Monday, January 6, 2014

The Ripple Effect - Yes, There's a Moral to This Story

Since the big kids were little kids, I have been complimented for their good behavior in restaurants.  Apparently, good behavior in a restaurant isn't very common, as we were complimented almost every time we went out to eat.  One woman even told us she would never go out to eat with her own grandchildren, but she'd go out with my kids.

The good behavior had less to do with my parenting and more to do with the fact my kids have always really like to eat.  Proof:  I rarely got complimented when we were at a store.

We don't get the compliments nearly so often anymore, and I'm thinking it's because the kids are older.  I don't know of any 15 year olds who are still running around a restaurant causing trouble.  You don't get compliments for normal, expected behavior.

A few days ago, I took all the boys out for lunch between dentist and orthodontist appointments.  The waitress not only complimented us, but said, "Your kids are the most well behaved kids I've ever seen."  I thanked her, but my body language must have said, "I bet you say that to all the families," because she followed it up with "No, really.  They really are."

And with that, my children had to prove her wrong.

When we were basically done with our meal, I had Phoenix take Cuckoo to the restroom, which was just around the corner, practically in the main area of the restaurant.  (It's safer to have a big kid take a little kid than to take the little kid myself and leave the rest of the kids to their own devices out in the restaurant.  (And by "safer" I don't mean for my children, but for the patrons sitting around them.))

Once they were gone, Turken, of course, had to go to the restroom.  At 5, he knows the difference between the men's room and the women's room, and begs us to use the men's.  Since Phoenix was in there, I allowed him to go to the men's room, while I continued on to the women's.

The moment my cheeks hit the porcelain, chaos ensued, starting with Cuckoo screaming from the men's room.  (I could hear him from my position in the women's room.)


Then Turken, from outside the restroom (I knew it was outside, as there was not the echo effect that Cuckoo's screams had)...


As I pulled up my pants and washed my hands, I could hear my little lovelies arguing and yelling in the restroom.

When I got out in the hall, Giant was standing just outside the restroom.  He was laughing, saying there was a guy in there who had to endure the ridiculousness of my young children.

I stood out there, unable to do anything about the screaming and hysterical obnoxiousness going on in the men's room.

At one point, the man came out and walked across the hall to go into the kitchen.

Fortunately, I didn't have to storm the bathroom, as my three came out right after him.

I immediately rounded everyone up and into their coats, grabbed the check, and headed for the door, never looking up, as I didn't want to accidentally make eye contact with anyone in the place.  Once in the van, I got the whole story.

When they got into the restroom, Phoenix let Cuckoo go into a stall alone, and Cuckoo immediately locked the door.

Cuckoo then went "#2" and started yelling for me, because that's what he does at home when he needs me to wipe his bottom.

Phoenix was at a loss, seeing as how the door was locked and he couldn't get into him.  He sent Turken out to find me.  When Turken wants to find me, he simply stands and screams for me.  In this case, just outside the men's room door, practically in the restaurant (even though he knew I was in the women's restroom and could have easily come to get me).

Somehow Phoenix did manage to get Cuckoo out of the stall and to the sink to wash his hands, as well as get Turken to stop yelling and get in to go to the bathroom.  Seems Cuckoo wasn't in the mood to wash his hands, but was in his "I'm going to be as silly as I can and make everything so much more difficult for my caregiver" mood.  Thus the hysterical obnoxiousness I heard from the hall.  It didn't cross Phoenix's mind to simply let it go and bring him to me, so I could take him to wash his hands in the women's restroom.

And then I asked the pivotal question, not knowing it was the pivotal question.

"What did the restaurant guy do while all of this was going on?"

"He just went to the bathroom and walked out the door, since Cuckoo and Turken were taking up the sinks."

The restaurant guy didn't wash his hands.

Moral of the story?

Over-complimenting children's behavior leads to bathroom germs in your restaurant food.  Never over-compliment children's behavior.

*To make us feel better about being the cause of a restaurant full of people being exposed to bathroom germs, we have convinced ourselves that he simply chose to get out of the chaos and wash his hands in a sink in the kitchen in peace.  Yup, that's what happened.  I'm sure of it.  No bathroom germs were in the food.  Probably.

Have a lovely day!


  1. I'd like to think restaurant guy washed his hands in the kitchen. At least, I fervently hope so.
    My son always, ALWAYS had to poop when we went to a restaurant. He did this up until he was about 5. And not only did he have to go, he had to talk about it the entire time he was in the stall, loudly announcing his progress. Good times.

    1. Why do children have to announce their progress and talk about it all the time? Oh, wait. It's not all children. It's boys. Nevermind. Question answered.

  2. Now I remember why I only had one child per adult! We even got lucky in that genders were balanced!

    Let's sure hope there was a special sink in the kitchen for that purpose or, at least, antibacterial hand sanitizer! May want to check the papers to see if there was a Norovirus outbreak in the area of the restaurant.

    I may be headed to Indy this next weekend. What chain should I avoid? Or, what area of the city should I steer clear of?

    1. Yes, the divide and conquer is quite helpful. Except it doesn't really matter how many in our case, since I'm so frequently without COW. I'd be up a creek no matter how many kids over 1 we had.

