Parenting On Vacation
When it comes to parenting, there isn’t one right way. No matter how much some parents like to think of themselves as perfect, there’s no such thing. However, there is such a thing as a bad parent. Cases may vary, however one example of bad parenting is when a parent just lets their kids do whatever they want, without any discipline.
Not the best mindset for a kid to grow up with, since consequences are a huge factor of growth. How would a kid know if they are in the wrong if their parent never told them so? Well, one day our friend, “Alma” saw exactly that one day at work.
Alma was a hostess at a restaurant on a resort. Usually, when you’re at a resort, people tend to be carefree, however, some will degree. It’s not an excuse for parents to disregard their responsibilities to teach their children right from wrong and discipline if wrong. Well, there was one group of moms who obviously didn’t get the memo.
Even though it wasn’t her place to tell someone how to raise their kids, Alma knew she needed to speak up.
“Isn’t That Concerning To Any Parent?”
It was a busy Sunday morning for the restaurant. But then again, it was always busy as it was the only restaurant on the resort, as well as, most check-outs happened on Sundays. So before guests departed for their trip back home, they liked to grab a bite to eat at the restaurant’s breakfast buffet. They had a wide range of breakfast items— eggs, bacon, cereal, and freshly-baked pastries.
Breakfast time only lasted until 11 am before they shifted to lunch. So as Alma was preparing for the lunch rush, looking over the seating chart, a group of middle-aged women and their children approached her hostess’s stand.
The moment she greeted them, the children, who were all boys and at around seven or eight years old, ran past her and into the restaurant. There, they continued to chase each other around tables, other guests, and even servers. In disbelief of what she was seeing, she turned to the women, hoping they would calm their children down. But they did nothing.
No telling the boys to stop or behave. Not one of them even acknowledged the problem. Not only did it disturb other guests enjoying their meal, but also how dangerous it was. What if the kids bumped into a server, carrying a hot plate? Isn’t that concerning to any parent?
Instead, one of the women said, “A table for seven.”
If that was the only thing they had to say, then Alma knew immediately there was going to be trouble that morning.
“Excuse Me, Ma’am”
Being who Alma was, she didn’t tolerate bad behavior from anyone. Not from guests, co-workers, or children. However, she had somewhat of an understanding for children as they were just kids and “don’t know any better.” Depending on how old the kids were, she automatically put blame on the parents for any rude or ill-mannered children. Parents needed to be the ones to teach them right from wrong. But seeing how these mothers weren’t correcting their behavior, Alma couldn’t help but say something to them.
She said, “Excuse me, ma’am, can you please call the boys back before they get hurt?”
Her response? It was like she had just woken from a trance.
She exclaimed, “Oh! Right!”
Then she called the boys to come back as Alma took them to a table.
Even though it made Alma uncomfortable to even have to address them about controlling their own children, she thought by bringing it to their attention, it would make the rest of their time at the restaurant easier. No preventative accidents on her watch.
Once they settled at the table, the mothers now seemed fixated on the boys. Well, on what they were wanting to eat. But still, this gave her hope. Maybe she judged their parenting skills too quickly? Maybe they did teach good manners to their children and were only distracted earlier because of how crowded the restaurant was? Or maybe they were too concerned there weren’t any available tables left? Or maybe they had a lot on their mind as they were preparing to check out later that day? As that could be stressful.
However, for whatever the case may have been, Alma thought going forward, the rowdy children would no longer be an issue. Unfortunately, that thought didn’t last long.
An hour passed by, and business started to really pick up. As Alma was busy seating other guests, her attention was no longer at the women’s table. Since there wasn’t any commotion at their table in the past hour, she thought the mothers were finally watching over their children. However, it wasn’t until she had to pass their table when she realized she couldn’t have been any wronger.
