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Mark Sommelier

Babies/Children in Restaurants (merged topic)

597 posts in this topic

One local chinese restaurant, run by the same folks for at least the 23 years my husband has been going there, dealt with our just-turned-2 year old uniquely. Munchkin is pretty good in the right kind of restaurant. It helps if there's a level of ambient noise, as volume control is a recently emerging skill. Munchkin was a bit boisterous and tired that night, and was talking a lot, loudly. So we were serving soup as fast as we could cool it down, to keep the noise level down. Munchkin was rolling thru the soup but wouldnt touch the gyoza or rice or beef or broccoli (usual favorites). It sounded like a snake convention in our corner with all the parental shushes. The lady owner came by and looked at our kid, who beamed back and saiid "Hi Gramma!".The lady said "I expect you to eat all that food before I come back. Eat a bite now and show me." So the munchkin did.

Hooray for the chinese grandmothers of anglo-saxon kids!

And hooray for family restaurants that seat familieswkids in a different section than the romantic couples and business folks.


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Modern kids don't know jack about even household lunch and dinner. Are your kids eating breakfast in front of the television? Dinner? Are you making them special meals? Even a baby shouldn't have a special meal from Gerber or chicken fingers. They should sit around the dinner table and eat what their parents eat. Done.

(f you have a playground or a big screen TV I would suggest that you encourage your children to ignore them.)

Make a restaurant meal special and holy for your kids. A dinner is an orderly affair, a progression. If it's a beautiful room, talk about it with them. If its a diner, read the menu with them, and chat about their faves, and what they think about unfamiliar sides, like brains and grits.

Make it about the occasion and the food. Maybe make it a dress-up deal. Your kid is not allowed to be a brat --you know better than that about anyone.

Read and discuss the menu -- not the kid's menu. Maybe your sons will split a couple of plates. And tell them the kid's menu is crap and they can't order from it. That's why you're the parent.


Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Wow, I'm glad you're so perfect. In my opinion, if I keep my child seated and conversing at a reasonable volume, nobody in a restaurant has any right to comment on any other facets of our dining experience, including the food he orders, the topics of conversation, or the level of reverence we bring to the meal. Give me a fricking break already.


"There is nothing like a good tomato sandwich now and then."

-Harriet M. Welsch

Visit my food blog! http://goodformeblog.blogspot.com/

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never mind.


Edited by Kouign Aman (log)

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Modern kids don't know jack about even household lunch and dinner. Are your kids eating breakfast in front of the television? Dinner?  Are you making them special meals? Even a baby shouldn't have a special meal from Gerber or chicken fingers. They  should sit around the dinner table and eat what their parents eat. Done.

(f you  have a playground or a big screen TV I would suggest that you encourage your children to ignore them.)

Make a restaurant meal special and holy for your kids.  A dinner is an orderly affair, a progression. If it's a beautiful room, talk about it with them. If its a diner, read the menu with them, and chat about their faves, and what they think about unfamiliar sides, like brains and grits.

Make it about the occasion and the food. Maybe make it a dress-up deal.  Your kid is not allowed to be a brat --you know better than that about anyone.

Read and discuss the menu -- not the kid's menu. Maybe your sons will split a couple of plates. And tell them the kid's menu is crap aunnd they can't order from it. That's why your the parent.

This may be the ideal, Maggie. It's not the norm in a lot of our society today. What I read (because I know you a bit) that you are writing is a caring imperative to love your children as best you can (sometimes better than you can), to take the time, to do the "right" things in terms of raising them (and most particularly in this area of dining).

Nonetheless, different people have different levels of skills and desires in the world, and not all will want to be this way or *can* even be this way. To paraphrase an old saw, "Not everyone can dance to the beat of the same drummer."

Yet somehow there are families and children that make it through life to learn how to dine and how to love, and how to show manners and care towards food and towards the world and each other, without having experienced the sort of situation you describe above.

My own mother (a single mother, never married) could barely find enough within herself to keep a roof over my head and a simple meal at suppertime. There was not joy, there was not discussion, there was not offerings of interest or love. She did, however, gain what she finally wanted which was a Ph.D. in Special Education. She did, also, however, give me up by offering me to foster care when I was turning fourteen years old (whereupon I ran away to The Big City and raised myself)(and am still raising myself, probably. :laugh:).

