Columnist Shames Parents Who Let Child ‘Explore The Restaurant’ While They Ate

Sometimes, it's easy to forget that we, as parents, used to have actual lives before our little humans came into the world. Every now and then, perhaps in a moment of sheer lunacy, we're inspired to try and revisit our glory days by taking the kids out to a restaurant. Gone are the days of romantic candlelit meals, but who doesn't want to look like a contented family huddled around the table enjoying some food prepared by anyone but ourselves? There's just one problem. Taking kids out to eat can be a living nightmare. One parent wrote in to Slate's Care and Feeding advice column to complain about the treatment they received at a "medium-nice" restaurant.

The parent was hoping for a little bit of back-up by reaching out to columnist Nicole Cliffe, but it didn't work out that way. Instead, Cliffe came down on them like a ton of bricks - and rightly so. According to the parent, they had sent their little boy off to "explore" the eatery when he was swiftly told off by the server for running.

"My son is a normal, active little boy," they wrote. When they realized the waitress was "giving him the hairy eyeball", they asked their child to slow down. The father defends his son by saying he was "pretty good", but did almost manage to trip up the waitress as she was carrying a tray. Like any server in that position, she asked the child to go and sit down.

Portrait of pensive boy at table in cafe
Credit: iStock

The family retaliated by tipping 5% and speaking to the waitress' manager about "disciplining someone else's child." Cliffe wasn't sympathetic to their cause at all and rightly put the parents in their place. "Yeah, this is your fault," she responded. "It's hugely your fault." She went on to say that exploring restaurants "is not a thing" and manners cost nothing.

"You weren't parenting, so a server did it for you. She was right. You were wrong. Other parents were quick to agree with the writer, who shared the article on Twitter. Not only did the vast majority of people think the parents were wrong, but they also encouraged them to go back and rectify their behavior by taking the complaint back - and leaving a suitable tip.

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