      I hope, I hope, I hope. I am sure this happens in other places, it's just I've never seen it first-hand in other places. I can stay naive in other places.

      It was a family restaurant near the intersection of Rte. 135 and County Line Rd. Drive safely! There's going to be a lot of rain on Saturday!

  3. Yes, I am sure that he washed his hands in the kitchen...but PLEASE text me to let me know which restaurant to avoid.

    Oh wait...I don't go to restaurants much at all so I bet we'll be ok. ;)


    1. Surely he did. Because otherwise...Can't even go there.

  4. Right on, compliment, though not too much lest it gets to their heads!! Thanks for sharing, Christine!

  5. First of all, hilarious pandemonium at the restaurant. And I say hilarious cuz it wasn't me and my sons, who have never, ever received a compliment in public for their good behavior. They have actually been decent in a restaurant on several occasions, but I guess not enough to elicit compliments. But OMG, I hate the bathroom drama! My 6yo always has to pee when we're halfway done with shopping at Target. So annoying.

    Yes. That man washed his hands in the special kitchen sink. That is the only thing to conclude or my brain is going to freeeeak OUT.

    1. It probably has nothing to do with your kids as much as the fact you don't have 6 kids. Regardless of behavior, 6 kids attract a lot of attention.

      Oh, that having to go to the bathroom while at the store is maddening!

      Yes. yes he did.

  6. I get so squeamish when I think about potlucks and bake sales but for some reason, I've completely convinced myself that restaurant people all wash their hands. I'm going to continue in my delusions and assume the guy used the sink in the kitchen.

    And with six kids, one bad restaurant trip out of many impressive ones is a feat!

    1. I do, too. I have to put it out of my mind or I'd never eat anything but what I cook. I don't like to cook THAT much. I do, however, avoid the food of certain individuals because I just know too much.

      Yes, they are quite good for the most part, so this episode doesn't take away all the good ones. It was pretty bad, though.

  7. You just never know about that restaurant people do or don't do. I try not to think about it.

    Your kids are a hoot. Never a dull moment.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    1. I don't think about it either, as staying in the dark about such things makes me feel better. I just hate that it happened right in front of me. It's a lot harder to stay in the dark that way.

      No, dull moments are quite rare around here.

      Thank you!

  8. This reminds me of that old Seinfeld episode with Poppy. :)

    1. Ack! How did I not remember that and include it!?!?!?! My dad will be so disappointed.

  9. I once got complimented on Neff's good manners at a restaurant. By the waiter. Until he came back and saw that the kid had just put tomato ketchup on his sweet pancake, and was tucking in with gusto.

    The one I always remember being a laugh was taking six of the nursery kids (ages 3 or 4) on a walk to the library, and them ALL deciding they needed a wee at once. In the one toilet. Which wasn't meant to be open to the public, but which the library staff kindly let us use (rather than spend ages mopping up the otherwise inevitable puddles). I'd have one kid on the toilet, one washing their hands, three hopping and trying to hold it in, and the one who'd gone first trying to escape.

    OhBOY I do not miss that.

    1. Ha! That is quite an image you describe there. I can picture it, no problem. Torturing people's eyes is a much better occupation in that respect. :)

    2. I do not TORTURE people's eyes! :p

      I gaze deeply into them.

      (okay, well there's the stinging eye-drops and the blinding lights, but that aside...)

  10. I hate to tell you this christine but that guy made it look way too easy not to wash his hands... To think that he does it on a regular basis

    1. *covering my ears* la-la-la-la I can't hear you, because if I hear you I will have to ponder that thought. So, la-la-la

  11. Kids can be funny sometimes and come up with some of the funniest things to do. I could just imagine your "middle" one yelling for you in the hallway and then the little one show boating and having fun. The end was priceless. I hope they had a sink in the ktchen, but you are not supposed to use sinks where you prepare food to wash your hands after going to the bathroom. Makes me shudder just thinking about it. LOL How you did you keep your cool i all the chaos. My hats off to you. :)

    1. I know they shouldn't use sinks in the kitchen. I was just hoping there was a little sink in the corner that people can wash their hands when they get to work.
      I keep my cool pretty well when there are witnesses. :)

  12. Oh my gosh I am still laughing at your cheeks hitting the porcelain comment. And I am so glad you did not name the restaurant, cause I am sure he washed his hand. I mean he had to, right? Right? Please say right.

  13. I would put that restaurant on my list of "DO NOT EAT THERE AGAIN" establishments. I think we all have to convince ourselves that anyone handling or food washes their hands or lots eating establishments would be out of business. Let me move on since I really don't want to think about it any longer.
    Bathroom drama in restaurants and stores has got to be some kind of parental rite of passage. Why? I've had too many episodes so I had to have passed by now.
    Does make for a good story though!

  14. Oy! What a story! I like how detailed it is ... uh, too. These are things where it's too bad you didn't have a voice recorder to share all of this!

    I'll also hope the guy working ran from the chaos and washed his hands in the kitchen! Or maybe he's just a dishwasher??


Thank you for taking the time to tell me what you're thinking!