings until we have taught the child, as was stated in the same comment. . .

      • Melissa

        That is a cop out! I grew up in a generation that taught their children how to behave in public. A child is only as difficult as you let them be. Though they may learn slowly it is still no excuse for them to be “savages”. If you can’t make your child behave and if you haven’t figured it out after working with 1000’s, again, you are doing it wrong!

        I grew up with 2 downs kids, I was 8 yrs older and we went out to dinner with their families regularly from the time they were little little on, teaching them not to be “savages” wasn’t an issue, so why is it for your kids? You don’t get much slower than 2 downs kids, both of which were severely mentally retarded.

        • PipSqueak

          What is a cop out? Staying home and teaching them long before we expose a child to the public? I’ll take that cop out with a toddler. She won’t notice the difference. When she is trained well, we’ll go out more. Again, I can teach her to behave, which is what I am doing with my toddler. . . She will get there. Looking at your comment history, you seem to like to argue just for the sake of arguing. Also, “mentally retarded”? As long as we are splitting hairs on my calling my toddler a savage, I hope you “make” your kids call use the term “cognitively delayed” or “intellectual disability.” “2 downs kids”?! I’m sure their parents would be very unhappy that is how you refer to them. Or, are you commenting in the same spirit I have been by echoing the tone of the original author?

          • PipSqueak

            *public in this case should have been specifically related to eating out. We do go to the grocery store, park, zoo, swimming pool, gymnastic lessons, and many other child friendly public places.

  • Mely from NM

    I am from NM and a screaming child in a yurt will still get a death stare. We take our peace and quiet seriously.

  • Jaded

    I have one more comment. Kids get cranky when they are out past their bedtime. Don’t be that parent who is at the hipster restaurant starting dinner at 10pm when your toddler usually goes to bed at 7:30. Everyone will be much happier.

  • Zizania

    Interesting discussion, to which I’d like to add a few points. First, I’d like to know what possesses people who bring babies and toddlers to symphony concerts. The toddlers are simply not capable of sitting for that long, and you know that the babies are going to start crying at some point – usually during Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” rather than the “1812 Overture”. My husband and I are not well off and we have forgone any holiday traveling for many years so that we can (sort of) afford to attend our town’s annual symphony festival. We’d really like to be able to enjoy it.
    Second, it might be a good idea to teach your small children, especially girls, not to scream constantly while playing. Not only is it extremely annoying to the neighbours, how are you going to know if they are ever really in trouble? We live in a small town where parents aren’t afraid to let their kids play outside but, as well as the normal dangers of childhood, we do have seasonal problems with bears and cougars wandering through.
    That said, I think most kids would be better off if they had more interaction with real human beings. The average four-year-old nowadays is probably more technologically savvy than I am, but can’t ask politely for a glass of water.

  • Tracy

    This applies to any place you go with your children, in my opinion. No one wants to hear a child cry for 40 minutes. It is rude to not only the other people in the establishment but also to your child. I always tried places and if my kids were jerks they we went home, even the “kid” places. Also, I notice that no matter what comments are written about anything, when people disagree or don’t like your stance then they say all sorts of dumb things just to get their point across. Maybe you can do a blog on that, seriously and sarcastically, on teaching our kids respect online. The worst is those peeps that have to have the last word and insult you while doing it. – “Not being a dick in the comments section of internet blogs”

  • Pam

    I find myself thoroughly disgusted with this article and this whole thread. To tell parents their kids are monsters or crotch goblins or some other hate slur is atrocious! We took BOTH our children to restaurants and they were on their best behavior. Of course, they usually were at home, too, when they were at the age you guys are deeming them monsters. Kids need to experience things and parents want to share all aspects of their lives with them. If your restaurant is too damn fancy to allow a child who MIGHT yell or cry cuz it hurts your precious feelings, then stay the hell home your own selves! What all this boils down to is some people thinking they are better than others and that ain’t the case anywhere in this ol’ world. Shame on all of you!

    • JB

      I wouldn’t get my feelings hurt if your kid yells or cry. It might just ruin my dinner. And it’s freaking rude to sit there and let them carry on like that for 40 minutes.

      I don’t feel like anyone is saying they think they are better than anyone else, but it’s about being respectful to others around you. Everyone should strive to be more respectful to others around them.