It appeared the boys were right back to treating the restaurant as their own playground. Instead of playing tag this time, they moved to another game called “Catch.” Not sure how they got hold of a large stuffed animal, but they did and were now throwing it at one another. Not only was throwing a large object in a confined space bad enough, it only got worse the more times they threw it. It seemed they were also playing another game called who could throw it harder. Each time, it got closer and closer to hitting other tables and guests.
One guest was not a fan of the game. He was an elderly man, who was only inches away from getting hit by the stuffed toy. Not once, but on multiple occasions. But did the mothers notice?
Of course not. They were more focused on one another than the disruption their children were causing. When Alma took another glance at the man, he was no longer glaring at the mother, but at her. With just that look, it was clear he wanted her to do something. So as Alma was about to head over to their table, more guests started showing up. Trying to keep up with the rush, Alma asked the server, who was serving them, to say something.
Maybe if the women were confronted twice about the children’s behavior, then they would get the hint and take control of the situation before things got worse. Especially since Alma was too busy with her own job. Before she knew it, it was already lunchtime.
Just to show how busy they were, the only item they didn’t run out of was the pastries. So as they were shifting to lunch, Alma loudly informed all guests of last-minute grabs of the pastries.
Standing relatively close to the buffet, she saw one of the mothers and her son filling up a to-go container with pastries to take with her. That was acceptable since the food was going to be tossed at the end anyway, but what she did next was absolutely unacceptable.
“How Could A Grown Woman Do That?!”
At first, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. As the tongs were in the woman’s hand, she then picked up one of the pastries from the station. So far, no issues, until Alma saw how the woman didn’t place the pastry in her to-go box, or even on a plate, instead started feeding it to her child with the tongs. Alma stood there in complete shock. Was she seeing that correctly?
But that wasn’t the worst part. The woman then had the audacity to put the tongs back on the station and walk away. No concern whatsoever for public health safety or others who wanted last-minute pastries.
And since everyone was preparing for the lunch rush, no one caught her in the act. Except for Alma. She quickly charged over, grabbed the tongs, and headed towards the kitchen area on the other side of the buffet. As soon as she saw her co-workers, she went off.
She shouted, “How could a grown woman do such a thing? Especially under the circumstances, the entire world is under right now?!”
She ranted on and on, not being mindful of the volume she was shouting. However once she calmed down, she quickly realized how easily anyone outside the kitchen area could’ve heard her. She was slightly embarrassed by her outburst, but she still had a job to do.
So, she got a new set of tongs and headed back out to the pastry station. She was just going to set them down and return to her hostess stand, but then she heard someone say, “I’m sorry about that.”
Still fuming over the woman’s action, Alma didn’t even look up to see who was talking to her. It could have been the woman or one of the other dimwitted mothers. She may have not given eye contact, she did, however, respond.
With her eyes focused down on the buffet, Alma said harshly, “It’s not okay for someone to do something like that. Especially since were are still hot off the heels of the global crisis. Heck! We just only lifted the mask mandate this month after a handful of employees finally got our jobs back. Including me!”
The lady didn’t say anything back. She let Alma speak her truth and then walked away. By the time Alma had the courage to look up, she saw the mothers and their sons left. Not sure if the mother felt embarrassed or not, but at the moment, Alma didn’t care. She should’ve been embarrassed by not how badly the kids acted in public, but also how ignorant of her to use the tongs as her personal fork for her child to eat off of.
She expected such behavior from a child, but not a grown adult. And for her to do it in front of her son, clearly showed how their bad behavior didn’t fall far from the tree. Hence the reason why she never entirely blamed the boys for misbehaving, but their parents. It was their responsibility to teach the boys how to act in a restaurant and be mindful of employees and other guests.
If Alma would’ve tried those shenanigans when she was younger, her mother would’ve disciplined her right there and then. Just a simple “Knock it off” would’ve done the trick. Something those mothers should’ve done in the beginning.
At the end of the day, Alma had no regrets about her reaction. If she could go back in time, she would’ve opened her mouth a lot sooner. The mothers, especially the one woman, deserved a taste of humility and maybe she’d learn from that.
Learn basic restaurant manners.