Dear man and woman at the pub last night...
Yes, I know, open letters have been done to death, but sometimes a mumma's just got get something off her chest. So humour me.
So...Dear man and woman at the pub last night. It was my 10th anniversary with my husband. We took our kids, 3 and 5, out for a pub dinner while on our Easter break beach side holiday. We were pretty blissed out. For the first time in many years, it was working.
The kids have always, like many kids I know, been terrors out to dinner. They run, get nude, don't eat and throw food. It always ends with my hubby and I eating one at a time, chasing kids and putting out fires. We are on the clock. If there is a long wait or we've messed up the ordering, the night is gone. We always end up arguing about something because we are stressed to the max. Sometimes not even an iPad loaded with brand new My Little Pony can make these guys mellow.
But last night, we nailed it!
The kids were happily playing on the ground next to our table, playing with toys. Our little girl was playing a game with her dolls. Our son was greeting people very enthusiastically, calling out 'happy anniversary!' to anyone he could hail. We know he has a booming voice. We try and get him to talk a little quieter, but he was just so damn happy.
We were sipping wine, looking out to the ocean as the sun set. Does it get any better?
Then a young waiter, clearly embarrassed, came up and told us that someone had complained about our children. They were too noisy.
And I know it was you. And it ruined our night.
Eating out may not be a big deal to you, but we were so proud of our little family unit. Going out for dinner is a fretful experience for parents and we had just had a breakthrough! No one had to take a walk to sort out bad behaviour. There was no yelled/whisper bribing needed. We didn't need to apologise to anyone.
We were having the night we had always dreamed would happen one day, we just needed to be patient.
But then you said that we were too loud. That our kids playing happily was wrecking your quiet dinner. I was horrified. So was the waiter, but he had to relay the message.
And perhaps you had a bad day, maybe something awful happened. But I suspect you are just a pair of misery guts.
My husband told me not to worry. He told the waiter that we could only do our best.
'Stuff em!', he said.
But I couldn't shake it. And that lovely little night turned into one of paranoia and worry. So we ate up, cleaned up and left promptly.
I know I shouldn't care, but we do, don't we?
We try so hard to be respectful. We know kids are at their worst in a restaurant. Eating out can bring so much pleasure, but with little kids, it usually ends in disappointment and tears. Parents try so hard to keep the kids from going nuts and spoiling other people's nights.
My only consolation is that as we left, a young family came and set next to you with an inconsolable newborn, who wailed the place down. And no one, not even you, could complain about a newborn, surely.
Sometimes karma is a bitch.