I turned out able to know how to dine (because I taught myself) and able to be an executive chef in a place where the care and quality shown in the food placed in front of the diners (and knowledge of highly finessed etiquette of many varieties at the dining table) was massively paramount. How do I know I succeeded? Because I have a collection of letters from heads of state, top dogs of business, and just plain folk, that tells me so.

My mother could not do what you describe. It was not within her. Plus, she had nobody to help her, as is the ideal. Two parents on the scene raising children are a barricade against difficulties or an enclosure of support for each other in raising children that the single parent simply does not have. I don't resent my mother for not being able to do what you describe. I feel very sad that somehow, the strength, the ability, the support system was not there either within her or outside her. Yet, I learned. And I somehow learned or somehow know how to love my own children in a different way, a stronger way, than she was able to, me.

But I won't meet your goals as stated above, probably. "That's why I am the parent," is right, yes. My way of being a parent does not include all of the specifics you detail above. It just doesn't. And yet, somehow, I feel that my children will grow up okay, knowing how to dine and how to love - how to live in a way that works for them as we all must, with the differing strengths, support systems (or lack of support systems) that we each have.

One pattern does not fit all. :smile::wink:

Perfect as that pattern might sound.


Edited by Carrot Top (log)

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I can also think of people I've met who have been brought up in the most excellent way you describe above, Maggie - people who can exhibit beautiful manners at table, who were taught all these things as children - yet who somehow turned out to absolutely psychopathic horrors in other parts of their lives.

And I can also think of the children I knew in a rather poverty-stricken rural area I lived in. They will not be dining at restaurants as children. Likely they will be sitting in front of televisions while they eat, often. Yet these children can and do grow up to move other places, to learn how to dine at fancy tables, and even if they don't they can grow up to be the sort of person one says is the "salt of the earth".

....................................

Our culture is not particularly child-friendly. As others have mentioned above, some of the most effective ways of making children comfortable in restaurants is shown in restaurants run and staffed by those from other cultures.

.....................................

I prefer the concept of compassion rather than the concept of self-righteousness when I see a child misbehaving in a restaurant. Life goes on, and this, too, will change, and another chance to dine more pleasantly will arrive soon enough.


Edited by Carrot Top (log)

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Wow, I'm glad you're so perfect.  In my opinion, if I keep my child seated and conversing at a reasonable volume, nobody in a restaurant has any right to comment on any other facets of our dining experience, including the food he orders, the topics of conversation, or the level of reverence we bring to the meal.  Give me a fricking break already.

Trust me, perfection eludes me. And I agree that if kids sit in their seats and keep the volume down, they have kept their part of the restaurant pact. You've earned the frickin break .

Perfection, I suppose, would be kids who discuss cosmology and parse the foie gras creme brulee. But why can't a dinner out be a magic thing, as it was for my Boomer confreres, whether it was admiring the white tablecloths at a steak joint or discussing the brain freeze from that tall tin milkshake jug. It's an opportunity to have fun, eat well, hang out as a family, and civilize.

I guess that means being a parent.

I can also think of people I've met who have been brought up in the most excellent way you describe above, Maggie - people who can exhibit beautiful manners at table, who were taught all these things as children - yet who somehow turned out to absolutely psychopathic horrors in other parts of their lives.

No argument from me here. I have no idea what Jeffrey Dahmer's, Hitler's or Atilla's table manners were. I doubt that behaving at restauarants pushed them over the edge.


Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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No argument from me here.  I have no idea what Jeffrey Dahmer's, Hitler's or Atilla's table manners were.  I doubt that behaving at restauarants  pushed them over the edge.

Certainly it was not my intention to hint that behaving at restaurants did. :smile:

Naturally, it's always nice when mass murderers have good table manners.

Civilized-like.

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....................................

Our culture is not particularly child-friendly. As others have mentioned above, some of the most effective ways of making children comfortable in restaurants is shown in restaurants run and staffed by those from other cultures. 

.....................................

I prefer the concept of compassion rather than the concept of self-righteousness when I see a child misbehaving in a restaurant. Life goes on, and this, too, will change, and another chance to dine more pleasantly will arrive soon enough.

Amen to that Carrot Top:

In general, when people extol the virtues of well behaved children

and adults in restaurants, it's easy to forget that 1) everyone used to be

a kid, and 2) for most of us it took *repeated* exposure to learn to

behave anywhere, restaurants included.

Unless kids get taken out and taught to behave (with consequences

and limits etc.) how do you expect magically well behaved people to result?

I've said it before and will say it again, some cultures are definitely

child-unfriendly ....

I still find it strange when I see wedding invitations

that say "no children"...

