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According to Dictionary.com, “ponder” is a verb meaning “to consider something deeply and thoroughly; meditate; consider thoughtfully.”

For some time now I have been pondering the phenomenon of restaurant guests “overlooking” their children, especially their babies. Time and time again we have had guests come into the restaurant, asking for a table to fit their party, and then when said table is ready I discover that they didn’t count their children, so the table doesn’t fit. I haven’t come up with an ideal response for this situation, so my fall-back position is that the children must have adequate room for their own safety.

Case in point: A party of eight came in and requested a table. When their quoted wait time was approaching, they asked if they could be split in half so that they could be seated more quickly. (In case you need reminding, half of eight is generally four.) The first half — a group of three — were seated at a booth for four. The second half — a group of four adults and a baby — were seated at the opposite booth for four, and then wanted a high chair for the baby. They were very unhappy to be told that there wasn’t enough room for a high chair in that spot, as that wouldn’t allow enough room to walk around said baby safely with hot food.

The most frustrating part was being treated as though this was something we could have foreseen, even though they had not disclosed the presence of the baby! It often makes me wonder…ponder…whether they ignore their babies at home, as well.

As the King of Siam would have said, “That IS a puzzlement!”

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