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to ask if you let your children go and sit at other people's tables in a restaurant?

(40 Posts)
BBQFrenzy Tue 16-Aug-11 17:26:36

So on a few occasions recently now I have been out eating with DS (18 months) somewhere (generally with a good view of buses because then I get to eat in between saying 'bus' every forkful) and the adjacent table has children on it.

Last time this happened, a (lovely) brother and sister (6 and 8) were making faces and amusing my DS and asking me lots of questions about him and so I was talking to them (they were v smart - wanted to talk about politicians!) until when their dinner came...well they decided that they'd eat at my table so sidled over with their plates and ate with me and DS. Even had their desserts with us. Ended up with me letting them have a go on my iPhone so I could attend to DS for a bit and then it was time for them to go.

Now I had no complaints about the children. They were lovely. And I undoubtedly encouraged them and DS thought they were hugely entertaining. But not once did either of the mothers glance over (I did try to catch their attention to ask if it was ok for the DCs to have a go on iphone because they had asked but didn't know if it was what their mums let them do) and even as they left and DCs said goodbye to me (one of the DCs came back in to say goodbye) neither of the mums even really looked at me.

IABU or is that just odd? If my DS descended on another table, no matter how at ease the resident diner was, you'd say something wouldn't you? Even a weak "Is everything ok?" Other occasions it has been a 3/4 year old loitering who I have eventually had to take back to their table because they wanted DS's bus off him (god forbid - his sharing skills are inversely proportionate to his screaming skills) or a chatty little girl who wanted to 'help' DS with his food. Is it me just being PFB with a young baby and not realising what older toddlers or DCs or like in restaurants? (DS walks but atm is still in a high-chair so maybe once I can't strap him down and he is mobile himself I will realise the error of my ways.....)

EndoplasmicReticulum Tue 16-Aug-11 17:31:18

No! That's really odd and very lazy of the parents. I cannot stand wandering children in restaurants, it isn't cute it's annoying. I always keep mine sat down by any means necessary.

belledechocchipcookie Tue 16-Aug-11 17:31:37

No, never. He's only allowed to get up if he needs the toilet.

FromGirders Tue 16-Aug-11 17:33:07

Good lord no! I would be mortified at my children Bothering Other People!

BBQFrenzy Tue 16-Aug-11 17:33:09

sorry typo in OP are not or

Bloody hell how weird.

Any what lazy cows those mothers were - nice for them to have lunch just chatting!!

MightyQuim Tue 16-Aug-11 17:33:16

Unless it was family friends/relatives or something that happened to be there at the same time and I knew wouldn't mind then no I wouldn't let dd just go and sit with someone.
Was your baby being a handful and perhaps the parents thought their kids entertaining them would allow you to eat and they were doing you a favour?
In my experience by the time they're big enough for a seat they're big enough to understand that they stay sat at the table so I wouldn't worry about that.

Poweredbypepsi Tue 16-Aug-11 17:33:21

no thats very strange i let hem run off to play with people at parks etc but not when eating out, I think I would have asked them to go back to their parents.

backwardpossom Tue 16-Aug-11 17:33:44

No, why on earth would you? Bizarre...

Namechangeoshame Tue 16-Aug-11 17:36:30

Not normally, but I think they've occasionally made instant friends with children at other tables and ended up moving over and sharing toys (and once we were in a cafe when the TV at the other side of a dividing wall started playing CBeebies so they invaded another table).

But I'd always clear it with the "invaded" parents first.

Callisto Tue 16-Aug-11 17:37:32

Totally bizarre. I think you're very patient and generous. I'm afraid I don't much care for other people's children and would have made it very plain to the mothers that I didn't want them at my table.

WilsonFrickett Tue 16-Aug-11 17:39:03

If my DS showed any interest in another child and if he wanted to go over and talk to them I would let him, provided neither party was eating, IYSWIM. So, if our food arrived I would expect him to sit down, and if your food arrived I would expect him to leave you in peace.

And I wouldn't have suggested the other DCs went back to their parents rather than bringing their plates over. Although I would have loved to have seen my DH's face in that situation as he is one of those who really cannot stand is not over-fond of other peoples' children.

Bandwithering Tue 16-Aug-11 17:39:06

No, I'd be embarrassed if they did that! Can't believe the mothers just sat it out! brass necks on them!