Whether a specific couple has children or not, due to their

choice or not, family life still needs to include everyone, young,

old, different stages and abilities, etc....

I've seen weddings in other cultures where kids run around,

relatives run after them, the couple gets married, elders

nod off, etc....Much more humane, fun, grounded,

and psychologically satisfying

than the everything-is-co-ordinated-and-perfect "events"...

Milagai

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Our culture is not particularly child-friendly. As others have mentioned above, some of the most effective ways of making children comfortable in restaurants is shown in restaurants run and staffed by those from other cultures. 

Nope, but it's child-centric which too many people believe means "kids rule," all the time, every place. There are places they don't belong, period. And there are times that having a staff cater to their every need as demanded by themselves and their parents, affects the other customers.

prefer the concept of compassion rather than the concept of self-righteousness when I see a child misbehaving in a restaurant. Life goes on, and this, too, will change, and another chance to dine more pleasantly will arrive soon enough.

I sure hope you weren't understanding anyone to be self-righteous: I don't think anyone is considering this type of response defensive.

Of course life goes on. Of course there will be another chance to dine pleasantly, which is why poorly behaved diners of any age should be removed from pleasant company. They'll be allowed back in when they no longer demand that the world stop for them.


"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office

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Whether a specific couple has children or not, due to their

choice or not, family life still needs to include everyone, young,

old, different stages and abilities, etc....

Okay, I don't get this attitude at all. It's not your wedding. To not understand the exclusion of kids is one thing. Telling someone who they have to have as a guest at their wedding (or party, or into their home), is wrong.

But this thread is about children in restaurants.

No argument from me here. I have no idea what Jeffrey Dahmer's, Hitler's or Atilla's table manners were. I doubt that behaving at restauarants pushed them over the edge
. Yes, Maggie, I think you're right! :smile: I will say that a few of my experiences with little darlings whose parents are too tired (or whatever) to keep it together have nearly pushed me over the edge, though.

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office

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Our culture is not particularly child-friendly. As others have mentioned above, some of the most effective ways of making children comfortable in restaurants is shown in restaurants run and staffed by those from other cultures. 

Nope, but it's child-centric which too many people believe means "kids rule," all the time, every place. There are places they don't belong, period. And there are times that having a staff cater to their every need as demanded by themselves and their parents, affects the other customers.

The concept of "child-centric" that you are describing is *not* child-friendly. The actions engaged in within the concept make it, finally, a falsity as being "about" the child in the final analysis. It also offers up the supplemental value of creating an atmosphere that sets people at each other's throats.

How and why it has happened to such an extent, creating the sort of overwrought restaurant scenes that "we" do have here more than perhaps in other cultures, is a tangled web that somehow maybe someday "we" (as a culture)can climb out of.

I also think, however, that it is interesting to consider how and where we as distinct individuals might edge towards our own ways of being ethnocentric in terms of these things, even if perhaps only for the mental exercise of it. :smile:


Edited by Carrot Top (log)

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Whether a specific couple has children or not, due to their

choice or not, family life still needs to include everyone, young,

old, different stages and abilities, etc....

Okay, I don't get this attitude at all. It's not your wedding. To not understand the exclusion of kids is one thing. Telling someone who they have to have as a guest at their wedding (or party, or into their home), is wrong.

But this thread is about children in restaurants.

No argument from me here. I have no idea what Jeffrey Dahmer's, Hitler's or Atilla's table manners were. I doubt that behaving at restauarants pushed them over the edge
. Yes, Maggie, I think you're right! :smile: I will say that a few of my experiences with little darlings whose parents are too tired (or whatever) to keep it together have nearly pushed me over the edge, though.

I probably expressed myself badly.

I am not telling anyone who they can have as guests and I would

also never take a child to an event that has been specified to

exclude children.

I am only saying that I do not understand or

appreciate the underlying negative

attitude toward children (or any others deemed "unruly") at

one of the most central events of family life.

So, when I see such invitations excluding children, I do make

a judgement about the people involved..... though I keep

it to myself and would never share it .....

And you are right, the thread is about children in restaurants...

Milagai

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Modern kids don't know jack about even household lunch and dinner. Are your kids eating breakfast in front of the television? Dinner? Are you making them special meals? Even a baby shouldn't have a special meal from Gerber or chicken fingers. They should sit around the dinner table and eat what their parents eat. Done.

(if you have a playground or a big screen TV I would suggest that you encourage your children to ignore them.)

