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To think that older people could try to remember what having young children is like?

(34 Posts)
HeidiKat Sat 18-Jun-11 15:23:22

It was my DH's birthday yesterday, we went out for lunch to a Chinese restaurant, taking 6 month old DD with us. She is usually well behaved and sat fine in her highchair during our starters but started to kick off between courses and by the time our main course came she was in full on meltdown. Me and DH took turns eating and trying to comfort her, cuddling her, walking up and down and pushing her back and forth in the buggy, nothing worked for more than a couple of minutes. The whole time, we were getting filthy looks and comments from two pensioners at the next table, the man said to me at one point could you not take her outside, some of us are trying to enjoy lunch. Taking her outside wasn't really an option as it was chucking it down with rain and it wasn't like we were ignoring her and letting her cry, we were doing our best. I know it's irritating having to listen to other people's baby crying but this is advertised as a family friendly restaurant and surely if you are that precious about it you would eat at home where you are guaranteed peace and quiet.

atswimtwolengths Sat 18-Jun-11 15:27:03

There's a fine line, isn't there? I think if she'd gone into melt down, I would have asked for my food to be packaged up so that I could take it home. Of course she'd probably have slept the minute she left the restaurant!

On the other hand, I can see their point of view. Nobody can enjoy a lunch out if a baby nearby is screaming. It's impossible to talk and impossible to enjoy the food. Babies' screams are designed to draw our attention - we can't do anything else but pay attention.

atswimtwolengths Sat 18-Jun-11 15:28:01

I don't think family friendly means the families making a lot of noise, just that they welcome well behaved children and offer suitable food. (Not saying your daughter wasn't well behaved! I was thinking of the older children.)

belgo Sat 18-Jun-11 15:29:04

If you couldn't settle her, then you should have taken her out of the restaurant and gone home.

DoMeDon Sat 18-Jun-11 15:29:46

It is not precious to want to enjoy lunch out - they have paid their money(maybe they can only afford to go in the day like my OAP DF) and want to have a nice time. It is not nice for others to listen to a screaming baby. <Waits for thread on Gransnet 'AIBU to wish new parents would remember how they felt about babies screaming before they had DC'>

Personally I am very tolerant of DC crying - I love most D children but not everyone does. It really depends how long your DD was crying for and how loud. I think you should have taken her away from the situation, I have done that myself. In general I also wish people could be more accomodating of children but your they should stay at home comment riled me.

Choufleur Sat 18-Jun-11 15:31:05

If she was in full blown screaming meltdown I think yabu. I'm not old but wouldnt want my lunch disturbed by a screaming child. If ds was that upset I would leave.

TheCrackFox Sat 18-Jun-11 15:32:21

Now that I have a 9yr old and a 6yr old I feel that I have done my baby years and actually remember how crap it all was. Do i want to sit next to a crying baby? Hell no.

DH and i often had to leave restaurants/cafes early because of a noisy baby/grumpy toddler and I expect other people to do the same.

gonerogue Sat 18-Jun-11 15:35:38

Afraid I agree with everyone else OP - it's ok for any child to be making a little bit of noise and be calmed down - but a full on meltdown would warrant leaving the restaurant for me - and yes I have done it with my 7 mo DD.

Yes you have paid for your lunch but so have they and a little consideration goes a long way. I presume they weren't saying anything when she originally starting kicking off, just when it became clear neither of you could calm her down?

joric Sat 18-Jun-11 15:51:43

Sorry.. YABU ... I think it's unfair to expect complete strangers to say nothing if their meal out is being spoilt - they are not part of your group and have the right to expect a reasonably calm atmosphere in a resteraunt. If we went out as a family and the people next to us had a baby who couldn't be calmed down after a period of time- I would expect them to take the baby away from the table or I would have to ask to move tables myself. Sorry sad

Nanny0gg Sat 18-Jun-11 15:54:35

I appreciate you were trying to calm her down, but it clearly wasn't working, and you can't have found it very enjoyable, so why would other people?
When it gets to the point of no return, then you have to ask for a doggy bag and call it a day imo.

meditrina Sat 18-Jun-11 15:58:15

If she was having a full on meltdown and could not be consoled then she probably needed to be taken home, poor little thing.

