To let DS feed himself from the highchair tray?

(311 Posts)

Long, sorry...

Birthday lunch for a family friend at a country pub. 8 adults, DS1 (3yo) and DS2 (13mo)

We eat out a lot with the DC so they behave pretty well; no shouting, chucking food etc. DS1 eats like a mini-adult, uses cutlery, no probs. DS2 feeds himself nicely and has done for months (BLW) but as his pasta has arrived as an enormous adult-sized portion on a plate, I pick up a dollop or two and put them on the tray of his highchair. He scoffs away. The babywipes are poised next to him.

Waiter(asst.manager/supervisor?) hovers; 'is there something wrong with the plate?'
Me; confused 'sorry?'
Waiter; 'IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE PLATE?' (crossly, with sarcasm)
Me; <stammers> um, oh, sorry...it was a bit hot...he tends to push the plate around...might get broken...I WILL clean the tray myself and wipe up any mess when he's finished...
Waiter;'oh, it's just I couldn't believe it when I saw you just dumping it on the tray like that'
Me; shock
DH; Er, hang on a minute mate, that's how he eats? No harm done! Do you have children?!'
Waiter; 'no, but I was one once, and my mother would never have just put food in front of me like that...she'd have fed me properly'

At this point my bottom lip went blush and DH asked him if he'd meant to be so rude(!). He then said; 'well, half of your party were 30mins late for the booking, and then she (gestures) dumps food straight on the table....'

I got a bit upset. Soothing noises ensued from all our party. After about 20mins he returns

Waiter; 'um, right, about earlier; I'm sorry you were upset but... '
Me; (cutting in) 'are you apologising?'
Waiter; 'no, thank you for cleaning up, but I stand by what I sai..'
Me; (nicely) 'I don't want to hear it, thanks!'
Waiter; (loudly, while walking off with his hands raised in despair) 'Ok, fine, you just carry on doing that in every restaurant you go to and see what happens...'

shock and grin

WIBU?

LiseYates Sun 24-Mar-13 17:31:05

OK, he might have been rude and could benefit from a course in customer service to address his abrupt attitude, but am I missing something, as I do think he actually had a point (even if he was rude!)
Would YOU just eat your food if it was dumped unceremoniously in front of you? confused
Why should babies be expected to eat off the table? Is eating off the floor OK then if you're taking that stance?
Nothing wrong with instilling table manners at an early age.
I'd have just asked for a smaller plate so it would fit on the high chair tray easily.

MintyyAeroEgg Sun 24-Mar-13 17:37:56

I think its a bit much to expect the childless to be tuned in to what seems normal to parents immersed in baby world. They don't understand about ignoring tantrums and other stuff like that ... and why should they? They'll find out soon enough.

My dc never ate directly from their high chair tray. We had bowls with suction pads underneath. If we were out and thought there was a danger dc might throw their plate then one of us would have kept a hold on it.

Coconutty Sun 24-Mar-13 17:56:59

Well, I think the waiter was a cunt but to be fair my first though was Eww, I would never put anything onto a restaurant tray unless it had been thoroughly and I mean thoroughly cleaned. A quick wipe with an anti bac wipe wouldn't do it for me.

At home, yes, in a restaurant never.

Khaleese Sun 24-Mar-13 18:03:32

Meandmarius...they so can! both of mine fed themselves well before 6 months, my first was 99 th centile all the way. There are loads of videos online of blw babies eating.

You are empowering them and really helping them to use those fingers.

18 months ....good grief.

of course it's more relaxed, it's letting the baby choose for itself what it will eat, the order it will eat it and how to handle it.
rather than having to cook, blend, scoop ea h and every mouthful up and make sure the child eats it. oh, and because they're not learning for themselves how to manipulate food, there's a greater risk of choking.

plus, it does have consequences on learning to talk - they learnlater how to move their mouth muscles, jawand tongue, which can cause delays and problems with speech.
it's not always been the way babies have been weaned, blw was more normal bbefore purees.

SatsukiKusukabe Sun 24-Mar-13 18:54:41

plates go straight on the ground if he had children he'd know that. ywb sensible. He was being a twat

Longfufu Sun 24-Mar-13 19:08:31

YANBU, you sound sensible!

somewherewest Sun 24-Mar-13 20:29:45

15mo BLWed DS has eaten straight off restaurant/cafe highchairs about a million times. He's survived grin. He likes cutlery but plates distract him too much.

blackcurrantjan Mon 25-Mar-13 18:46:44

I worked as a waitress and if I spoke to a customer like that I would be sacked on the spot. I hope you complained.

My DD always eats straight off the high chair tray. Its perfectly normal and natural. When shes finished shes covered in food and very happy. If she picks up germs well and good it builds up her immune system grin

ExBrightonBell Mon 25-Mar-13 19:30:57

Superkat, that video is fab and your dc3 is a cutey :-)

And the OP was definitely NBU! The waiter was v v rude. And wrong.

sausagedogfan Mon 25-Mar-13 21:04:46

We went out for a roast on Sunday. We put DS's food onto the highchair tray, and so did the couple next to us (with their DD). Noone batted an eyelid, in fact the staff were very lovely towards our food-covered children. Just the way it should be!

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