More on Manners
Saturday, February 17, 2007
or, I'm Telling Your Momma!

Yesterday, we went out to eat a restaurant. I was pretty happy, it was my favorite kind of food: buffet.

Chinese buffet, to be exact, and quite tasty as well as MSG free! The waiter was a young 20 something Chinese guy, and he just loved our family. He talked to all the kids, played with the baby, and told us how wonderful it was to have a big family.

Soon after we arrived, another employee (actually, I think it was one of the owners. It seemed to be a family affair) arrived with her two year old son. He seemed to be a pretty young two. I saw him playing here and there around the tables and buffet line.

As we were getting ready to leave, this little guy found out there were 6 children in the restaurant, and wanted to play. Miss V, age 3, declared him "Oh, he's a cutie!" to which the waiter responded, "He's not a cutie, he's a naughty". Hmm... that should have been a tip off.

So, we made our way to the front of the restaurant while husband dear waited to pay the bill. The kids were still being pretty good, and sitting on the little bench in the entry way. The two year old Restaurant Boy decided he didn't like me. (I really don't know why!)

He started punching me in the stomach (I'm 7 months pregnant, so it was a big target!). There were three other hostess/waitresses around, but they just watched. So I told him no. He kept at it. I picked him up and moved him about three feet away, set him down, and went back to sitting with the kids. The restaurant workers observed from a safe distance. No mother or responsible adult in sight, he launched himself again.

He was screaming pretty loudly, and everybody was watching... me, trying to parent this tantruming child that I've never seen before in my life! You think watching your own kid throw a fit in public is bad? Try having somebody else's kid throw a fit that involves bodily assault - and trying to keep him from injuring someone while not speaking his language or getting physical in any way (not even grabbing hands so they couldn't hit or directing them to a corner!)

I moved him away again, and he threw himself to the floor kicking and screaming. His mother (I guess she was his Mom, she was the lady who brought him) picked him up, said something to him in Chinese, and gave him a token swat on the leg. I say token because I've hit mosquitoes harder. Then, SHE TURNED HER BACK AND WALKED AWAY!

So, of course, he went right back to Kung Fu Fighting. I quite honestly have no idea why he decided to beat me up. I wasn't playing with him, had never seen him before, and there were plenty of people his own size to pick on.

The other restaurant employees continued to watch him hit the pregnant lady in the stomach.

I went into the vestibule, and then we were ready to leave and he followed us. Outside. So, since no one else seemed to care, I carried back into the restaurant so he wouldn't get hit by a car. The hostess told me to just leave him, he's fine. And he pushed the door back open and went into the entry way (there were double doors, so he was between the outside door and the inside door). When we left, he was sticking his hand up the Claw vending machine, still all alone in the vestibule.

I felt sorry for him. He's dragged off to the restaurant and left to his own devices. I didn't see any toys, books, or his own area to play in. It was 9 pm at night at this point. No one cared enough to guide him, keep him safe, or teach him social skills (or put him to bed!).

In ten years, I bet he has a very hard time getting and keeping any friends - if he's not the biggest bully. I saw him also playing near the steam tables with the food, in and around adult legs. I just hope someone doesn't trip over him and spill egg drop soup on his head, scarring him for life, or that he doesn't end up getting his hand stuck in the ice cream machine or grabbing a hot pan of dumplings. Because no one else seemed to care what kind of trouble he found.

The other tragic part is, I really liked the restaurant, it was MSG free, our family of 8 dined for $30 (plus tip), and the food was really good - there was fresh fruit, the vegetables hadn't been stewed in oyster sauce and then deep fried, and how can you go wrong with all-you-can-eat chilled shrimp? But I'm not sure if we'll be back.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/17/2007 01:33:00 PM | Permalink | |