What a breath of fresh air. A perfect carbon copy of the parents. Cute, cuddly, smiley. Playful, inquisitive, pristine.
Or the worst STD known to man.
When parents bring their children to restaurants, it’s like imposing the flu onto someone else. It was your problem first, why do you make me deal with it? Of course, there are some people who enjoy children…. they love to babysit, they love to serve the children when they come into restaurants, play with them, ask their names….
I’m not one of those people.
I will make a public statement before I delve into the topic of children and what (most) servers are thinking when they are forced to deal with them: I don’t automatically hate children. When they are cute and smiley, they’re some of the best things in the world. It’s the parents that actually get to me, and the things they allow their children to do when they’re in the restaurants.
Server Brain and Server Says occur simultaneously.
Mom Guest: “Hi, can we get five? We need three kids menus and three high chairs please.”
Server Brain: “Sure, let me just close off part of the restaurant for you to clear up some space for those high chairs. And when we run out because you’re hogging all of them, I’ll be sure to direct other guests to you.”
Server Says: “Sure, right this way please.”
The server finds the host to help them set up a table, and when they’re finished doing so the happy family sits down.
Mom Guest: “Great, thanks so much.”
The family gets situated, the server introduces themselves and goes to grab the family’s drinks, and when they come back a child has turned the sugars and salts upside down and is playing with them. The parents continue their conversation, not noticing their child playing with the sugars, and as the server approaches they hear the parents fighting over what food to order.
Server Brain: “Sure, it’s ok, let your child mess up the perfectly placed sugars and waste all the salt and pepper. I’ll be sure to clean that up for you in about five minutes when you’re mad that your table is dirty.”
Server Says: “Are you guys all set to order?”
As soon as the question is asked, another child begins to color on the table.
Dad Guest: “Yes, we are.”
Server Brain: “Do you let them color on your tables at home? No? Why let them do it here, jerkoffs? Just because you don’t have to clean up after them doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start teaching them manners. This is how sh!tty customers start to form.”
The server takes the order, continually making casual glances toward the child with the sugars and the child with the crayons in an effort to subtly tell the parents to keep their kids in check.
Server Says: “Great, I’ll go put that right in for you.”
Mom Guest: “And can we get some more crayons, too, please? Like one of each color?”
Server Brain: “Why, so they can turn the table into a rainbow and shout, ‘Mommy, look what I drew!’ and you can pretend that it’s the greatest piece of art you’ve ever seen?”
Server Says: “Absolutely, I will return in just a moment with those for you.”
The child with the sugars begins to laugh maniacally and starts to throw the sugars at the mother. She is now all of a sudden interested in what the child is doing, and attempts to stop them.
Server Brain: “That’s what you get. If you would have noticed they were doing that from the start it could have been prevented.”
When the server returns with the crayons, they notice the mother has made a pile of all the sugars on the table. She has made no effort to put them back in the caddy, and holds a look fit for a Supreme Court judge when trying to prove her own innocence.
Server Brain: “Well, like mother like daughter I guess. Stupid b!tch.”
As the server walks away, the third, quiet child begins to vomit on the table. The mother and father rush to the aid, asking the server if they could get some towels to clean up the mess. When the server returns, the father takes the child to the restroom and the mother sits at the table watching her other child continue to color.
Server Says: “Here are the towels, miss.”
The woman looks at him with a raised eyebrow.
Mom Guest: “And what am I supposed to do with those?”
Server Brain: “Oh hell f*ck!ng no. Listen, b!tch, I am your server, not your servant. The things I clean up are your child’s spilled juices, remnants of their food, colorings on the table, and all the other sh!t you let them get away with while you’re here. Bodily functions including urine, vomit, spitting, and pooping are all on the f*ck!ng mother. It is not my job to clean up after your child’s bodily functions.”
Server Says: “I’ll go and get some paper towels as well.”
Not wanting to start a conflict, the server drops the rags on the table and walks away.
Server Brain: “Are you f*ck!ng serious you stupid b!tch? You really expect me to clean up your stupid kid’s vomit? I have to serve other people food, I can’t get barf particles on my uniform.”
The server watches from afar as the mother forces the father to clean up the mess after he’s returned from the bathroom. The server brings out the food, they eat in silence, and when they finish up their kids begin to roam the restaurant at their own will.
Server Brain: “How are you not going to pay attention to your kids?”
While walking down an aisle, the server bumps into one of the kids because they couldn’t see them.
Server Brain: “Get your f*ck!ng kids out of my way. Out of everyone’s way. F^ck! We’re f*ck!ng busy and we don’t have time to babysit your f^ck&ng children. It’s not my responsibility if I take it out while you’re not watching. This isn’t a f*ck!ng daycare.”
The kids begin to scream, and other guests begin to get irritated by the obnoxious children.
Server Brain: “This is not a playground. You’re finished with your f*ck!ng meal. Just go home.”
The parents decide to camp on the table, having some in depth conversation about how to figure out their finances.
Server Says: “Any dessert for you folks over here?”
The mother ignores the question and the father shakes his head. The server drops the check as the children continue to scream and play. The family sits there for another fifteen to twenty minutes, acting as though they are sitting in their own living room.
Server Brain: “F^ck%ng pay and go. Stupid. F*cks.”
When the family finally does decide to leave, the server goes to clean the table and help the busser. Remnants of the children’s food are all over the table, underneath the table, and as if in a last ditch effort to piss off the server, it looks as the a crayon has been purposefully squished beneath a chair.
Server Brain: “Keep an eye out for karma, you b!tch.”