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Trying To Keep It PG

, , , , , | Right | October 28, 2021

We rarely go out to eat — the few restaurants that are family-friendly are quite a distance and not exactly cheap — so this meal is pretty special.

Unfortunately, our youngest — four years old — is a bit overtired and is uncharacteristically acting up a little. After a bit of a chat, we make it to the restaurant and are seated without issue, until we come to order, and he has decided he wants “that,” referring to a picture of an adult’s curry on the menu.

It should be noted that he doesn’t like spicy food, has a sensitive stomach to these dishes, and will take one bite only to admit he doesn’t want it. The wait for food is pretty long, so this isn’t the time for entertaining him.

We are talking to him gently to try to get him to realise that he doesn’t want it and to choose from literally anything else on the children’s menu, when a middle-aged woman from the next table leans over.

Woman: “Oh, just let him order what he wants! How is he supposed to express his opinion if he can’t make his own decisions?”

Wife: “We know what’s best for him, so please, just leave us be.”

Woman: *Loudly* “Now listen to me! Children need their own voice; they need to be heard!”

Wife: “I think we know our own child, what he does and doesn’t like, better than you do. Please leave us alone.”

Woman: “These young parents don’t know their a** from their elbow.”

Me: “Will you shut up and mind your own business?! No one asked you to speak. We are not going to order him something he hates and then make him wait another thirty minutes for the food he actually wants to arrive.”

Woman: “Well… I never thought just—”

Me: “Just don’t. Mind your own business.”

Everyone was feeling uncomfortable. Thankfully, my youngest decided that what he actually wanted was something he did like, and we got our food.

A waiter came over — to check on our food, I assumed. Instead, they told me there had been a complaint about us force-feeding our child. Of course, by this point, he was happily chomping through his meal, and after I explained, the waiter went away satisfied.

Of course, children should be listened to, but maybe listen to the parents, as well, and don’t try to parent other people’s children when you have no clue yourself!

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