Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Yes, Big Families CAN Go Out to Dinner

We don't often go out to dinner as a family. The main reason we don't go out is we're a family of 6~dining out is expensive for us. While I've heard rumblings that the economy is improving, the State of Maine is always last to experience such joys. We may get the first sunrise, but we always get the last of everything else. If we do go out, we stick to restaurants that we know won't break the bank, are places that the kids like to eat (obviously) and aren't just fast food. I mean, I can make mac and cheese and cheese quesadillas for a LOT less than it would cost at a restaurant.

With that said, we do take the kids out as special treats at times. Saturday we told the kids that if they cleaned their rooms with minimal fuss, we'd take them out for Mexican. We are not above bribing our kids with food for a change of scenery for us all (oh, and of course food we don't have to prepare and dishes someone else cleans up). We got to our favorite place and the wait was literally 2 minutes. If that's not a sign of the economy, I don't know what is (sometimes the wait there is 30 minutes). Anyway, as we were brought to our table, I was listening to another patron count how many kids we have. I'm sure we look like an armada coming into the restaurant, but the kids were being very well behaved. And they remained well behaved for our entire meal. Only Drew couldn't sit still in his seat; he was fascinated with a table of older boys seated behind us and kept turning to watch them. Other than that, no one yelled, spilled their drinks, threw food or any other tantrum that we often see at home. I was quite proud of them.

We get that "look" a lot when we go out to eat. That look of disdain from people, especially older people, that we've brought our kids out to eat. Last I checked, there wasn't a law against a big family eating out. If our children do have a bad behavior moment, they are removed from the table and brought to a quieter area to calm the heck down. But those moments are rare; for the most part, they're thrilled to be out somewhere else to eat and try hard to be on their best behavior. I'm not sure why people feel the need to judge. I suppose we all judge someone else at some point in time, but it really annoys me that people do that to my kids. We may be a big family, but we do have manners and they are expected to be used in public (at home, well, that's a post for another day). So to those to give us the "look"~buzz off. Big families can, and will, go out to eat.

8 comments:

AndreAnna said...

My opinion: if you go to a FAMILY restaurant, be prepared to sit next to FAMILIES.

They can all suck it.

Saly said...

We have gotten the looks with just 3 kids, and also when we have our niece in tow. And then later we get compliments because they are so well behaved. Like you, if one of them does act up, we remove them, either to the car or a quiet portion of the restaurant, until they calm down.

CassJustCurious said...

I get the look with just Lexi. She's great at restaurants and loves to wave and smile - she doesn't act up (so far) and I enjoy the interaction. We get the same compliments after the meal is over. It's not like I'm bringing her to the Russian Tea Room - some people need to learn not to roll their eyes.

And YES, I'd still love the clothes!

Andrea said...

we get the same reaction when we take the twins and my husbands older kids out to eat. First its always, wow! are they twins, which on occasion i will answer with nope, ones mine and ones my husbands, and people always smile and laugh, I guess they don't find the humor in it that i do, but after answering that question a million times, I need to be able to laugh about it!

Jennifer, Playgroups Are No Place For Children said...

I don't get that? Why do others care if you're out to dinner with your kids, particularly if your kids are well behaved. We get nasty looks with our two kids regularly, I can't imagine the scorn with four. Sheesh.

Kinda like so many people despising the Duggars. So what if they have 20 kids? Who are they hurting???

Heather said...

How exceptionally boring those people's lives must be if all they have to do is judge a family of six.

Personally, I'm too engrossed with my strawberry margarita to pay much attention to other people in a mexican restaurant.

creative kerfuffle said...

what douche canoes. of course big families go out to eat. hell, i only have two kids and sometimes, when they were younger, i felt like a freak because people don't think kids in general should go out to eat.

Astarte said...

Wow, people give you a hard time??? Whenever I see a big family, I'm so impressed that they can pull all the kids together and have everyone behave with their best kid-manners. Screw those old people. I'm with AndreAnna; it's a FAMILY restaurant, people, and I'm sure the waitstaff is thrilled to see you coming, since their tip will be at least 15% of something pretty big.