By Dana B. Patterson
When I was in college, I waited tables at a cafeteria-style restaurant. Our usual customers were older couples and groups who loved inquiring about our collegiate pursuits, and the other servers and I loved indulging them. But we cringed when one particular family with two children came in almost every Sunday.
The children, although cute, behaved horribly. They ran around the dining room, yelled at each other, dropped food everywhere and usually spilled a drink. The parents did nothing to corral the kids, made no apologies for them and didn’t even leave a tip. No one wanted to wait on them, so we all decided that when we had children of our own, we would raise them better than that.
Fast forward 11 years when my first little bundle of joy came into the world. My husband and I had grand dreams of polite, respectful children but no clear plan. I think we might have done something well because our children have been complimented on their manners a few times. I am relieved that they save most of their courteousness for public, but our children aren’t perfect by any means, and they do have moments that make us want to cringe. Continue reading