A mom in Nampa, Idaho, got the shaming of a lifetime from two fellow diners when her 10-month-old son started yelling in Texas Roadhouse, a family restaurant that’s been named “noisiest restaurant chain” by Consumer Reports.
Chances are Katie Leach and her infant son, Drew, weren’t out to spoil anyone’s meal when they headed out to a family restaurant in Idaho. That’s why it was so upsetting, Katie said, to have a note “slammed” down in between them while they were enjoying their meal. The note writers were two “Caucasian women in their late 50s or early 60s” who dashed off the following missive:
“Thank you for ruining our dinner with your screaming kid. Sincerely, the table behind you.”
Leach is the first to admit that her kid is a yeller. Most babies go through a stage where they do this, as a lot of moms will tell you. They just make loud, perfunctory noises in response to pretty much anything — frustration, hunger, happiness and because they feel like it. In this particular case, Drew was excited, the restaurant was noisy, and when a group of servers burst into a birthday song, that was all she wrote: He was in full-on yelling mode.
A few people tried to calm him down, which was fruitless, so eventually they all just decided there was no point in arguing with a being incapable of higher thought. Which is why it’s so weird that, after getting the note, Leach approached the two women. She explained about the yelling and told them her son was still learning, to which they replied that their grandchildren never behave like that, and presumably everyone rolled their eyes so hard they fell out.
We’ve seen this situation over and over again, particularly in restaurants: Kids do something annoying and childish, fellow diners/servers/restaurant owners sashay up and call them out, parent gets angry, social media hackles are raised. Rinse, repeat, ad infinitum.
Sometimes one party is clearly in the wrong. Typically, most people will rightly side with the restaurant or fellow diners. This time, though? Let’s just say someone in the restaurant threw a big pee-pants tantrum, and it wasn’t the 10-month-old.
Ten months is way too young to be held to the standards that society has held out as proper dining etiquette. That’s because a 10-month-old baby is barely even a person. They just do stuff, completely incapable of purposefully pissing off crotchety people. As Leach pointed out, he’s learning. He’ll get there. In a few years, if that kid is still screaming for zero reason and his mom doesn’t do anything about it, maybe a little ire is deserved.
Secondly, Texas Roadhouse is a family place. As in, families welcome. As in, if the thought of a baby being anything other than silent is enough to ruin your meal, you may want to consider a quieter, more high-end establishment. The world is not your personal baby-free zone, so it’s a necessity to accept that when you are out in public, particularly when you choose to be out in public in a place that actively courts families, you might trip over a noisy kid or two.
More: Breastfeeding mother told to leave restaurant after ‘offending’ customers
More to the point, Texas Roadhouse is “proud to be loud.” It was called the “noisiest chain in America” by Consumer Reports, and the restaurant considers that a compliment. If you’ve ever been to one, you may be baffled at how these two women even heard a child screaming over the noise of the deafening jukebox and rowdy birthday song, let alone had the ability to focus long enough to pen a passive-aggressive missive.
A spokesman for Texas Roadhouse probably put it best: “We are proud to be loud. If you want to hear clinking wineglasses and clinking forks, then this probably isn’t the place for you.”