Saturday, 4 January 2014

Manners maketh the man (and the toddler)

My boy sitting
Wow it's already almost a week into the new year and I haven't had to write the date yet so I've not made the classic error of writing last year's by mistake. Having said that I never entirely got the hang of writing 2013 - I think it's to do with being an odd number or something - so I'm hoping 2014 will prove simpler to remember.

The one date I do know, however is Friday 10th January as that's the day my boy goes out with his beloved auntie to watch Dinosaur Zoo. I'm not sure he has much idea what's going to happen, but he does adore his auntie (Masi) so he's excited about seeing her. She looked after him a lot when he was a baby and when I returned to work for a few months when he was a year old she was his nanny so they are very close.

I'm looking forward to having the morning to myself, but I'm also hoping she can manage this tearaway toddler on her own. Me and Hubbie have taken him into central London and managed, but that's two of us and he is one fast moving three year old !

My main concern though is that taking a young child out can inspire really unpleasant reactions in other people. I don't want them to fall foul of someone like the rude and bolshie man who was sitting at the table next to us last week. We went out for lunch on New Year's Eve - we don't do night's out often any more - and went to a local pub that does nice food and where our son has always been made very welcome. The man at the next table was a classic wide boy type who was at turns rude, demanding and finally offensive to the waitress, his fellow diners and eventually in our general direction as my son was losing the plot waiting for his food.

my boy eating loads of ice cream I'm not known for my even temper so Hubbie was bristling as he could see me stiffening and getting ready to have a row. Instead I picked up our son, walked to the pub garden and talked to him and calmed him (and myself) down. When we returned to the table the rude man was - thankfully - paying his bill and our food had arrived. We all sat and ate together and had a lovely meal.

We've been taking our son out for meals with us since he was a baby. His first experience was at the Champagne bar at St Pancras where we went for my birthday. He was only a few months old and the staff were helpful, kind and very accommodating. It helps that he loves to smile and now he can talk he's very entertaining and polite too so he wins over waiting staff and often fellow diners too.

My perspective on this is that if we take him out and about to nice places now he will have the required social skills as an adult. It's just a shame that the man at the other table clearly didn't have the same manners.


28 comments:

  1. Sometime it is hard when meeting those rude people! Glad he left before he ruin your day!

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    1. I am pretty sure he was looking for an argument so it's just as well he left.

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  2. You did very well. This is something I'm working on myself - not reacting to rude people, because it only ends up making me rude too. I hope your lad enjoys Dinosaur Zoo - it was different to what I expected when we saw it.

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    1. I realised that my son copies what he sees so if I'm rude to someone he thinks that is acceptable.
      Did you enjoy Dinosaur Zoo ?

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  3. What a shame about the rude person! Of course toddlers and young children need to go out and about, they are part of society and as you say - experiencing things is how they learn. There is no need for people to be rude or unwelcoming! I'm sure he will be fine at Dinosaur Zoo!

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    1. I can understand people reacting if children are running around and causing disruption, but he sits with us and eats his food.
      Some people are just grumpy aren't they ?

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  4. It's horrid when kids are exposed to other people's bad manners, but it sounds like you handled it really well x

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    1. It is very out of character for me I promise you !

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  5. Exactly, he clearly had no manners, your son is gorgeous & I would imagine would brighten up most people's day. I just thought I would share our experience of going out for lunch today to a quiet branch of Prezzos, I had my daughter, there were a few older couples & a couple with their son about your son's age, who the staff had given a balloon to & who was clearly delighted. Some complete nightmare of a woman turns up, & brays (about 50 times more loudly than was necessary), 'Oh are there balloons? I can't stay here, I have a latex allergy.' What a loss she was to the atmosphere!

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    1. Thank you - we find him endlessly entertaining, but we would wouldn't we ?
      What did that woman think was going to happen ? It's not like they were going to rub the balloons all over her is it ? Weirdo !

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  6. Welcome back and Happy New Year! It's always nice to get out and about - toddlers have their moments but it's great for them to experience being in restaurants. Even if not everyone behaves as they should :)

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    1. Happy New Year to you too :)
      I have been more upset by drunk adults than by children to be honest, but we're not going to stop taking him out with us.

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  7. Oh you are so much better at keeping stum than I am! My little girl is nearly eight months old and I have met some incredibly rude people since I had her. I've had people complain to me about bringing a pushchair out on the weekends, taking a baby into ASK (didn't realise it was The Ritz) and for thinking a lift was meant to be for people that needed to use it not those just too lazy to use the escalator! How do people think children learn to behave in public, if they aren't allowed out into it!

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    1. I was amazed at how impatient and rude people can be, but it's not excuse to be rude myself. I am trying so hard to not react - it's a work in progress :)

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  8. Your right, if you avoid situations and don't take them out they'll never learn. There will always be grumpy people around but it's their lose.

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    1. I just don't think we should always take him to 'kids' places - if someone doesn't want to be around children they shouldn't eat in a 'family pub.'

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  9. It can be difficult, I take the boys out and impress on them the need for manner, they have to be exposed to learn

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    1. We all have bad days don't we ? Kids are no exception and it's a bit harsh to not accept that. I'm not going to stop taking him out to nice places.

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  10. We take ours out for tea regularly and always have done - it's good for them I think x x

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    1. I agree - my boy enjoys going out and it teaches him how to behave in public places and to deal with strangers.

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  11. There's often no point saying anything to rude people they just get worse. Think you did the right thing by keeping yourself calm x

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    1. In the past I have made things worse by challenging a rude person and all it's done is upset me and made the atmosphere really difficult.
      I'm not saying I'll always walk away, but I am going to try. x

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  12. I hate rude people! best to avoid those situations, sounds like you did the right thing! x

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    1. Thank you - I was surprised he was eating in a family pub if he didn't like kids to be honest.

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  13. Argh some people have no empathy and that's my biggest bugbear when out! Like they think by grumbling or tutting that that can possibly help the situation. I feel your rage! x

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    1. Even before I had my son if we were out and there was a child being noisy I would try and be understanding that they might be tired, grumpy or hungry.
      You can never know what other people's issues are, but you're right tutting and moaning isn't going to make it any better and will just wind me up ! xx

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  14. it tends to be childless people that moan about children playing up in restaurants. Waiting to food is no fun when you're an adult but when you are three it feels even longer. Glad it was a good meal in the end

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  15. People can be so rude but I have to admit, I'd probably have been a bit grumpy about noisy children before I had my own.

    I'm glad that the meal wasn't ruined.

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