The Highest Chair

Oftentimes when I bring my children to restaurants, people look at me as if I’ve brought my children to a live sex show. How inappropriate!

There is a breed of human that believes that the only restaurant a child or her associates belongs is a Chuck E. Cheese or MacDonald’s play palace. This person – we’ll call her Nancy – did not choose to have children, which to her extends beyond her own home into the wide world which should universally bend to her decision to not have children at all to look at ever the end.

Nancy probably doesn’t remember that she was young once, and someone over the age of 18 inevitably had to put up with her existence. Maybe that adult even enjoyed the silly kid faces she made while they sat at a booth waiting for their fries. And I would hope, oh dear God, that Nancy’s mother took her to places other than the fried/cheese/weird animatronics variety when she was little. I hope Young Nancy got to try sushi, paella and tacos al pastor. I mean, if Nancy only went to Chuck E. Cheese when she was young, I can see why she turned out so deranged. Those places suck. No one enjoys them, not even my children. They stand there staring, mouths agape, while a team of boys punches them in the gut on their way to the slide they are all fighting over.

Children are people too. Parents are people too. We deserve culture, and a good meal just like the rest of you. I want my children to be able to handle a family dinner at a nice place. If our children are being obnoxious, it’s our job to take them outside. If they make a mess, we try to clean up and tip extra. We abide by society’s norms. What else are you trying to do at a restaurant that having children around impedes? Am I interrupting a shouted string of profanity you were hoping to unleash over your panini? If so, it sounds like you are not abiding by society’s norms.

So one day, both of my children were acting unbearably obnoxious. They were driving me up the wall. Sometimes you make decisions that are meant to surprise the people in your life; and sometimes you make a decision meant to surprise Fate Itself. Take THAT! I decided to bring them to a French restaurant on this day.

It went well. They behaved like Madeline and Co. It was like my sudden faith in them shone through to their behavior, and we all ate croissants together.

On this day, I was inspired to start a blog, or maybe even just an Instagram feed: The Highest Chair. Restaurant reviews that are conducted with and centered around my two children under five. Places will be rated on style, atmosphere, taste, innovation, and friendliness to my children. Children’s menus will be rated on the amount of vegetables included that are prepared in a way that is palatable to my children. I know, that part’s hard. But this is my ideal world.

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