I found this out last Saturday. My wife and daughter went shopping and I kept the one-year-old grandkid. I thought it would be a good time to enjoy a nice dinner at my favorite Chinese restaurant. Yes, the grandkid likes Chinese food. And he knows how to eat by himself, with utensils, so it wasn’t a big deal. Or so, I thought.
We got a lot of strange looks from staff and other customers the minute we walked in. The hostess, who wanted to seat us at a large table, kept asking if the rest of our party would be coming soon. When I finally got through to her that were alone, she gave me a strange look but seated us at a table for two. Even the waitress appeared concerned, asking if I needed her to help me feed the kid. I guess that was a nice offer but, uh, no. I’m quite capable of managing on my own.
But, apparently people just don’t expect guys to take young kids to a restaurant. I think what they expect is guys to be incompetent, or intimidated, or something. Well, maybe some guys are. I am not. That doesn’t make me special. Taking care of a one-year-old is not exactly hard. And doing it successfully shouldn’t give anyone bragging rights. It should be just normal. When my own kids were little, I took them anywhere and everywhere I went. Seems only natural. Especially since the alternative would be to leave them home alone. Pretty sure that would cause more problems than whatever catastrophe everyone is waiting for.
Eventually, everybody at the restaurant got used to the idea that we were there alone. But the waitress, still obviously worried about me, came by and in her heavy Chinese accent asked, “Are you okay?” I nodded and she went on her way. But in a couple of minutes she came back by. It was then that the grandkid, who is into mimicking everything he hears people say, looked at her and, in the same foreign accent, said, “Are you okay?”
She laughed, as did everyone within earshot. “He say that like me,” the waitress said, smiling proudly.
We finished our meal, packaged up the leftovers, and went to pay the bill—all the while the grandkid is listening intently to the workers talk, trying to copy them. And doing a pretty good job if the audience response was any indication! His audience being the entire restaurant!
All in all, we had a good time, ate some good food, and... nothing terrible happened. But apparently, according to the wisdom of the general public, guys are still not supposed to take young kids to a restaurant. And they may be right. After we got home, I had only an hour or two to get rid of the Chinese accent the grandkid had acquired—before his mother came back! ~
Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.
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