Archive for April 29th, 2008

Kids and restaurants

I have no problems with kids in restaurants. In fact, I often took my kids to restaurants when they were kids. I am aware that it is certainly a learning experience for both parents and kids, and therefore (unless the kids are CRAZY wild) I have no problem with a little kid-noise in even the nicest places.

Through trial and error, my husband and I found the most kid-friendly ones. And our kids learned how to behave (“oh, behave baby!”) quite nicely… ordering with confidence, fun conversations (without me running around the kitchen), learning to respect others around them.

So I also have no problem taking my grandchildren to restaurants.

But I wonder why some restaurants seem to know so little about kids.

Take this afternoon, for example. Audrey, Jane and I took Audrey’s 3 little guys to a local family restaurant. You know, the kind that supplies crayons and menus to draw on. This place is also a very comfortable place for senior citizens who love to go out for lunch, and for teenagers who want to gossip over an ice cream sundae.

We were seated immediately. We ordered immediately. And we chatted while the 2 older kids got busy with their drawing and Audrey fed the littlest guy.

Soon the food arrived. The coffee arrived. The water was refilled. Extra pickles came. More napkins, please!

And all the while we waited for the chocolate shakes. I mean, we asked about them several times. The kids LOVE these shakes and don’t get them that often (yes, Mommy is really mean!).

Soon lunch was finished. Plates were collected. And still no shakes.

The waitress had every excuse in the waitress Bible for why the shakes were among the missing. “New help.” “Busy time of day.” “We’re training some new staff.” “Oh, you didn’t get them yet?”

And finally, “Do you still want them?”

Yes. To go.

Because now you’ve given the kids enough time after lunch to get antsy.

Not too antsy, but enough that Audrey did not want to stay one more minute.

So back to kids in restaurants. If it is a kid-friendly place, you love my business (ah, especially in this terrible economy), you want to stay viable to your customers… have a little bit of common sense.

Kids in restaurants are perfect… if the service is likewise.

– Sharon

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For today’s mama-find post I was fortunate enough to review the book Mothers Need Time-outs, Too by Susan Callahan, Anne Nolen and Katrin Schumann.

It changed my way of thinking. Completely.

I’m one of those women who really think they can “do it all.” I have tons of energy (even pregnant). My mind is always going with business things, family things, friend things, world things and home things. It’s just the way I am, always have been, always will be.

But after becoming a mother, one thing changed dramatically that even I didn’t “see.”

I wasn’t taking any time for ME. Really ME. Audrey things.

Yes, I guess I thought it was being selfish to do girlfriend things or go shopping (one of my passions) or going out to dinner with just Matt or working out in the evenings or… honestly, doing anything for myself or by myself.

I have not felt this tremendous VOID in my life in the past 3 1/2 years. Quite the contrary, I feel more full and satisfied and complete than ever before… but it wasn’t until I truly realized that I have STOPPED doing most of the things that I used to love doing before I became a mother – did my eyes open.

And wide.

So I have taken some “time-outs” this past 2 weeks. And I feel better than ever.

I have started swimming again. I went to the library last week – by myself – and lost myself for an hour in the books. I went out on a date with Matt and we laughed and joked all night – like we were this couple courting each other again! I even went shopping last night for some maternity clothes and started looking (gasp!) at the summer “regular” clothes.

These “time-outs” allowed me to rejuvenate myself. To be in a store without worrying about anything other than… dare I say it, myself!

This is a whole new world for me.

One that I intend to embrace. It will make me a better mother because I’m fulfilling needs and desires that I didn’t even know I craved.

Thank you Susan, Anne and Katrin.

It’s about time I had a good “time-out.”

What about you?!

– Audrey

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