      On the flip side, it’s not the kids fault. No stranger should EVER yell at a child. You don’t know why that child is misbehaving.

      As far as the tone, lighten up. It was meant to be funny (and it is).
      At the end of the day, it’s expectations that need to be set.

  • Allyson Ballard Bossie

    My 12 year old lol’d at this so if someone missed the quite impressive and accurate use of Sarcasm in this writing, they really can’t read. I couldn’t have articulated this better. Really, I have an inability to express things so funny yet so truthful. Kudos.

  • C

    Well written. I love this. though Id Add that the servers and kitchen staff can help by making sure that the table with toddlers is served relatively quickly. We’ve sat in a restaurant and waited over an hour for our food, as we watch others who came in after us get served their food; this is ridiculous whether there are kids involved or not. My Son and the other tot with us sat nicely playing with cars and colouring for the fist 40 min then at that point I had to walk them around the restaurant to keep them entertained. at the end of it we ended up leaving without eating; when we complained to the manager and she told us that we should have know it would be busy because it was a fight night – over an hour is too long no matter who your serving and what night it is.

    • The Prozac Queen

      One restaurant I worked in had an “out-first” option button every time we entered something from the kids’ menu. I thought that was a great way to be proactive.

  • Jess Nye

    So, I live very near this restaurant. It’s about 800 feet down the raod from the Maine Children’s Museum, and is a little diner, like breakfast and lunch, greasy-spoon type place. This is not a hipster joint. And this restaurant owner is batshit fucking crazy.

  • CH

    I am a parent, my kid is 22, I adore children, they are an important part of communinites. When he was little, I took mine to restaurants all the time. I picked the restaurant knowing I had a child in tow, I took him out if he couldn’t manage, and I came prepared to keep him occupied.

    Now I’m an old lady and I like nothing more than to sit in a cafe and eat, read or chat. I still love kids and think they’re important, but if a parent behaves as if they’re child is MOST important or MORE important than all the other patrons, then they are not community minded, they are entitled and I have no patience for that.

    This isn’t parent vs. non-parent, this is entitled, inconsiderate parent vs. everyone unfortunate enough to be around them and their offspring.

  • Laura Moore

    hey lets no knock free range parenting. my sister and I are both products of free range parenting. however our parents were parents. my sister and I spent a few dinners in the car while our parents ate. they had no tolerance for little dicks. not just crying but if we acted out of line, got snarky with them…to the car little dicks.

  • Jen

    Great article – many of us are not good at being nice when we are emotionally reactive (and children screaming evoke primitive raw emotins in humans), so it takes practice to learn how to not be a dick in those circumstances.

    The only critique I would give you is that you were kind of a passive aggressive dick by dissing non parents (no hope, meaningless life). It’s clear you were being sarcastic, and sarcasm is passive-aggressive, which I think can be more dickish than being straight up aggressive. And then you put down people who didn’t catch the sarcastic cues and instead took your words literally and dickilshly told them to have someone who knows how to read show them the cues. Not every one is an intelligent writer like yourself, and your arrogance shines through in those statements (I hope I delivered that feedback in a non-dickish way — I have a tendency to be brutally honest and am constantly practicing how to be real without being mean). Cheers.

  • zuleik

    “too artistically profound to have children”


  • Kitt

    Loved the article. Not a parent. Heck, not even in a relationship at the moment. However …

    “What I find ridiculous is that the whole thing could be cleared up instantly if everybody could just stop being dicks.”

    … is simply great advice for just about everything. 🙂


  • fawn

    I have kids and I whole heartedly agree with your post and I believe that extends to the grocery store as well. . .I have had all 7 kids with me at a 4 star resturaunt and people came up to me saying they were not happy seeing that many kids come in until they realized that they acted like little adults then thanked me for doing a good job 🙂 they always pick up there own mess if by chance they drop something. if they were to act like animals I would not even attempt to bring them there. I find it really annoying when a parent just lets there children do whatever they want screaming and throwing things etc. also loved the smart ass humor side of this post as well 🙂

  • Chris

    Great advice, I have as a parent had to leave public places because one of my children acting like a wild rabid animal.

