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This week I met up with my friends from schooldays for a Christmas get together. We went to Al Forno's in New Malden. Not long after we were seated at our table several couples came in with their children. Four of the kids were under 10 years old including a baby and it was at a time of night that would be considered very late to eat out with young kids.
The minute they entered the two boys present completely misbehaved at the table. They were screaming at the top of their lungs and running around treating the place as if it were a creche that sells Italian food rather than a restaurant! The little girl was no better either, but what really annoyed me most was the parents of these kids. They did not tell them off at all, they were totally oblivious to what ruckus these ankle biters were causing to everyone around them. Also it seemed as if their meal was dragging on forever. The little brats kept demanding ice cream at a time when they should have left the place and be in bed (it was 10:30pm!), but the parents caved in and let them have it anyway.
After the wholly undeserved ice cream treat, the thoughtless fathers of these kids decided to stay and have coffee. Actually I don't even know when they left the place because wed had enough and left before them.I hope they went home before 11pm because I think it is wrong to have kids under 10 years old in eateries at that time when they should be in bed (for God's sake why is a baby awake at 10:30pm?!). When we were leaving only two tables were occupied and that included the family with the unruly brats.
How are kids supposed to learn to behave in public when they are allowed to run riot in restaurants without their parents telling them off? Maybe this behaviour is the norm in their homes, but it in public no one should be subjected to kids creating a nuisance and ruining a night out for others. I understand that it is the Christmas holidays and people want to go out with their families, but there is a time and place to take young children out and they should not be out so late at night in a restaurant regardless of whether or not it is a holiday or school night.
To be honest there was a McDonald's down the road they could have gone to instead. Kids will be kids, but I think that parents need to be parents. Its not my responsibility to discipline other people's kids, but sometimes I wish I could since it would seem that they don't want to take that kind of responsibility upon themselves.
I hope my New Year's Eve get together with friends will not be ruined by thoughtless parents bringing their unruly kids out in the wee hours when we go out to celebrate the beginning of 2012!
By: Angry Autistic Female