Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Seigfried and Roy couldn’t have tamed these wild beasts.

Grace and Edie are on probation. As far as Jo and I are concerned, they are never allowed to go to a restaurant ever again. Well at least for a month. And in this month they must practice dinner etiquette. Pretend they are dining with royalty. Pretend their little asses are velcroed to their chairs (hmm, that is actually not a bad idea). The must politely say please and thank you and you are welcome for every little thing their hearts desire. They must respect their father and mothers conversation (as boring as it may be), and wait their turn to say whatever it is they so urgently need to express. And when expressing their thoughts, they must use a volume that is appropriate to the space, as in, if a freight train is not the in the near vicinity, it is appropriate to lower their decibels a few notches.

That’s not what went down last night yo.

As a celebration of back to school, and a celebration of a sunny day in September, we decided to dine out. On a patio. Where cold beer is available. I’m not sure where it all fell apart. Could have been when the girls whined and fought for the bench seat. Could have been when they refused to sit down. Could have been when they started fighting over crayons. Could have been when Edie wouldn’t stop asking where her food was. I do know, that by the time our drinks and food came, Jo and I were regretting our decision to dine out. I also know that when Jo took Edie’s straw away from her because he had asked her to stop blowing bubbles and she didn’t listen, Edie did not react well. There was a tantrum a-brewing, and other diners were being disturbed. The ultimatum was to stop crying or else she would have to go to the van. This resulted in further (loud) protests, so I picked Ms. Edie up, and walked her to the van. Did I mention I knocked over a pitcher of ice water on the next table in the process? Yeeeeeaaaaahhhhh.

While sitting with the prisoner in the van, apparently Grace took this opportunity to bounce all over the bench, defying Jo’s order to sit down and eat her meal. A pretty picture, right?

Once Edie had waved the white flag and agreed to finish her meal quietly, I brought her out of the van. I also insisted that she apologize to the wait staff, to the table beside us, and to her father. She was mortified but I think it was an important lesson.

The rest of the meal was eaten in silence. Not an “gee I’m enjoying my dinner” silence, but more of “if I hear one more word out you young ladies there will be trouble” kind of silence. Which is really too bad. It could have been a nice evening out.

And that is why the girls are on probation. They are not happy about it, but the Meanies are cracking down on this kind of behaviour. I don’t have the expectation of bringing them to a 5 star restaurant, but it would be nice to go to a casual diner and talk about our day.

To the people dining somewhere on Bank Street last night, again, my sincere apologies. We won’t be back for a month, 6 months, a year. Whatever it takes.

Please tell me you have similar horror stories, we aren’t the only ones who have been unsuccessful in socializing our children, right????? Honestly people, it’s like they were feral.


Cindy said...

Ok I recognize that I don't have children yet, but either way I would like to give you a big hoorah!!! I am sure it is difficult at times to do, but I believe in the long run, everyone benefits!

XUP said...

I only ever had one to contend with and she was always fine. I think as soon as there are 2 or more kids, that's when things get unruly. Maybe you could try just taking one at a time? Anyway, if people go to restaurants that have crayons, I'm sure they're not expecting a totally quiet dining experience.

Nat said...

The Boy has been dragged all sorts of places and I think he's usually pretty good but we've done it enough (he gets dragged to community meetings and other boring ass stuff) that he comes prepared. But like XUP says we only have one...

FWIW -- I think you handled it well.

Now, advice on not hitting kids in the schoolyard would be welcome.