    I learned from my parents actually my mother during a grocery shopping trip when I was about 4 or 5 and asking for something and was told “NO” well I created a loud scene and she finally left her cart in the isle and escorted me out of the store with that look on her face that said your in for it,and yes I got a spanking and yelling at.. that was the mid 70s when you could spank your child and onlookers in the parking lot knew it wasn’t abuse.I was being a pain in tha butt so that’s what I got..

  • arachne bleu

    Taking toddlers to fine restaurants is ridiculous, as they are nowhere near old enough to learn the etiquette proper to such occasions. If you wish to dine in a fine restaurant, get a babysitter. Otherwise, wait until the child is at least old enough to have acquired basic reasoning skills. In the meantime, dining etiquette can be taught at home. Of course, that requires that the family actually eat at a table with proper dinnerware and flatware, not to mention napkins are nice. And yes, I did this with my daughters, so they would know how to conduct themselves properly at formal dinners.

    I understand the toddler meltdown syndrome. I also know that if your toddler has reached that state, leaving them in a public situation so stressful to others for 40 minutes is beyond rudeness into jackassery (I think I made that word up. Like it, don’t you? I do.)

    One of my worst horror tales was going to an R rated movie, only to have the entire movie nearly drowned out by the screams of the infant (probably less than three months old) that the parents brought to the theater with them. Once again, the parents were too self-centered to do the polite thing and leave.

  • Jodi

    I’m just leaving a comment cause I thought the article was good. The writing had a true voice and had me snorting a little bit of soda. As for parents and non parents arguing. I honestly don’t give a crap this is a good piece.

  • Deb

    A lot of it starts in the home at the dinner table. At home my toddlers knew they were to sit quietly at the table and eat so when we did got to a nice restaurant for Mother’s Day or any other special occasion they already knew how to behave. They were also warned what would happen if the acted up and that was a trip to the car. I only had to do that once.

  • Jane

    I’ve always been annoyed by parents who can’t control their kids but they insist on taking them to places where other people will be bothered, like movie theater, restaurants, churches, etc. I’ve raised 3 boys and from birth, I was able to take them anywhere. They were all well behaved. On days they weren’t able to behave while we’re in a restaurant, right away, I took them outside. I didn’t just sit there and waited for someone to get annoyed and said something to me or to my child.Parents who allow their children to be loud and obnoxious are inconsiderate and need to be educated. There are so many parents out there who need to be educated about where not to take their children if they can’t control them.

    • chris

      I agree totally, I have had to leave public places because one was out of control, its just common courtesy. have you ever been to a playground where its built for kids and some idiot that has a dog and no children hangs out in the fenced in play area letting the dog its business right where the kids play? Some adults do need education..

  • Caroline

    I loved this post. And I don’t have kids. I wish you were there when my 3yo niece pulled the fire alarm in a family restaurant in a mall (so they had to evacuate the whole mall) because the service was so slow.

    As a childless wife (not necessarily by choice), I have sympathy for parents who want to have a nice meal and for restaurant owners who want their other customers to have a nice meal as well. But I do not appreciate parents who bring their under 10yo children to $50/plate restaurants and let their children run around like crazy.

  • D

    This is kinda funny, although I think that a using a vacuum is easier when dealing with rice rather than picking them up one at a time. Kids can be little savages as can adults. Which is why I let mine know that if they act like that their fun is done for the day and I probably would just leave. That way, they are less likely to grow up to be those asshole adults.

  • Naomi

    Hmmm…maybe off subject. . But what is a yurt? And what does New Mexico have to do with this. I live there and have never heard of a yurt. Although I do know that pretty much every where in this fine state you will find children…. so in case you are thinking about moving here to escape children. . Think again.

  • Ryan

    There will be assholes everywhere you go. It is unfortunate that this happened. I was on a flight on Air Canada, hadn’t been seated more than one minute and an off duty flight attendant yelled at me and my one year old to shut up and sit still. Hadn’t even had time to put my seat-belt on yet. Kids will be kids even with the best parenting, but assholes will be dicks with their entitled state of mind that lets them think it is OK to yell at complete strangers’ kids. It is a shame that parents have to deal with impatient people who work with others on a daily basis. They obviously have no self-control and shouldn’t be in a line of work that keeps them surrounded by people from all over the world. The adult is responsible.

