Terms to define for understanding: Obnoxious: EXTREMELY UNPLEASANT.
Sitting in a lovely, quaint, tiny family restaurant drinking water with lemon and recovering from a busy day, I hear the following interaction (not conversation).
“Put it down.”
“No. I don’t want to. I want it. I’m gonna eat it.”
I glance in the direction of disturbance. My gaze is noticed. It continues.
“I said put it down. You’ve had enough to eat. You’re just playing in your food and making a mess. Stop it or we are leaving.”
That would be lovely and appreciated, I thought.
“I want it. You are embarrassing me. You told her to take it and I was not finished. You are stupid.”
I can’t believe what I am hearing and watching. This parent is dealing with an OBNOXIUS child. Clearly, “THE TALK” did NOT take place before they left home. Then again it may have and this child is just a nightmare. I glance across the table to my husband who is oblivious to what is happening because he is deaf . . . and too busy eating. He looks up from his plate, smiles, looks back down, and continues eating.
Let me just say, this interaction lasted for about 10 minutes. The parents left but you could see the total and complete humiliation on their faces as they quickly exited the restaurant. Now, there are various ways this could have been handled and YES going to the bathroom or car to have some intense fellowship with the laying on of the hands could be one of them. A POWER STUGGLE is NEVER a fun experience. Fortunately, I experienced that once. After that, it was CRUCIAL to have “THE TALK” before we left home and if ANYTHING of an OBNOXIOUS nature ensued, FOLLOW THROUGH was required when we returned home. My son is 24 now. It is hilarious to hear him comment on the behavior of children and event sometimes adults who are behaving badly. Every commentary usually ends with . . . “you KNOW you would not let me do that in public or private.” And you know this!!!
Look folks. You are to address bad behavior, especially when it is disturbing the pleasant evening of those around you who are striving to enjoy their evening. So, if your child is hyper and full of energy, a kid friendly environment might be a better choice. If you do go to a family restaurant that encourages family time, i.e. eating together and having conversation that ONLY includes the folks at your table, make sure you have gotten this message across to your child BEFORE you enter the building. A child under 5 is still learning so slack is permitted but if your child is over the age of 7, NOT CUTE. Please think about your fellow guests who just want to have a nice, quiet evening? Does this make me a Grouch toward children? I don’t think so. It just makes me HONEST.