And it isn't fair to other diners to inflict a prolonged disturbance.

TanteRose Sat 18-Jun-11 15:58:50

YABU - she is not a young child, she is a little baby.
Young children can usually sit still and enjoy a meal out.
Little babies cannot. You should have left when the meltdown started.

I would have left too.......sorry OP. A proper full-on meltdown isn't nice for anyone to have to listen to. I've had to do it myself on many occasions in the past and still do from time to time.

JudysJudgement Sat 18-Jun-11 16:02:49

jeez. if i was in a restaurant with a baby bawling its head off, i would be cross

you are being selfish and unreasonable op

and its nothing to do with older people, any reasonable person would be irritated to have their meals and night out spoiled by a noisy and annoying child

Lady1nTheRadiator Sat 18-Jun-11 16:05:05

Dinner out with small children = one course, not fucking around with starters or desserts. I'd have been giving you dirty looks too tbh.

follyfoot Sat 18-Jun-11 16:05:09

I can remember the judgemental stares too, but am afraid I agree with everyone else. If your child is in such a state that she is affecting other people's enjoyment of their meals, which sadly she was, then I think its only reasonable for everyone else in the restaurant that you leave.

I suppose you could spin your last sentence on its head and say that if your child's crying is going to affect the enjoyment of other diners to the extent it obviously did, they you should eat at home. Just as daft, no?

Andrewofgg Sat 18-Jun-11 16:08:54

Not only should you remember before you had DCs: you should think ahead to when they will be bigger children, teenagers who don't want to be with you, and adults - baby-rearing years are a small subset of life and you have to make sacrifices. So, with some regrets and having been in the same position: YABU.

HeidiKat Sat 18-Jun-11 16:08:55

Ah well you live and learn, I honestly didn't think I WBU but going by general consensus I obviously was. Follyfoot, I don't actually think that spinning it on its head would be daft as I really don't enjoy eating out with DD as it's such a hassle trying to eat and keep her entertained I would have happily got takeaway and eaten at home but DH wanted to eat out as a treat. Learning from this experience I think next time we will wait until evening when babysitters are available and go out without her.

LolaRennt Sat 18-Jun-11 16:09:17

Sorry YABU, They paid for a nice meal out and if they are pensioners money is probably tight and I think you are being unfair. You should have gone in the toilets or gone home. I'd have been pissed of too and I have a 4 1/2 month old infant so have not forgotten what it like!

exoticfruits Sat 18-Jun-11 16:13:42

A sensible solution HeidiKat, glad you took it on board and listened. People pay a lot of money to eat out, they want the atmosphere and to be able to talk. You have to remove a baby who won't settle.

Zipitydoda Sat 18-Jun-11 16:13:51

Agree with everyone else, I would have taken the rest of the meal home. Have done this many times myself, a baby in meltdown is no fun for anyone. I still leave restaurants now if my 3 yr old is playing up.
Also more than 1 course is unrealistically ambitious with a baby IMO.

WriterofDreams Sat 18-Jun-11 16:15:14

My Spanish friend and I were talking about this once. I'm Irish BTW. We both found it quite surprising how intolerant people tend to be in the UK of small children. Where I come from no one would have taken a blind bit of notice. In fact I've known strangers to offer to hold a crying child for a short while so parents can eat their food. My Spanish friend was saying it's the same in Spain - it's expected for families to be out and about together and if a baby cries it's just background noise like traffic or road works, nothing to get het up about and certainly nothing to blame the parents for as long as they're not ignoring the child.

So I don't think YANBU at all, but I did expect the answers that you got.

HowAboutAHotCupOfShutTheHellUp Sat 18-Jun-11 16:15:39

YABU, not to mention selfish.

HeidiKat Sat 18-Jun-11 16:17:13

We only got starters as it was 2 courses for £7, could have done without them otherwise. Consider me suitably chastened, although I suppose no first time parent does everything right and babies change so quickly, a few weeks ago she would have happily slept through but recently has been a bit more grumpy, I suspect this is the start of teething.

cat64 Sat 18-Jun-11 16:23:48

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