Yup, that was me, my sis and her guy, and all of those little ones were my kids in that restaurant today. Yup, that was my daughter making the mess with her food because she grabs too much and shoves it into her face instead of mouth. Yup, that was my almost two year old giving the soccer whistle screech at the top of his lungs because he can't communicate. Yup, that was my second child yelling at the top of his lungs while having a conversation. Yup, that was my oldest making all of those weird movie effect sounds and tapping on the table. I know it bothered you.
I know you saw me trying to handle the situation. Trying to feed my baby; taking my almost two year old into the bathroom for punishment; signing to my three year old to use signs instead of trying to talk in a place he cannot hear language due to crowd; and trying to get my oldest to stim by rubbing the table instead of tapping it.
It's tradition for us to eat out the first week of February when we first get our returns back. It's the only time I do it because of my kids.
I thank the waitress deeply for putting up with us (yes, we tipped her very well). I thank the other patrons for not coming up to me this time (I have been approached before). I did like the "knowing smile" that the one man gave my sister's boyfriend when he downed his beer and got another one. I really appreciate the nice lady who said "hi" to my oldest while we were leaving and giving him a brilliant smile.
I know we were loud. I know it looked like I had no control over them, but believe me when I say that it could have been worse.
Now I'm going to go and take a bath before one of them starts the nightly wake-up routine they all still have. I am just very thankful that this time no one came over to tell me to control my children. I am very thankful that only a few people looked over with annoyance. I can see you, even while trying to handle them all.
But, again, thank you for not coming up to me to attack my parenting.
by Anonymous 31February 6, 2013 at 7:17 AM
I have 4 kids-and frankly had any of them had any serious issues, I would have stopped having children so I could give that child the time they needed. I also spaced my children so that I never had more than 2 under the age of 4...I only have 2 arms and 2 hands for a reason. I never even had 2 in diapers at the same time (that was just luck-my first potty trained at 2 years old 2months before her sister was born)
Having said that, I am sure your kids are a joy to you. You MIGHT want to try leaving some of the little ones home (with your sister ) and going out with one Adult per child-that will help them learn proper behavior better. Also go out at odd times. 5 at night will get you fewer stares and comments. ASK for a table that is in a closed section or far from other people-tell them you tip well-but your kids can be loud-they will WANT to accomodate you.
by Anonymous 31February 6, 2013 at 7:22 AM
As a manager of a restuarant I would not ask a patron to leave or br quiet. I would offer to move the complaining customer but that's all.
While I do appreciate you for trying to control them, I have to ask why you feel it's okay to subject other customers to this year after year. If your children can not behave/ function in restaurants why continue to take them there and disrupt others meals? Why not get your meals to go and wait in the car? You still get a special meal but don't have to disrupt others! As much as I get your struggle I would have ask if the manager could make you quite them down or ask you to leave. As a paying customer I deserve a simil peacful play to eat my meal.
My friend manages a restaurant-as long as the parents are attempting to control the kids they would NEVER be asked to leave. Parents who ignore bad behavior might be sanctioned-but if you are trying to calm your kid-servers would be sent to help-the manager might get involved-anything that works.
My friend frequently will say to the parents-Do you beleive in dessert for good behavior? If the parents say yes-then the manager will offer up dessert if they are good.
Or if the parent is saying stop looking over the booth back-and the kid is doing it-then my friend will often go over and tell them that the rules say they are NOT allowed to look over the booth back. Oddly kids seem to take direction from strangers in authority better than parents in many cases.
She keeps special crayons in her office to give to kids also-Hey if you sit down and color your Mommy a picture I will get you the BIG set of crayons.
Whatever works to preserve peace.
by Larisa72February 6, 2013 at 7:24 AM
To the one who asked the obnoxious and rude question: because God knows which parents each child needs and which parent will be the best for the children......to the OP....God knows you can handle it and that you are special, look at your friends who have complacent, eacy to take care of children....God knew they couldn't handle children with special needs.....I am the mother of an almost 13yo with ASD, ADHD, Anxiety, and a 9yo with ODD.....I don't think the majority of my friends, with their "perfect" children would be capable of spending 1 day if we swapped lives....you go mom!
I don't know why they all do, honestly. I didn't ask for them to have something wrong with them. My oldest has ASD and ADHD; my second child has a hearing disability and a heart defect; my third child is being looked at for ODD; and my fourth has delays and a heart defect (which is a different defect than my third child's). Honestly, not a single one is the same.
Why do all your kids have something wrong with them? No offense ..
by Anonymous 31February 6, 2013 at 7:25 AM
I wanted to add. If any of your kids can be officially declared disabled for Medicaid purposes (and that is NOT Income dependent)-you would be entitled to respite care-if you worked you would get up to 50 hours a week if you don't you can get as much as 24 hours a month-depending on their needs and yours.
by jhsloveFebruary 6, 2013 at 7:28 AM
Personally, I don't judge parents for their kids' behavior--I judge based on what I see the parent trying to do in response. If the kids are being rowdy but the parent is obviously trying her best, I tend to have a lot more understanding than when kids are running wild and the parents are either ignoring it or (this is the worst!) acting like it's cute.
It sounds like you were trying your best. I'm sure it will get better.
by MdMom289February 6, 2013 at 7:30 AM
Good for you. I have two mostly behaved children and I hardly take them out. I only do when it's with a crowd. More people to keep them entertained. It's just not very fun for me when I am trying to make sure they are happy and behaved the whole time (they are 5 and 2).
As far as others being annoyed with a loud table. Just ask to be moved. It's as simple as that. My husband and I have done it once before. We were having a rare date night and just wanted to be kid free. We asked to be moved. We didn't make a scene or anything. There were no issues after that. No big deal. Everyone should be able to go out to eat and enjoy themselves. We are all paying costumers.
by jhsloveFebruary 6, 2013 at 7:31 AM
This is a good suggestion. I appreciate that you're trying to teach your kids how to behave in a restaurant, but it sounds like with four kids, all of whom have special needs, it's too much to try to take them all out at once. One or two at a time sounds a lot more manageable and it might result in a less stressful time for you and the other customers in the restaurant, and a more effective learning experience for your kids.
You MIGHT want to try leaving some of the little ones home (with your sister ) and going out with one Adult per child-that will help them learn proper behavior better. Also go out at odd times. 5 at night will get you fewer stares and comments. ASK for a table that is in a closed section or far from other people-tell them you tip well-but your kids can be loud-they will WANT to accomodate you.
You are handling much more than most women can. I work with kids on the spectrum and I often wonder how the moms do it all day every day. I'm never surprised when the kids come to school sick bc I am sure mom needs that break. I don't know how you do it, but I think we all find strength when we have to.
Keep sticking to your tradition and keep being a great mom, those kids are very lucky to have you.
by TexasWifeFebruary 6, 2013 at 7:39 AMThose and the loud cellphone talkers. That us great your project is doing well but please stop yelling in my ear.
I would much rather sit by your screaming kids who eat a little messy than sit by a group of old people who do nothing but blow their nose the whole time I am trying to eat. YUCK!