Make a restaurant meal special and holy for your kids. A dinner is an orderly affair, a progression. If it's a beautiful room, talk about it with them. If its a diner, read the menu with them, and chat about their faves, and what they think about unfamiliar sides, like brains and grits.

Make it about the occasion and the food. Maybe make it a dress-up deal. Your kid is not allowed to be a brat --you know better than that about anyone.

Read and discuss the menu -- not the kid's menu. Maybe your sons will split a couple of plates. And tell them the kid's menu is crap and they can't order from it. That's why you're the parent.

Trust me, perfection eludes me. And I agree that if kids sit in their seats and keep the volume down, they have kept their part of the restaurant pact. You've earned the frickin break .

Perfection, I suppose, would be kids who discuss cosmology and parse the foie gras creme brulee. But why can't a dinner out be a magic thing, as it was for my Boomer confreres, whether it was admiring the white tablecloths at a steak joint or discussing the brain freeze from that tall tin milkshake jug. It's an opportunity to have fun, eat well, hang out as a family, and civilize.

I guess that means being a parent.

prefer the concept of compassion rather than the concept of self-righteousness when I see a child misbehaving in a restaurant. Life goes on, and this, too, will change, and another chance to dine more pleasantly will arrive soon enough.

I sure hope you weren't understanding anyone to be self-righteous: I don't think anyone is considering this type of response defensive.

Perhaps self-righteous was the wrong word.

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Sigh. My son is one of those who grew up eating in front of the TV, and mostly still does. When he was young, it was the only place I could get him to eat, and frankly, after 8 hour crying jags from colic, I was just happy for the peace, and to finally get some food into him, regardless of where he sat. And absolutely I made him special meals as a baby. I was far more concerned with getting food into him than having a battle of wills with a six month old.

However, we've been taking him to restaurants since he was six years old. He can discuss the menu knowlegably with the waiter, order properly, and hey, he even knows which fork to use. His tastes are far broader than mine and he will happily order lobster, crab, herring and other things most kids won't touch. These days, he's willing to try almost anything, although he would not as a young child.

He will wear a suit to a really nice place and has done since he was very young. He wears tuxes to formal nights when we cruise. He is equally comfortable sitting around the table at home during a family celebration and can converse as easily with his 95 year old grandmother as he can with his 13 year old cousin.

He has impeccable manners, and I've been complemented on them more times than I can count. In fact, it's the first thing other parents say to me when I go to pick him up from his friend's places. Recently at the hair dressers, we were sitting by the door waiting for his appointment, when an elderly lady began making her way out of the salon. Without any prompting, he got up and held the door open for her as she was leaving.

Am I a bad parent for letting him eat mostly in front of the TV? Has it scared him for life? Maybe, but at almost 15,he seems to be turning out just fine. I suppose I'll have to wait to see when he grows up and appears on Jerry Stringer or publishes his own Mommy Dearest. :biggrin:

Maggie makes some good points, but in the end, it comes down to knowing your child. Like adults, each child is unique and what works on one will most certainly not work on the other, not even siblings. Raising children is not a one size fits all.

What is the point here, is that children (and adults, since I've sat beside some very loud obnoxious adults in restaurants) do have to know how to behave. How you get there, is up to each parent.


Edited by Marlene (log)

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Don't feel bad, Marlene - I went through a phase when I was about five in which I refused to eat anything for dinner other than lemon Dannon yogurt and a hot dog, no bun. No idea what that wa about, but now I am one of the most adventurous eaters I know.


"An appetite for destruction, but I scrape the plate."

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I probably expressed myself badly.

I am not telling anyone who they can have as guests and I would

also never take a child to an event that has been specified to

exclude children.

I am only saying that I do not understand or

appreciate the underlying negative

attitude toward children (or any others deemed "unruly") at

one of the most central events of family life.

So, when I see such invitations excluding children, I do make

a judgement about the people involved..... though I keep

it to myself and would never share it .....

And you are right, the thread is about children in restaurants...

Milagai

Naw, Milagai. I think this type of discussion brings out the protectiveness (or defensiveness) in people. Making every event "about the kids" is my issue. Too often "families welcome" means "bring your toddlers and let 'em rip!"

I don't even fly through Orlando -- and I'd never go to Chuck E. Cheese and expect to find peace. So I don't like it when my server is too busy fetching extra napkins, filling sippy cups and shoveling a steady stream of finger food onto the next table, to take care of our wine.

edited 'cuz I'm a knucklehead who *calls herself a writer.* Hah!