    • Stagnant Artist

      Being on a flight just recently for 12 hours and had kids screaming the whole flight, I was at that point of yelling at that kid. The parents just kept mouthing sorry to everyone. What she didn’t know was that this was 12 hours of an already 20 flight and 2 hour layover. I just wanted sleep. That stewardess may have just come off a shift equal to what I had. You don’t know! Drug your child! Flying is hard on kids especially for 12 hours. And for me! And I took drugs hoping it would help! I wish there was a children/no children section in places. Like it was with smoking. That way we don’t have to openly glare like jerks and all the parents can be the village together

  • Dana Corby

    My parents took all five of us out to dinner and got nothing but compliments about how good we were. First of all, we were taught basic table manners at home, so when we went out we just acted the same as always. And second, Mom was a very convincing liar who told us that if we misbehaved when were were out in public the people who owned the places would never let us come back.

  • Susan Scharf

    As a parent with a 23 your old daughter who seemed to turn out OK, I find I am a lot more intolerant of kids who can’t behave. In my line of work I study human behavior so what I see is a lot of kids taken to restaurants with nothing to do but sit there. Heck adults can’t even do that, they’re always on their mobile If you can’t sit there then for the love of God don’t expect some toddler or even a little kid to be able to do it. Bring things for them to do. Our daughter had her “entertainment center” which went everywhere we went.

    Or you could spend some time talking to the kids and engaging them. From what I have observed it’s kids who are tired, hungry and bored who have the worst time in restaurants. While I am not a fan of a lot of technology for kids, it’s better than then being bored and disrupting everyone around them…including the parents.

  • Cheryl Getzinger

    I took my then 3 year old son to a Shoneys once at that age, it was the first and last time. He acted so bad, I lost it and said loud enough for all to hear as I was taking him to the car, I will never go with you to another restaurant until you are old enough to drive me there!!!

  • Sarah

    Perhaps someone should pick a date in which everyone with an over-tired, hungry, “asshole” of a toddler should swarm the diner. Make sure your kids screams – a LOT. I just want to see if she goes bat shit crazy enough to throw a crotch goblin on the grill.

  • Erika

    As always, LOVE your post and your honesty. I definitely try to avoid being an asshole when I bring my little one to a restaurant (if we ever get the chance to go out :P). If she starts to cry I abort and walk her outside for a second. I haven’t had a lot of bad experiences eating out yet, probably because we haven’t gone out much, but I think the world would be a much better place if we all just tried to not be assholes 🙂

    • Megan

      I was on a plane next to a crying toddler. The toddler was not an asshole. It was being a little creature forced to sit for hours for no reason it understood. The mom wasn’t an asshole. She had to go somewhere and she had to take her child. It may be frustrating, but handle it with some adult manners. Hating kids is a bit of a moot point and frankly self hating, as we were all little once. Parenting can be a tough learning curve. That screaming kid could be having its first meltdown ever. I’m not saying it’s true, I just think it’s better to assume the positive rather than get angry, curse and rant. I crocheted the toddler a little whale. She stopped crying for maybe 5 minutes. It is what it is. When you go out in the world, you will be confronted with the world.

  • Ellen Ballinger

    We took our children to really nice restaurants when they were quite young. Only problem I remember was with the one.. well, you don’t want to hear, luckily there weren’t many other people there that day, in the reasonably nice place. And once when there were problems in the kitchen and we were all beyond impatient by the time our meals came. I still don’t remember any yelling though, maybe a little whining, probably by my husband. 😉

    A couple of things I remember doing with them, besides taking a colouring book or the like, was ordering something for them to eat right away; they could sit much longer when they weren’t hungry, and they could take their time. Even a few carrot sticks would help, but most of what they ate could be prepared faster than our meal, you just had to get the wait staff and cook off the ‘all meals shall arrive at the same time’.

    And second our kids didn’t eat much sugary, caffeinated, additive-laden food, even at home. All too often when I’ve seen kids misbehaving in a restaurant, I’d look at the table and see they’d been ‘dining’ on hot dogs, ketchup, chocolate milk or cola, chocolate ice cream or something equally sugary and messy, not a vegetable or fruit in sight. If mine were going to have ice cream, let alone chocolate, we got it to have at home. Even an adult who has that much junk relative to their body weight is going to be a little unbalanced.

