Friday, May 6, 2011

A Restaurant Experience Gone Very, Very Badly

The other day in my entry about Restaurant-ing with a toddler, I promised I'd write about the most recent time that Aias behaved so badly in a restaurant that we actually had to leave. This happened just a few days ago at a local restaurant called the Vancouver Vietnamese Restaurant (formerly the Cambie Noodle House). Now let me start by saying that the only people at fault in this situation were Morgan and myself; Aias is only a toddler so he can't really be held accountable for his behavior or the fact that we were in a place where he couldn't be a toddler, and the restaurant was fantastic and accommodating of our situation. So no hate here for our kid or hate for the restaurant, just 100% pure parent fail.

This saga really started earlier on that day; Aias was in a horrible mood due to teething and a cold.  He was clingy, whiny, suffering and just really quite a challenge. The day was spent doing lots of snuggling, lots of nursing, playing with lots of toys and reading lots of books.  Sprinkled in between all those things were tantrum upon tantrum.  He wanted to play with scissors, he wanted to play with the vacuum cleaner and electrical socket, he wanted to climb bookshelves, he wanted to stand on the table.  Needless to say, it was one of those days.  When Morgan came home and suggested we take a walk up to Hawkers Delight and take the food to the park, I thought this was an amazing idea.  Surely tired little Aias would sleep in the stroller, right? Famous last words.

We started our walk up Main Street and Aias was definitely not falling asleep.  Morgan held him for about half the walk, but then he got too heavy and antsy so we put him in the stroller.  We started talking about what we were going to eat at Hawkers (it's really no question for me, ALWAYS Laksa, but Morgan is a bit more daring).  Somehow during the conversation we had shifted our food choice to Thai (we had already walked by Mali Thai so we would consider getting pad thai from Chili Garden).  This again shifted to Vietnamese food which we hadn't had since visiting my parents, and there happens to be the Vancouver Vietnamese Restaurant right up where we were walking. 

Now, here was the moment where things started heading in the wrong direction: Morgan said "I really don't think Aias is going to be able to handle a restaurant, he's in sort of a weird mood."  What I should have done at this point was just agree. We could have gone to Hawkers, gotten some delicious Laksa and Mee Goreng with some fritters, headed to the park and it would have been awesome.  Of course, I was feeling worn down and wasn't about to let a toddler usurp my new craving for Vietnamese.  All I could think about were those warm noodles and that warm pot of jasmine tea.  Aias would have to just deal.

We got into the restaurant and there were only a few people there.  The hockey game was roaring and people were cheering so I figured a little noise out of Aias would have been pretty muted anyway.  The owner greeted us and told us we could pick any seat.  The next thing we did was pick the worst possible seat we could ever have picked. I honestly have no idea what were thinking.  This seat was in the back corner of the restaurant.  About a foot away, and about a foot from where Aias's high chair was placed, was this:

Basically a bunch of tiny, breakable, delicate ceramic and glass ornaments, many of which had LED lights in them.  Nothing a toddler would be interested in, right? Well it took about 3 seconds for Aias to see this set up and get extremely excited.  He couldn't wait to touch and throw every little piece. Of course, we couldn't let him (can't let him get bitten by a turtle right), so his first tantrum began.  We  managed to diffuse this by sitting him on the bench with us instead.  Of course, on the table was this:

Piles of his favorite spoons, except for they were ceramic instead of plastic, Bottles of common sauce that doesn't get cleaned between customers that he would love to suck on, little tiny sauce dishes that were also ceramic,  stacks and stacks of chopsticks - one of his favorite toys of all.  Let's not forget the glass wine glasses and glasses of water. Finally, what's that just above the table but within Aias's reach?

More glass that he couldn't touch!  Well, Aias wasn't having it.  First we were telling him he couldn't break the ornaments; he couldn't even touch them! Then we were telling him he couldn't bash the ceramic spoons and dishes together and break them.  Finally he couldn't crawl up and grab the vases above the tables.  We were the meanest parents ever, and he was going to scream about it, loudly, while kicking and back arching.

This was when we made the next mistake.  We ordered food. We should have left!  What the hell were we thinking.  Morgan tried to take Aias for a little walk around the restaurant but it wasn't going to happen. Aias was going to have every piece of ceramic in that place or he was going to punish us very, very badly for being such jerk parents.  I then made the one non-mistake of the evening, and asked for the food to go. We paid, we tipped (well I might add) and we were out of there.

We were starving at this point so we walked very quickly to the park.  We opened up our food and it looked delicious!

Morgan's seafood hot pot

My dinner combo with a roll dip, seafood rice, crepes and chicken brochette

One last mistake: in our haste we didn't bother to ask for chopsticks or cutlery, and they didn't remember to toss any in. So I ate with the stick off my chicken brochette and Morgan ate using the lid of his sauce cover as a spoon. What? we were hungry =P

The restaurant took the whole ordeal very well.  Right before we left, I noticed this picture high above our table.  Of course I had to take a second to take a photo of it:

Vietnamese breast feeding art!  For some reason that made me feel like they understand. We went back a few days later to try it again. This time Aias slept the whole time. The food was delicious, as always. 

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1 comment:

  1. Those foods looks delicious! Visiting from TGIF.

    Obstacles & Glories, happy mother's day!


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