Edited by FabulousFoodBabe (log)

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office

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I've had some interesting experiences taking my son out to eat. He has autism, and we've been treated quite badly at a neighbourhood place that promotes itself as a "family" place when my son was not even agitated or misbehaving. We've also had a very compassionate restaurant owner very graciously box up our half eaten meal for us when my son was in mid-meltdown. It turns out he also worked at a children's hospital and he was very sympathetic.

That was a couple of years ago. And while it would be nice to enjoy my son's company in a REAL restaurant with good food, I now only take him out for fast food. I don't particularly enjoy the food at Subway, and at Mc Donald's I won't even get any food, I just keep my son company while he eats. The bottom line is that in a fast food place, my son knows what food they have, he can order for himself and he always knows what is going on and how to act. None of these things is true(for him) in a proper restaurant, and even if they make him food that will suit his picky eating habits he isn't comfortable and it is unfair to put him in an environment that will make him uncomfortable. If I want to go someplace nicer I get a sitter and take my girls.


If only I'd worn looser pants....

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it is unfair to put him in an environment that will make him  uncomfortable.  If I want to go someplace nicer I get a sitter and take my girls.

What a great Mom you are -- your kid's hero. It really bothers me to see kids in environments made for them, being treated dismissively or poorly by the staff, or other diners. And really,it's about being comfortable and eating together, isn't it.


"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office

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I haven't yet chimed in, and others have said it, but here goes my humble $0.02.

I want our son to grow up with a deep appreciation for good food, and the enjoyment of a fine meal over the course of many hours. He won't get this by talk.

We try to inculcate in him respect for others; as well, that he is also a valuable person, worthy of being heard and respected.

His journey started young - at our restaurant - and he developed a palate that for his age, I'd say, was a joy to see - distinguishing between subtleties that I wasn't privy to until well into adulthood. And it will only grow from there.

Inasmuch as we wouldn't sacrifice the enjoyment of others by allowing him to misbehave in a restaurant, neither do we frequent places that treat us as anathema because we have a kid. One such place, in Chicago, did so - and though we were regulars at its companion, next door, this particular misstep meant we will never go back.

I think it all goes to respect. Respect for others, respect for self. Provide this, and everything else follows.


-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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good adult patrons have to start some place!!! why not start them as kids???

I always took my kids out to dinner in lovely places ..even when I could not really afford it ..I felt it was a huge part of their education to go and dine with adults in a find restaurant and act like the charming individuals I knew they were ...we would plan it and ruminate over it ..choose outfits to wear and talked about what we would like to order in advance ..

the kids loved the build up and planning and practiced pronouncing the foods they wanted to order and how to order them ....how to ask questions with out sounding like snotty kids.... I remember them practicing on each other "excuse me sir would you please tell me how the duck is done?"

when I was raising kids I found they were really a reflection of how I felt most of the time..and Lord knows they could be monsters!!! but I could be too!!!

if they were wild and out of control it was usually because I was frazzled and out of control myself ...those were not the days we went to have a fine dining experience!!!

we even made it a ritual to have a nap together before going out to eat... so we would all be fresh for the event...

I am glad most places will allow kids ...and I also happy my kids had many fine dining experiences under their belts growing up ..because as adults they always know what fork to use.....they do know how to order wine ...they have wide appreciation for food and how it is prepared....they are polite appreciative (and very funny) adults ..and they do spend a lot of money ..all four of them ..on good food and dining out ...

I think the thing to remember is great adults don't just happen and really you have to groom good customers they don't just happen either ...my kids all four of them are wonderful adults ....so thanks so much to all the fine restaurants out there that let them in as kids!!! :biggrin:

PS give me a polite funny appreciative kid to sit next to any day over that loud obnoxious never happy always rude adult we all know shows up and sits next to us during a wonderful romantic meal :raz:


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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We were lucky: our kids hated fancy food so we never had to fight with them to get all dressed up and spend money on $30 entrees at four-star joints. :wink:

Of course, now that they're teenagers, their palates are broadening significantly, much to my chagrin and expense.

Of course, we made them use their manners at home and at the diners, steakhouses and Ethiopian (who knew?) places they preferred, and it seems to have worked. Last night, over dinner at a local Italian place, my 14-year-old who has developed a passion for pesto told us that she has to play Miss Manners with her friends when they go out, and has taught them how to tip. I was quite pleased.