  • Mary

    I saw an article from the mother in the case yesterday. From her perspective:

    – They were on vacation, and had to eat at a restaurant in order to eat.
    – It was a noisy diner, not a nice quiet restaurant.
    – It was raining outside, and they didn’t think taking the toddler into the rain would improve her mood. What would improve her mood was getting some food into her.
    – The first they knew that they were causing the diner owner any angst was when she threw to-go boxes at them and yelled, “either she goes, or you do!”

    So – your rules are good ones to follow, but they don’t actually apply well to the situation that made you write them down.

  • K

    “People without kids have no meaning, depth or hope in their lives. Whew what a relief.”

    I understand that this line is supposed to be funny and your style of humor is ‘edgy’. But this isn’t. The world isn’t made up of insightful breeders and desert-wasteland-kid-haters. I chose not to have kids. I like them and wild-loud-screaming toddlers don’t bother me a bit.

  • Linda Carfagna

    Great blog – hit all the points. May I point out that some of those ‘childless’ patrons are older and we have already raised our children and want to enjoy the peace and quiet of a nice restaurant, good conversation and good food. If I wanted noise and all that I can invite my children and my six grandchildren – whom I love to pieces! But in my home where they can make all the noise they want!!

  • Ian

    Well written article with many good points and while you didn’t want to focus on the particular incident none of that takes away from the owner of that shitty little fucking diner being a complete cunt. She’s obviously s miserable bitch.

    I agree with trying to console your children to not disrupt other peoples’ day however kids are kids and those people are that annoyed by your children have BEEN that annoying fucking kid before. Again still doesn’t take away from parents intervening.

    I absolutely hate when parents let their children just run amock.

    I also have an issue with kidless kid haters. I mean fuck, I was one of them until I had kids and I just realized that sometimes you absolutely cannot control the situation. Sure, you can leave but if you’re fucking starving and the food just came out…come on.

    My last point is that not the incident so much as the cunty owner’s post-incident reaction being filled with so much rage is what irks me. She obviously HATES children still holding onto so much hate and being so vulgar towards a child. A fucking toddler. She even went so far as to calling the toddler an “it” and making idol threats about wanting to go toe to toe.

    When you OWN A FUCKING DINER FANILIES AND CHILDREN WILL COME IN. There are a million ways to handle a situation and she really exhausted all of them to make the patrons leave fine but why are we supposed to believe her account when her Facebook post was so over-the-top unhinged and you read the mother’s account in the Washington Post. The mother just seems like a much more rational human being.

    That’s all I have to say. I go to Portland frequently and I hope the next time I’m there she’s out of business. You can’t remove the shiftiness from shitty people and Darla is an asshole. Period.

  • Ian

    I’d also like to add that diners ARE SUPPOSED TO BE FAMILY FRIENDLY.

  • Denise

    We have always taken our child to various restaurants, but also brought along Cheerios for her to snack on until our food arrive and she had a small backpack of toys (not one with noise) to keep her entertain. She knew that when we went to a restaurant she had to behave like she was at home as she was not allow to throw food or yell at the dinner table.
    We did not enjoy listening to other people’s kids yell and scream as we wanted to enjoy our evening out whether we had kids with us or it was just the two of us or we were with other couples.

  • John

    there will always be “Assholes” in the world
    because they have no “Common Sense”
    and/or they just don’t care what they do
    and how it affect others around them,
    thinking the world evolves around them.

    My favorite quote:

    Everybody has a
    right to be stupid,
    but some people
    abuse the privilege

  • KTAR

    “One of the rights of people without offspring is the ability to sit in a restaurant and enjoy themselves. Sure they have no meaning, depth or hope in their lives” WHAT UTTER BULLSHIT! Not everyone on this fucking planet should have kids. Would you rather have people who want kids have them or having them be one of those trailer park trash types of situation where the kids aren’t wanted or needed and have them shipped off to some foster situation where they’re starved and sodomized. What a FUCKING limited vision of what life is about. You need to give your head a shake.

  • Marley

    It’s weird to read about people who have kids who don’t know about services which bring in any food you like from your favorite restaurant to your home. Stay home, eat what you crave and let your kids fuck up your house. Servers HATE kids and having to clean up all the shit they drop and crunch into the floors and sticky tables. I don’t know ONE which like to serve kids. It’s a restaurant not a fucking daycare. STAY HOME until they’re old enough to behave.