StrawberryGateau Tue 16-Aug-11 17:40:50

Very odd, even I never have that and I am the original toddler/ child magnet if anywhere near play equipment. Start removing extra chairs from any table you go to!

worraliberty Tue 16-Aug-11 17:43:04

I think that's the strangest thing I've read in ages

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 16-Aug-11 17:45:04

How odd. Nice of you, OP, to let them but still very odd. Your DS must have Pied Piper qualities of which, so far, you've been unaware. grin

If you want to discourage it, I suppose you could give a shrill whistle to the errant mothers who've confused you with Mary Poppins... or perhaps summon a waiter, and tell him that you didn't want the 'side orders', pointing in the direction from whence they came...

You must just have one of those faces, OP... grin

BBQFrenzy Tue 16-Aug-11 17:46:47

MightyQuim He's actually pretty good - like I said, incessant chat about buses (and now elephants) keeps him pretty busy. His new thing (because I cannot hide how much I detest it on my face) is short sharp screams which pierce your very soul. The bus gets removed, or I quickly divert with which animal makes this noise which he then copies but more than twice and I yank him out the restaurant because it's just too horrible for other people. He's getting there (I hope). First time he does it I ask for the bill just to be prepared to yank and go! Apart from little child trying to take bus from him there was no screaming on any of the occasions above.

Wilson I didn't invite them to eat at our table - their food came to theirs (very close tables and one side was along a long built in bench thing) so they just picked up their plates and shuffled over. Like I said they were a delight. Am just seeing if this is the norm and I am the one thinking it is odd?

SenoritaViva Tue 16-Aug-11 17:48:36

I think that's really weird. I have a DD who tends to talk to anyone and everyone, she invited the man on the plane across the aisle to her birthday party (but not his wife much to their amusement). Nevertheless I always check they aren't bothered (offered to swap seats on the plane so they couple weren't disturbed but they said they were happy).

Very odd of the mums, especially at the end to not even acknowledge you or thank you.

Also for future reference I'd NEVER lend out my iphone. What if they'd accidentally damaged it and you'd ended up having to fork out £150 to get it fixed? Even if they seem really nice I just wouldn't (plastic buses one thing, expensive 'toys' no).

MummyDoIt Tue 16-Aug-11 17:48:47

Absolutely not. Annoying other people is a cardinal sin! I have had other kids wander over to our table occasionally, usually attracted by whatever toy my DSs are playing with but they've never sat down and eaten with us and their parents usually come and retrieve them after a while!

blowthewindsoutherly Tue 16-Aug-11 17:52:04

No, it's weird, I would never allow it. I don't allow my children to stare at other diners through the back of booths either, which I've noticed is allowed a lot. I don't like some kid staring with their face 5 inches from mine while I eat.

Re: wandering kids, when my DD1 was 18 mo we did used to take her for a wander while we were waiting for food, because she struggled to sit for long and was more of a nuisance to other diners complaining about being stuck in the highchair but the wandering involved being taken by the hand walked round the periphery of the restaurant, not going up alone to other tables.

BBQFrenzy Tue 16-Aug-11 17:52:04

grin @ Lying: Waiter can you please remove these side orders from my table!

It might just be DS's handsome grin <smug biased emoticon>. My mum always said I had 'one of those' faces, like hers, which means you get people's life stories at the supermarket checkout. Will practise my unwelcoming scowl from now on.

OK well I guess this means I can't look forward to a time when I can wave DS off at the restaurant door to pick his 'host' table for the evening while I drink wine and scoff in peace. DAMN.

33goingon64 Tue 16-Aug-11 17:57:20

How totally bizarre and rude of the mothers to not acknowledge the situation and thank you at the end. Sounds like the kids are used to being ignored. How sad and strange.

Marymaryalittlecontrary Tue 16-Aug-11 18:32:46

I wouldn't allow it. Even if the parents being invaded said it was okay I wouldn't allow it. Some people don't like to say no even if they'd rather the children went away!

BBQFrenzy Tue 16-Aug-11 18:45:46

SenoraVita Just saw your DD inviting the plane man to her birthday party. Very sweet. I just couldn't be annoyed at that!

Mary My mum would have been the same (would have viewed it as an imposition) but she was quite strict so I wondered if times had changed but I think I'd be inclined to go with your view if/when DS tries it.

PonceyMcPonce Tue 16-Aug-11 18:55:30

No, but what a fantastic idea!

I plan to palm my dc off on some other people.

Do you think it more appropriate to send all three to one table, or share them out?

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