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I'm getting ready to spend a week in NYC with my 4 children (Mrs. Varmint will be there for only half the week). Although we've dined frequently in places that one would consider "quiet", we really haven't taken the children to a place that would be considered "high end." The youngest child is 6 and the oldest is 13. Our 11 year old daughter is quite picky, the two boys are willing to try new things, and the 6 year old is somewhere in between.

So, what am I doing for food? Everything.

I'm going to introduce them to new cuisines. We're going to a Danny Meyer restaurant and make it a dress-up affair. We'll go to a diner and a deli and a classic pizza joint and a Chinatown place and a kids' theme restaurant. They know that few, if any of the places, will have a kids' menu.

The important thing is that I've discussed with them before hand that this trip is an adventure that gives them the opportunity to explore. They won't like everything they try, and my credit card will take a hit as a result. I'm paying for an experience-based education. In the end, they won't go hungry. And they won't complain, because we have had that discussion ahead of time regarding expectations. I'm confident they'll look back at this trip and recall several of the meals they had.

The one important thing with all these meals is that they will be eaten when the children are not tired. Dinners will be very early. That also lessens the likelihood of a "scene."

I'll report back on how things went.


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I know a woman who, as a young child (<6 yr old), was so well behaved in restaurants that she was invited back to visit the kitchen in several restaurants both in Britain (in the 60's when kids did NOT go to restaurants in Britain) and in the US. Her parents were frequently complimented on her good manners. (I have these stories from her parents.)

On a short vacation trip to France, they decided to eat in a local casual restaurant for dinner one night, and ordered crab. The crabs came, each cut in half across the shell, each quite large on the plate, and bright red. This completed freaked the girl who began crying and could not be hushed or consoled until her crab was removed. Apparently it terrified her.

Every kid has a bad day, and sometimes there isnt much that can be done. The parents could and did take her out til she calmed, and then brought her back in when it would all begin again, until finally they gave up on the crab and had it removed. But they were on vacation and had to eat somewhere. Leaving at the first sign of tears was less of an option than it usually is. And of course, the restaurant staff was offended by the behavior of the American child. C'est la vie.

PS she likes crab now.


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Ah, well.

I am reminded these last few days of an eG member whose sig line had a quote something like "eGullet: Where all the children are well-behaved and [. . .]". "And." Naturally.

To each their own, and let the swords rise and the trumpets blare.

I still say there are people who haven't learned their fish forks from their spade handles who I would find it prefereable to spend time with, in or out of a restaurant. Even if they speak a different language, I guess I could point with my finger. "FISH FORK" I'd have to mouth, in a loud whisper, kind of secret-like, so the other foodie diners would not know this important knowledge was not known.

I still say that there are people who lack the best manners that I'd rather know than many I have known who were capable of showing great charm and knowledge of forks spoons and wine who in a blink of an eye would strip your business of its profits to put in their own pockets however they could, or strip your wife of her clothes and put whatever it was they wanted from her in their own pockets, too.

And, it's my feeling that venues planned, designed, developed by restauranteurs for adults, adults with some sort of adult "grown-up" way of being that comes with being an adult (hopefully), designed for those who are cognizant of what adult behavior involves, should be frequented by adults, not by children whom the adults wish to mold into mini-adults *now* "for their future".

I say give the kids a break - let them be kids - take them out to eat if you can - try to make it pleasant for all, which means giving consideration to *everyone* at the table including the kids. If extra napkins are needed, let it be that they are eating somewhere where the adult at the next table will not be upset if the server's time is taken by this act of service rather than the act of service of bringing an adult a drink.

They will be grown up soon enough. As far as expense goes, no expense is too large to spend on something that will be a good thing for a child. I just can think of better things to spend both time and money on than this rite of initiation that more and more "foodies" seem to think important as more and more "foodies" become a vital (sic) part of our culture.

I've heard the argument that job interviews have been lost, for "good jobs" because of table manners. My response to that is, that if a person manages to get through college to be considered for such a job, and they then can not figure out how to act *wherever* they go, then they are just overeducated idiots anyway, bless their hearts. Burger King and Olive Garden, and a spouse who cooks frozen TV dinners will be their sad, sad future undoubtedly. Every parents nightmare. Of course.

Excuse me. I must run. My linen tablecloth requires ironing, the silver needs polishing and darn it all if I don't think I might have a Michelob beer with lunch if I can find a Seven-Eleven.

I'll see you later, some time later, at The Colony Club. Kisses! Mwah mwah!

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