We ate dinner at our hotel tonight. We were seated at one wall of the restaurant and the door was on the opposite wall. Outside the door was a small lounge area with a toy box full of ancient electronic toys and the like. Our kids enjoyed the toy box greatly and we enjoyed having them be somewhere else. They came back to the table with regularity to tell us something or have a sip of their drinks but they mostly stayed out of our hair.
Getting back and forth to our table did involve quite a bit of running across the restaurant and I was slightly concerned that they were going to annoy the other diners or knock a waiter over (there was at least one close call), but the restaurant was loud enough to mask the sound that they made and the floor was carpeted so they didn’t make that much noise. It seemed better to keep the noise that they do make (and there is a lot of it since Eloïse is the loudest talker on the planet) outside of the restaurant and simply subject the others to their occasional passes through the room.
It was with the awareness that our kids are probably often an annoyance to other diners that Ian greeted the approach of a fellow diner with trepidation as he returned from the toilet. He thought that he was probably going to ask him to keep his kids from running past their table. However, he actually asked him what our secret was and went on to explain that their table of four couples in their 60s or 70s wanted to know what we knew that that didn’t when it came to raising children. They thought that our kids were playing noticeably nicely together and were very well behaved. Ian replied that it’s all in the eye of the beholder and that we often think the same of other people’s kids. The man went on to say that they are a credit to us.
Ian returned to our table and told me this tale. It brightened my day. After a month of constant vigilance regarding the many ways that they might be mucking up someone else’s meal or tour or experience of some historic site or other it sure was nice to hear something so positive.