“Your babies are so well-behaved! Great job mommy and daddy!” – Two older women at a restaurant
Typically my response to a comment like that would just be “oh thank you!” but on this night, I seriously wanted to cry tears of gratitude. This past weekend we went to celebrate my sister’s birthday and it was the first time we’ve tried to have dinner at a fancier restaurant. The kiddos started off pretty good, A even sat in her high chair for 15 minutes happily playing with her napkin, but once she got bored of that, everything went downhill. Nothing worked for longer than a few minutes and after about 15 minutes of trying to get the kids (mostly A) to calm down, my sister and I decided to just wait in the lobby for our families to finish up with dinner. We were just hanging out, when the two older women who are on the way out come up to us and comment on how cute our babies are. You know, pretty normal baby stuff. We were feeling terrible about the disruptions they were causing during dinnertime since people were obviously trying to enjoy their meal in peace, so we started to apologize. But before we could even start, they started commenting on how well-behaved our babies were. At first I thought they were joking, but they seemed so genuine and not the tiniest bit annoyed, so we graciously accepted their words.
As I reflected on it later, I realized that in the past, as a single person, or even a married person without kids, I was not the least gracious towards people with ‘unruly’ kids. Honestly, that night we were trying to do the best we could with them, but you can’t tell an 8 month old, let alone a 6 month old, to sit quietly in our laps throughout dinner! All this to say, even the tiniest acts of kindness by strangers during these rough moments make all the difference!
But note to self in the future: maybe hold off on the fancy restaurants for now…
And another side note: I’m so thankful that my sister and I are able to go through this together!