Monday, 31 March 2008

I love this about Turkey... child friendly restaurants

A few weeks ago we went out to eat at one of the nicest restaurants in town. Elise didn't sit at the table with us. Most of the time she was running around between our table and the play area, singing at the top of her lungs. A lot of the time even Marie wasn't at our table. The owner of the restaurant picked her up and carried her around, showing her to kids, other customers, waiters, and cooks.

That experience is a perfect picture of one thing I love about life here. Kids can just be kids, even at restaurants. People just accept it. They smile at Elise and at us when she walks by their table singing. They think its cute. I really don't know what it's like to go out to eat with little kids in the US, but I have a feeling it's nothing like this. I can't imagine people being happy about my kids running between their tables. I really can't imagine the restaurant owner taking our baby so we can eat in peace, and I'm having a hard time picturing the other diners being happy about the restaurant owner bringing a baby over for them to see while they're eating.

That's really a bummer because I love food in America. When we are there (which is only one month away!) I want to eat out. I really really do. I want to have burritos and pizza and steak. I want to have hamburgers and Chinese and Italian food. Am I going to have to train my 3 year old to sit still and quiet while I eat my meal? Am I going to have to take care of my baby rather than pass her on to a waiter or manager? How am I going to eat in peace? Why oh why don't Americans just let kids be kids?

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