Every time a child does something in my station that melts my heart a little bit, leave it to another child who will be a raging asshole and turn my heart harder than Paula Deen's arteries. Honestly, I don't hate the kids, it's their parents that I want to beat in the face with a pillowcase filled with salt and pepper shakers. Four top and one child. They roll in with the stroller and head right for the best booth in the restaurant; you know, the one next to the patio so they can park that fucking stroller right next to the door so that I have to walk around it every single time I need to go outside to tables 21 to 28. Real convenient. I watched them settle in and was surprised to see that they realized that the stroller was in the way, so they moved it to in front of the bathroom door. Yeah, that's better. The four adults sat down, but left the baby in the stroller over by the bathroom. I could understand if it was asleep, but this kid was full on awake and looking around like, "Why the fuck y'all bitches got me parked over here by the mother fucking toilet, yo?" I approached the table and quickly recognized an accent that told me they were from Europe; French or Danish or something. I remembered a news event from a several years ago where a couple from Denmark got into some hot water for leaving their baby in a stroller on the sidewalk while they ate inside at a Dallas BBQ restaurant. It was a cultural difference but the mother ended up suing the city and blah blah blah. I think the real crime in that situation was that someone was actually eating at Dallas BBQ's. That should be a life sentence of irritable bowel syndrome with no chance of parole.
After a few minutes, little Cheery Danish got tired of listening to people dropping their kids off at the pool and started hollering to get out of the stroller. They brought her over to the high chair I had lovingly placed at the head of the table and they started to order something for her to eat. "Do the home fries have peppers in them?" they asked. I let them know that they did in fact have some diced red peppers in them but they weren't too spicy. "Do they have salt?" was their next question. Of course they have salt. It's a freakin' potato. A potato without salt is like a margarita without tequila-why the fuck bother? "Oh, can you make a batch with no salt?" What do you think? It's not like we make the home fries per order. They are made in advance and get thrown onto the plate. Hell, no we can't go make a new batch just so you can have a sodium-free Cherry Danish. I told them it was impossible but I could make sure they didn't add any additional salt to the order and they were satisfied.
Two minutes later, I see Cherry Danish wandering around the back of the restaurant while her parents and friends were oblivious to various servers and a bus boy dodging her. If they weren't careful, Cherry Danish was going to get turned into crumb cake. After a couple of near misses, the dad finally got up to hold her. He walked her around the restaurant and took her to the patio to look at the plants. Once outside though, he quit paying attention and before I knew it she was standing in front of the patio door just waiting for someone to open it and send her flying onto the cobblestone sidewalk. What is with these parents? Maybe they were from Amsterdam and totally baked but it just seemed like they had no clue that their kid was in the way and possibly going to get hurt.
I rushed their food out to them so they could hurry up and eat and move on. The little girl sat in her high chair and was pretty good for the rest of the service with the exception of a few blood-curdling screams and an annoying habit of banging a spoon on the table while her parents laughed at how adorable it was. When they left, I went to see the damage under the table and found a good portion of the home fries on the floor underneath the high chair. I swept them up and gave thanks this brunch shift was coming to an end. It's rare that I work the brunch shift and it was a good reminder of why I don't like to do it. Too many kids, not a high enough check averages and being at work at 10:30 is too damn early. I punched out and went home feeling relived that it was over but I couldn't shake the feeling that a Cherry Danish would be better if it was toasted in the oven first and then left in Denmark.
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