Hooligans for lunch

Filed under: Preschoolers, Big Kids, Just For Dads, Places To Go, Development/Milestones: Babies

"They're being kids, lady. Take a chill pill." That's what the man said after Rachel asked him to ask his kids to sit down. We were on our way to Calistoga for a few days rest and relaxation with Rachel's kin and had stopped to get some lunch. We ended up at the food court of an outlet mall because Sara declared her immediate need to "go potty".

We were mostly done with lunch and I had taken Jared to the bathroom. I came back to see two boys rolling around on the floor wrestling next to our table. They were bumping into Rachel's chair and Sara was watching them instead of finishing her lunch. A third boy was sitting, alone, at a nearby table. Rachel, who, after more than twenty-five years experience working with kids, two degrees, and two kids of her own, knows these things, pegged them as four, five, and six years old.

That's when a man -- presumably their father -- came over to the boys' table and Rachel asked him, politely, to ask the kids to sit. He responded rudely, and declared that our children must be boring, presumably because they know how to behave in a restaurant. Rachel scooped up the kids as I dumped our trash and we took Sara to go to the bathroom once more before leaving.

Rachel was extremely upset by the man's rudeness and didn't want to go back out past him, but he and his brood were between us and the car. When we went out, he was no longer there; he and his kids had moved outside where they were running around and climbing on the twenty-five cent ride-on toys. We headed to the car, loaded up the kids, and took off.

It was a rather unpleasant experience, and I definitely would have liked to give him a good talking too, but I doubt it would have accomplished anything. So we left it at that and filed it as a story to tell. Perhaps, though, there would have been a better way to handle it? What would you have done in such a situation?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.