FASlink Fetal Alcohol Disorders Society


When I go out to relax at a restaurant, I don't want to hear screaming, see running around etc .. if I want to listen to kids I go to Mc Donalds, in a good restaurant I expect children to behave.

I can remember in a nice Chinese restaurant having some kid crawl over the back of the booth hang his head on my boob (heck he could have breast fed he was so low), his sister meanwhile is doing summersaults down the isle and the mother is clapping her hands -good job good job, while waiters are carrying the steaming sizzling metal platters - the little boy was never told to get on his side .. I'd bet she'd sue if her daughter was burned because she ran into waitstaff too

One night Bert & I went out to a really really nice restaurant around 6 PM .. there was a young girl with a baby, it looked like a thank you type meal from daughter to mom .. the baby was whiney - it was late -- this is different .. the drunks from NY were louder (but spending more) and were more obnoxious than the baby .. then they started on the baby, which scared it and probably the mom too .. the wait staff did nothing to help the mom, no crackers, water nothing .. nor did they tell the loud drunks to shut up .. at which point being my lovely tactful self, I proceeded to tell them what I thought of their behavior .. as well as the statement "the baby has a reason to be a bit loud, your behavior seems to be because you are drunk" .. I also semi insulted NY as I told them obviously you aren't from Maine as we don't act like that here .. my poor husband.

Prevention can be a 2 part job .. part parenting & part wait staff .. if you have well trained wait staff this is not an issue, or at least as big as a problem. In your pockets should be some crayons, coloured pencils, paper placemats or colour pages. The minute a family sits down, check with mom about crackers, bread sticks etc, water to table in short glasses not filled as high. As mom I carried an arsenal of weird quiet things in my purse. I used to play boxes with kids, tic tac toe etc. When mine didn't behave, I took them out to the car, strapped them into the car seat till they were able to do so. It meant my meal was usually cold and if it was winter so was I, as I waited outside the car. My kids learned if they wanted to eat out they had to behave.

I did the same thing in the car, its not safe to drive on icy roads with kids throwing things, screaming etc. So I pulled over and took them out and had them stand near a tree etc. I have had cops pull over (even out in the country) and wonder what was going on. Matt was psyched. He thought I'd get in trouble. They said, "great idea, I'll try it at home", gave me a salute and drove off.


Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. ~ Dr.Seuss ~

From the FASlink Discussion Forum, November 11, 2005