I don't like kids.
There, I said it.
Some kids are pretty cool, I admit. My nieces are awesome -- they're funny, wicked smart, gorgeous ('cause they look like their fabulous Aunt Susie), and polite. My friend Rachel's grandson is a flirty little ball of adorable. And I'm pretty sure I'm gonna try to talk my boyfriend into knocking me up a few times.
So maybe I should amend my statement: I don't like kids in public. Well-behaved children at the restaurant are so rare that I always make sure to compliment them to their parents. Most of the time, when I have a table that has young children, I know that I'm going to have to scramble to do the following: hoard the chocolate milk (because if we run out, that kid will start screaming), get the kid's food out as soon as possible (same), try not to trip over the highchair that is blocking my access to the table, clean up messy napkins and baby wipes (I always cringe when I go to clean up trash from a table and accidentally touch a Wet-Nap), and try to sweep under the table before another customer sits there.
This was my situation last night:
I waited on a table of two women, a pre-teen, one young child, and a baby. Like, a baby baby. They were my last table on a slow, rainy Monday night, and they camped for a while after I dropped the check, so I used that time to roll silverware. They were just leaving as I was bringing my silverware out to the front of house. "Thanks for coming in!" I called to them, and they nodded to me. I went to the empty table to grab their dishes and check presenter, and saw this.
I called the manager over, and we knelt in front of it, examining it like archaeologists on a dig. He carefully swept his notebook within this pile of powder and concluded that it was some form of baby milk formula. So that's why the mother of the baby kept asking me for cups of hot water. But apparently she didn't like the hot water or the formula, because then she decided to dump all of it on the carpet and not tell the waitstaff about it.
People, I get that babies can... say, complicate things, and that accidents happen. In my years of food service, I've seen kids throw up on the table, pull down wall decorations or window treatments, even babies getting changed in the booth while people are eating. But this, here, took three people 45 minutes to clean up, and I wouldn't have been so pissed about it if the lady had just told me. Like, just a heads up, really. It would've been polite, instead of just leaving it (and your footprints surrounding it, and the part of it that landed on the booth cushions) for me to clean, like I'm your maid.
On a positive note, our manager ordered pizzas for the servers and kitchen staff last night:
One cook, while enjoying his pizza, called to me from behind the window: Susanita! ¿Puedo tener una Pepsi? ("Can I have a Pepsi?")
Me: ¿Tienes una taza? ("Do you have a cup?")
Cook: No, necesito una nueva. ("No, I need a new one.")
I got him a cup, poured some ice and Pepsi into it, and said "Aquí, lo tienes," ("Here you go/Here it is," something like that) as I put the cup in the window for him. After all that, one of the hostesses, who's probably about 19, yelled out in disbelief, "Oh my God, do you know SPANISH?!"