One Friday night, Mr. R. and I went for dinner at a local chicken wings place. It had been a long day. I’m a teacher and as of dinner time that particular night, I had absolutely had my fill of small children. When we entered the place, it was fairly full and there were lots of noisy kids. Mr. R. and I opted for the outdoor seating where we had the place to ourselves. Our table was near a pleasant trickling fountain and when our adult beverages arrived, we’d found the Zen we were seeking.
Three minutes later and out of nowhere, two rowdy children came tearing past our table to begin splashing each other in the fountain as they giggled and squealed loudly. I felt my blood pressure begin to go up. Mr. R., knowing I’d had a rough day, started to rise from the table, looking for the grown-ups responsible for the little miscreants.
“No FU-…” he began, then switched mid-stream. “George Smith! How in the hell are you?!” It was a former work colleague of Mr. R.’s along with his wife and kids, out for a family dinner.
“Great, how are you? We thought we’d go out for wings tonight. The kids just love the fountain,” he informed us helpfully.
Do they, now? I thought but had the couth not to say. We spent the rest of dinner chatting across the courtyard and listening to them ineffectually correct the tiny hooligans.
Now what have we learned? For one thing, parents need to be more considerate of others when they take the brood out and about. Not everyone thinks your little genii are the cat’s pajamas. And, when you absolutely, positively, must have a child-free date night…go to a bar. No kids allowed plus they have Happy Hour. Winning!