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Restaurant needs to treat patrons with children with respect

Letter to editor

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POSTED: May 8, 2013 11:00 p.m.

Editor, I am writing to you about what happen to me and my children at a restaurant in Hinesville. First, let me say that I am a mother of four and my husband is currently deployed, so I am doing it all alone.
I do enjoy getting out of the house once in a while to take my kids out for a treat. Now, with that said, two of my four children are developmentally delayed in speech, and they see a therapist for that. They are twins — almost 3 years old — and say very few words. They do cry a lot because that is their way of communicating.
I want my story to be heard. I feel like my children were done wrong. I went to a restaurant in Hinesville today for lunch and to get my twins an ice-cream drink. My kids were crying because they were hungry and the drink had given them a “brain freeze.” My kids were not running around or acting crazy. They were sitting still, but crying. My children are developmentally delayed, and they do go to speech therapy, but it’s a work in progress. The only way they know to communicate is to cry.
The restaurant manager came over and told me I needed to make them be quiet or leave, because no one wanted to listen to my children cry while they ate.
I told her I was sorry and said, “They are children, and kids do cry.” I asked her whether she had any children, and her response was, “Not like those.”
The people who run the restaurant said my children were annoying and out-of-control. I would hardly call crying “out of control,” but they said I should apologize to the people who had to endure my children!
As a mother of two children who aren’t “normal” to others, I want everyone to know that they are quite normal to me, and I will never apologize for the fact that my children were born with something they can’t control. I hope no one ever has to feel the way I felt. I am disgusted that they treated my kids that way.
I did ask the people at the table next to me if my children were bothering them, and they said no. I got a refund because my order wasn’t ready yet, and I left. I will never go back to this place.
When did a crying child become a problem? If the people who run that restaurant don’t like children in their place of business, then they shouldn’t sell children’s drinks. That manager didn’t have to react the way she did. She could have come over and asked, “Can I bring them something?” or “How can I help?” instead of giving me an ultimatum  to keep my 2-year-olds quiet. It was a ridiculous experience.

— Jennifer Tucker
Hinesville

 

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