Tuesday 21 January 2014

Parenting & Restaurant Dining – Like Oil & Water?

Ben Pobjie is a Melbourne writer and comedian. He’s also clearly the sort of parent who thinks children should be not just seen and heard but tolerated, nay, enjoyed, by everyone:
In this case Chicago chef Grant Achatz, who runs a three Michelin-starred restaurant called Alinea, was distressed by his patrons' crying baby. Taking to Twitter, he asked whether maybe it was time to tell people they can’t bring their offspring to his eatery. And he seems to have gained quite a bit of support for the suggestion.
Fancy that! How surprising…
I once came very close to being assaulted by an enormous slab of a bearded South Australian after I called him a rude name because he had sworn at my son while we were eating out (my son was not, for the record, crying – he was just prancing about like a lunatic because he was seven).
And what were you doing about this, nothing? No wonder you nearly got lamped!
And I could see his point – it must be just awful having your meal interrupted by our, you know, avoidance of our species’ extinction. Pardon us for propagating.
I think you meant ‘procreating’. Unless you’re a vegetable. Which is possible.
… if you don’t allow kids in restaurants because of how they behave, what you’re doing is raising a whole bunch of kids who’ll never know how to behave in restaurants. I consider taking my kids out to eat an educational moment: teaching them while they gorge.
But clearly your kid didn't learn anything, other than if he makes enough noise, someone’ll try and stick one on Daddy.


Woman on a Raft said...

Why, when one goes to Italy, are the restaurants full of well-behaved children who do not run about like lunatics?

Anonymous said...

The only kid belonging in a restaurant other than a fast food joint should be unweened and roasted.

ivan said...

WoaR, I see the same thing here in France with the locals. It is only the British tourists that allow their kids to run riot - and then they wonder why most of us ostracize them.

Bucko said...

I've heard the 'he's only a kid' excuse far too many times.

He's only a kid is not an excuse for bad behaviour, it's a reason for more parental discipline.

Fidel Cuntstruck said...

Why, when one goes to Italy ....

Indeed! .. or France, Spain, Portugal and Greece (rural of course, not the tourist areas)

I travel on business a fair bit, and usually stay in Premier Inn type places - which are fine for the money. The attached dining establishments are where I usually eat because I like a glass or two of wine with a meal and it saves driving or getting a Taxi - the downside of them is often more the clientele and not the food. The food is what it is - I don't expect haute cuisine for a tenner, especially when it's been microwaved by a pimply adolescent.

The clientele can be a whole different story and I often think that I must have been born under a storm or something as, all too often, I'll just be settled into my book and my dinner when the local chav family appear - and gravitate towards the bloody table next to mine - even when there are empty tables everywhere

The last time was in Aberdeen .. obese, scruffy parents and two hyperactive small boys. My joy knew no bounds.

Mother's method of ordering for the brats was to go through the Kids menu and state what they wouldn't eat - or might eat if the staff could remove certain parts.

"'E disnee eet greevee"

Perhaps the little darling would like to wear it instead Madam? .. I have some spare on my plate and he's well within range!

Menu selection complete, first round of drinks served, the kids decide to work up an appetite by charging round the restaurant - sadly neither of the little bastards came within range of my outstretched legs.

So, Mr Progressive Ben Pobjie, by all means reproduce and raise your offspring the way you see fit - just don't expect the rest of us to like it or suffer it in silence.

Joe Public said...

"Pardon us for propagating.

I think you meant ‘procreating’. Unless you’re a vegetable. Which is possible. "

That put-down, Julia, has made my day.

That quote has to win someone's QOTM.

Tatty said...

The man himself has indentified the problem and found the solution if he but had the intelligence to recognise it.

People might tolerate children in restaurants if they came with parents instead of breeders.

Anonymous said...

Apologies in advance, but I believe it is down to the feminisation of the anglosphere, another term used on a blog that made me laugh was "pussification".

When smacking was banned and sneered at even by the neutered metrosexual types you know you've lost. Still all must have prizes eh ladies...

Our education system starts the brainwashing and on it goes.

I know it's the Guardian but read this:


If you have the stamina read some of BTL.

Victorian Dad

staybryte said...

"...he was just prancing about like a lunatic because he was seven"

Well then you've failed in your parental duties. Mine could sit reasonably still and quiet at a restaurant table at that age.

Longrider said...

No, you do what the French do - take children into restaurants and teach them how to behave accordingly. As Ivan and WoaR have noted. I noticed that children in France are remarkably well behaved in eateries.

Anonymous said...

I was on stage last Saturday evening about to do a solo song in a good quality Am Dram Panto. Down right under the lights was the musical director who was to cue me in.

I glanced down for the cue. The unsupervised toddler brat who had been annoying us for twenty minutes already tugged at his leg. He didn't bat an eyelid but it threw me completely.

Many evenings of rehearsal wasted because somebody thought their brat was "so special".

Believe me, it makes bad behaviour in restaurants pale into insignificance.

And despite being returned to his granny several times, he was still there on the front stage steps to f*(k up the ending of the performance.

All that time and effort spoilt by indulgence.

As stated above, it wouldn't happen in Italy or France.

JuliaM said...

"Why, when one goes to Italy, are the restaurants full of well-behaved children who do not run about like lunatics? "

Or many other places on the continent. This seems to be a uniquely English/American problem.

"...obese, scruffy parents and two hyperactive small boys. My joy knew no bounds."


"That put-down, Julia, has made my day."


Furor Teutonicus said...

Why would anyone eat in a restaurant any way?

Do you not know how to cook, or something?