Sometimes when I’m at a restaurant I allow my kids to blow the straw wrappers off their straws. It’s usually harmless and there are fewer things they find more delightful than firing off straw wrappers, especially when they strike their intended target (one of their siblings).
And like any other responsible parent, I recognize that there are some dining establishments you simply do not allow this behavior to occur in. But how do you get your kids to understand the difference between a Burger King and a Fogo de Chão? Children can’t always distinguish between the cashier with a name tag and paper hat, and the gentlemen in a suit who confirms your reservation before collecting your coat and hat.
(For the sake of transparency, we never eat at restaurants where they collect your coat and hat. And since having kids, I’ve forgotten what the inside of even moderately fancy restaurants look like, but I trust you still get my point.)
The other night I was able to enjoy a rare occasion with my family as were were blessed with the opportunity to dine at a nice restaurant. But much to my chagrin, no sooner did we sit down, did the first salvos of slender straw wrappers become airborne.
How did my kids not know this was one of those restaurants where straw wrapper projectiles are frowned upon?
It was in that moment it suddenly dawned on me how I can teach my kids to know the difference, and now I will share that epiphany with you as well. If your kids cannot differentiate between the two types of restaurants, then give them the same advice I gave my kids:
“If the restaurant we’re at plays Frank Sinatra, it is not the kind of restaurant where it is acceptable to blow your paper missiles at one another.”
Yes, folks, sometimes parenting is that easy. Now get out there and enjoy your kids!