Editors' Note: The Bitch is back, ready to irk us again with another tirade. This time, she sets her sights on our kids' restaurant behavior. If you see her at your local eating establishment, buy her a drink—it's tough eating every meal alone.
Last night, I dined at a four-star restaurant with a surprise guest sitting at the table to my left. This 'surprise guest' was a 3-foot tall, rude, smelly, loud, and unwanted addition to my menu. Ring a bell? Well, it should because it was...YOUR child.
What the hell is going on in this world?! Mothers of America, you are clearly confused... again! Thank goodness I'm back and ready to clear things up. Bring your exhausted faces closer to the computer screen. Are you ready? Are you listening? Here it goes...keep your children out of restaurants!
As good as you've become at lying to yourself, little Rugrat can't sit through a meal lasting longer than 10 minutes. He is running around the restaurant screaming at the top of his lungs, and every time the waiter comes to the table he belts out something along the lines of, "This food sucks! I want hot dogs!" While you can't see your child scaling the back wall - for some reason, I can! Silverware should be used instead of fingers, and until he understands the difference between a Play-Doh craft project and a three-course meal, keep it at home.
Now, because I understand keeping your children out of all restaurants is a lofty request, it has come to my attention there are many culinary chains available and particularly welcoming to children. While I can't bring myself to understand why in God's name anyone would open, work or invest in such a place, I see the need for it. So, because you are such a 'busy' mommy and have self-diagnosed 'momnesia,' it only makes sense that you can't differentiate between Wolfgang Puck's newest culinary destination and the Wal-Mart Food Court. So, to help the breastfeeders (and save the single nation), I have created a little test to easily determine which restaurant is right for you and your monster squad.
It's Friday night! Hooray! And because Jimmy passed his weekly
spelling test, you want to take the family to dinner. Double hooray for
you! With a particular restaurant in mind, and before driving the
minivan ANYWHERE, answer 'Yes' or 'No' to the following questions:
- Are plastic take-home cups, crayons and breadsticks complimentary with my child's order?
- Does the hostess respond by laughing when asked if making a reservation is possible?
- Are there readily available booster seats in the restaurant and changing stations in the bathroom?
- Are the words 'endless pasta,' 'buffet' or 'kid meal deal' anywhere on the menu?
- Can I find a discount coupon to this restaurant in my Sunday circular?
- Is the 'linen' on the table really paper for my loved-ones to scribble all over?
- Are the menus laminated, and yet still stained with old macaroni & cheese?
- Are prizes given for the most tickets earned at the end of the meal?
- Does the restaurant's name end with the word 'Factory?'
- Is a valet service not provided and only 2-hour parking in a large lot next to the Cineplex available?
- Are the waitresses on parole, still in high school or members of AARP?
- Is the décor rainforest or circus-themed?
- Is there a restaurant mascot?
- Do the only condiments for the table come in plastic packets?
- Next to the exit, is there a gumball machine?
If you answered 'No' to any of the previous questions, local numbers to Pizza Hut can be found at pizzahut.com. It's time to bring the tradition of Friday Night Pizza Nights back to the homes of America!
For those of you self-proclaimed 'foodies' who, pre-preggers, I would normally find dining next to me - this message especially goes out to you. If you are 'above' eating at places you might find off the NJ Turnpike, you are obviously not cut out for motherhood. The only famous chef you'll be running into these days is the King of Cans...Boyardee. Which brings up a great question, why are you even eating out at all? Doesn't giving birth to that 'bun in the oven' automatically qualify you as a cook?
And for those of you concerned about the nutritional value of the children's menu options, I did the legwork for you. Did you know Denny's has a Veggie of the Day - it's called the "Moon Crater Mashed Potatoes." What's the big deal anyway? I thought the Nintendo Wii solved the child obesity epidemic?
After all this, if you are still confused, might I remind you of something called Take Out?
Bon appetite and cheers to your Bloomin' Onion!