I recently joined a group of about 15 ladies to celebrate a mutual friend’s birthday. We hit a new downtown hotspot, a Burmese restaurant with an upscale air and fun, hip flow about it.
It was a Tuesday night, a subdued night of the week, not exactly a weekend night chock-full of potential of wine-fueled discussions about motherhood to fuel the midnight oil… Nope, it was a nice evening of good chatter, great company, early expectations and several laughs.
We ordered family style, enjoying new flavors washed down with chilled chardonnay and fruity South American Malbecs. Amid the clinking of forks and glasses, the collective chatter hummed of summer camps, vacations and the latest juicing and dieting crazes – to which nobody abided by that evening.
Altogether we counted that our group of moms have a combined 34 children. That could tally three stacked soccer teams or an entire elementary grade at a Catholic school. But none of our children were invited to this party – after all, our group of seasoned moms had decided it was not appropriate to bring kids to an adult dinner that was scheduled to start well after bath time, no matter their ages.
So as we enjoyed our dinner fare, celebrating our good friend’s birthday, we were astonished when, at 9:15 p.m., as we were awaiting the finale of colloquial birthday candles combined with an unharmonious birthday tune, a young woman approached our table.
The lady was clearly not a mother herself, for what she proceeded to say was something that no mom at our table would dare venture to voice.
“Um, I’m sorry, I know you’re having a great time celebrating your friend, but we have a baby at the next table over that needs to get some sleep and you’re being a bit loud,” she apparently said with a sardonic smile and flip of her brunette hair.
I was glad I didn’t hear her mention this to the Birthday Girl. I heard it after the fact, when aghast, we all ventured out rather briskly, some in wonder of our exit with the apologetic wait staff following closely behind.
The odd woman did not chase us out. We left in our own time, however the timing of our exit was coincidental to her crass request.
I heard this quote through another woman and saw the stunned glances from the women who accepted her strange appeal.
Later, I recall thinking to myself… What a gaffe!
It made me wonder about how some parents might perceive their child’s existence in our busy world.
Should the entire restaurant turn up melodious lullabies and turn down the lights to appease a drowsy baby or should a responsible parent take their baby to a crib to have a descent night’s rest?
Although it was only a Tuesday, it was a buzz-kill. There was a collective exhale and I know we all thought the same thing – been there, done that – but never THAT!
She must’ve been a good friend to ask another table to “keep it down.” Although polite, her demand was out of line.
Perhaps she was one of the most recent TIME Magazines’ coined “child-free” individuals who all of a sudden felt a maternal urge to protect a baby’s slumber.
Regardless, it was wrong. And certainly, not something I was particularly fond of.
I love babies – all babies, even those not my own. We all love babies. And as moms everywhere, we will continue to protect and covet them.
But in our group that night, we certainly have had our share of them. And not one of us moms had ever asked anyone else to be quiet in a public venue so our child could sleep.
One thing I guess we didn’t have time to discuss that night were the first time parenting oopses we have all made … I certainly know I have made my share of them … just not that one on a Tuesday night in a busy Burmese restaurant.