  • Amanda

    After reading some of the above comments I see why children don’t behave in establishments….Adults can’t even be kind and behave on a webpage. Common Courtesy and not being a dick should apply to every situation in life. Think before you comment. Lets all try to be kinder to one another 🙂

  • Coba

    This MADE my day as a parent, as a former waitress and as someone who enjoys great writing. Thank you!!

  • Helen

    I agree mostly, BUT we live in an area where we don’t have supportive family nearby and I’m vegetarian. This means if I stick to only restaurants that have crayons at the ready — I have NO vegetarian options beyond the more than pathetic house salad – so its that hip, boutique beer place that I can eat at. So, yes, I mostly don’t eat out -but on my b-day, if I want a veggie meal that someone else makes and does the dishes too – we just may dare take out two toddlers (twins!)to the hippy place! However, we go early when less crowded and I still take them out if crying/screeming/meltdown etc.happen. Be kind there are some who don’t have a support network, can afford $30 babysitting fee just to eat out and its hard —

  • M

    You are so fucking hilarious, and you also make sense. That is awesome.

  • Cv

    As a mother of 2 children..I do think it’s my obligation to handle the situation if my child becomes fussy at any type of restaurant..out of respect for other people I will walk out with my child if need be..but anyone other than myself decides to start yelling at my child before I can take control of the situation deserves to get punched in the face..and I will not care what happens after that..there is a way to handle a screaming child other than taking the initiative to verbally abuse a child who does not belong to use agresión with my child and I will use aggression with you..simple as that..

  • Rosie

    If you let your kid open all those fucking jelly packets, smear them all over the place, and then take off leaving a 10% tip, there’s a special place in hell for you.

  • earthworx

    I would think that if you had a child you would pretty much understand that nice restaurants, movies, etc. are out for about 6 or 7 years (unless you get a sitter). All in all good article, but you lost me at the “5 or 10 minutes” line. If your child starts crying why not immediately excuse yourself, go to the lobby or sitting room, and calm your child there?

    • renegademama

      You’re right. I was unclear there. I meant 5-10 minutes to get our kid to be totally quiet. I would never let my kid scream for 5 or 10 minutes in a restaurant. But sometimes my 1-year-old is being annoying (fussing, flailing) and we spend 5-10 minutes seeing if we can fix it. If not, we take him out. And honestly 10 is probably an exaggeration. I think I’d go nuts before that.

  • Arianne Price

    I Love You, I Love EVERY BIT of this post and I am so going to make a monologue out of this performed live by me and written by Renegade mama…THIS IS CLASSIC!!

  • steph benjamin

    Didn’t see it on the list or in the comments, but NOT CHANGING YOUR KIDS DIAPER IN THE RESTAURANT is also worth a mention in how to not be a dick.

  • Peter

    Seriously, having children gives your life purpose? Isaac Newton had no progeny. I guess his life lacked purpose.

    As a reminder, even in so-called “family” restaurants, there are standards of behavior. Yes, children have a right to be there, but they don’t have a right to misbehave. And keep your @$!!#% aircraft carrier sized strollers out of the friggin’ aisles! Please.

  • Rev. Lou

    I know this is an older thread. Sorry. Crissy, If I wasn’t insanely devoted to my wife I’d marry you. Not just because of your take on this matter but your analysis and attitude on it. Oh…I live in Maine. The story is far from the way it was “generally” reported. The parents were being “dicks”. I am, officially, a grumpy old cuss of a disabled veteran without a filter. The owner wouldn’t have needed to intervene. I’d have handled it for her. I am childless. We weren’t blessed with the ability. (4 miscarriages later). BUT…I have had to deal with “OPK” for sixty years. Family. Friends. Coworkers, (some of whom abused their parenting vs. my NOT on the job). Now, at this stage in life, I just want to be able to leave it all behind on the odd occasion that I must spend some fixed income on a bit of special for the woman who has faithfully stood by me for all these years. Well done, you.

  • Mama's Crotch Goblin

    Late to the party but belonging to the brigade of people with no meaning, depth or hope in their lives, I would say you have nailed it! I grit my teeth and swallow one for bawling infants (not toddlers) though — in flights or any other travelling medium — there is no escape for the mother and the snowflake does not know any better!

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