Thursday, March 31, 2011
dining etiquette + children part 1: crying babies
The solution here is easy, when a small child starts to fuss, count to ten in your head, if the child continues to makes unpleasant noises beyond these first ten seconds, stand up, pick the child up and REMOVE YOURSELF FROM THE DINING ROOM! The allowable time frame does stretch a little when you are in a noisy diner or a family restaurant, but in casual fine dining establishments or above, allowing your child to cry in the dining room is unacceptable. You may be used to the sound, but that couple having a romantic dinner at the table next to you are not.
This goes for a child of 3-4yrs as well. Sitting in a pleasant coffee shop with a child who is acting up and trying to discipline your child while remaining there is unfair to the other patrons. The key is to remove yourself and your child from the area where other people are paying for things (I can't stress this enough!).
You may not realize, but you could even cause a fine dining restaurant to lose money. Due to your screaming child some people may choose to leave before dessert that they otherwise would have had, or even worse, the server may have to comp part of the meal (or all of it depending on the severity of unpleasantness).
Personally, I understand that part of the cost of dining out is paying a babysitter, I encourage other parents to adopt this same philosophy.