Let me just say that when I decided to bring my 4 year old niece into the “family friendly” restaurant I had no idea what I was in for.
I should have brought a lasso and my Vera Wang tote bag filled with Vodka nips.
When I got there the first sign of trouble were the other pre-schoolers milling about. Running in circles they were free-range children with rule of the roost while their parents were seated eating. Only an occasional half-hearted calling of the children’s names by each parent could be heard. You could tell it was as if the parents were resigned that they had already lost the battle.
The restroom smelled like SeaWorld in Orlando. I gagged when I walked in. I don’t think it had been cleaned since the late 90’s. Ummm, nope not going to be using it.
Then it happened. My own niece defiantly joined the other free rangers, defiantly protesting to me not to be hungry. They all hudddled in the center of the restaurant, these free-range kids. Dancing, chatting, frolicking, rolling on the carpet!
Oh hell no……
The food comes and I’m trying to put the habeus grabus on her and get back to our table.
Soon as we get there, she breaks loose and heads back to the chicken collective. I follow in pursuit. From our table to the chickens, back and forth we go, several times before I start wishing I had brought a lasso.
Nothing seems to work, there is strength in the chickens’ numbers. No amount of limit setting is working with my niece. It is in this moment as I am so overwhelmed I just want a very strong drink. My nerves are shot. I wish I had a nip or two of marshmallow Vodka in my purse.
Why can’t the people who build these family friendly restaurants just start constructing bars in them? Oh wait, they’d fail to be family-esque.
The first place I’d personally put a bar would be at Chuck E. Cheese. Been there enough times now to want to bring along ear plugs at very least.
Drained and exhausted we leave with out one bite of my niece’s food being consumed. As soon as the car pulls out onto the main thoroughfare, I hear the dreaded words,”I’m hungry now.”