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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Kid, the Bitch and the Waffle

I know the kid at table eight is trouble the moment he rolls into the restaurant in his fancy stroller. His shifty eyes give him away and I can tell that he has plans to ruin my night. He shoots me a crusty with his big blue eyes and I shoot him one right back with my bloodshot ones. We already have an understanding: "I don't like you and you don't like me."

"Mark my words," I say to the bartender. "That asshole baby is going to knock over his glass of water, I guarantee it." 

The bartender ignores me because he is sick of my possibly imagined personal vendettas with every toddler who sits in my station.

I greet the table and I see that the kid already has a small Ziplock bag of Cheerios sitting before him. With pure deliberation, he reaches into the bag and retrieves one solitary Cheerio. He makes eye contact with me and I watch him drop the multi-grain goodness onto the floor.

"I want chocolate milk," he tells his mother.

"We don't have chocolate milk," I inform her. I grin slightly and shift my eyes to the little boy.

"How about regular milk?" I suggest, knowing that regular is a poor substitute for chocolate.

"Just water for him, thanks," Mom says.

I return with a small plastic cup half full of water and place it before the child.

"Be careful, sweetie. Don't spill it," the mother tells her son.

He pulls the cup closer to him while looking at me, his eyes narrow and the left side of his upper lip curled into a devilish smile. We both know it is only a matter of time before water is spilled and I am cleaning it up.

I recite the dinner specials and this is when the little boy informs his mother that he will be having waffles. It's dinner time and we don't even have waffles on Sunday brunch, but this kid thinks he's gonna get a waffle out of me? I wouldn't find a waffle for this brat for any reason in the world. He can go home and have a frozen one but not on my watch and not in my station.

"Sweetie, they don't have waffles. How about a burger?"


"How about pasta?"


"How about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?"

"We don't have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches," I interrupt.

"WAFFLES!!" screams the boy while throwing his hands up in disgust and anguish consequently knocking over the cup of water in the process.

Instinctively, I pull the bar towel from my apron and catch the water before it it drips onto the the mother's lap. Out of the corner of my eye, I see the little devil cross his arms with smug satisfaction and I look at the bartender to make sure he sees that my prediction has come true. He seems to not care that I am in my personal hell with a three year old child.

"I'm so sorry," says the mother. "That was an accident."

Two of us know it was no accident.

"Waffles," he says again, this time with a hint of self-satisfaction.

The mother decides that she will order him the closest thing that we have to waffle, which is our special of the day, zucchini pancakes. I don't know what world she is living in thinking that a kid is going to be satisfied with sauteed shredded vegetables as a substitute for waffle deliciousness. The toddler looks at me as if he has won the game. He thinks he beat me because he's getting pancakes after I told him we don't have waffles. I eagerly ring in the order looking forward to the disappointment that is sure to come. I put a rush on it.

Six minutes later, I am back at the table with the plate of zucchini pancake that has a big dollop of sour cream on top of it. I place it in front of the little boy. "Here you go! Pancakes just for you. Yummy yummy yummy!"

He eyes the sour cream on top. "Is that ice cream?" he asks with excitement. I back away to see how the question will be answered.

"Well, it's not really ice cream, but it is sour cream," says the mom with an air of desperation. "I guess it's sorta like ice cream, wouldn't you say so?" she asks me.

I stare into the little boy's face and lie. "It's totally like ice cream. I can hardly tell the difference."

I am about to watch this kid take a huge bite of zucchini pancakes with sour cream when he is expecting regular pancakes with ice cream and I am quivering with excitement to see how supremely pissed off he is going to be. His mother puts a big bite of non-pancake onto the fork and zooms it towards his mouth. Inside it goes and I see realization dawning over the face of the child. His eyes show his disgust and I can see that he is about to spit it out and throw a fit. And then, he looks at me with eyes of steely reserve. It's as if he does not want to give me the satisfaction of knowing that he hates his dinner. He knows that if he spits it out, I win. Slowly and with great difficulty, he swallows the zucchini and sour cream. His eyes are watering and his lips are pursed. Through gritted teeth, he mumbles out the words "yummy, yummy, yummy."

"You like it??" says the mother? "You like those pancakes?"

"Yeah, how's that ice cream?" I ask. "You like that ice cream? I'm gonna go get you some more!"

I retrieve a ramekin full of sour cream and dump it onto his plate. His mother continues to feed him the pancake that I know he hates and he continues to eat it in order to prove that he is right. In my mind, the game is over and I am the victor.

Twenty-five minutes later, they are gone. I go to the table to clear it off and underneath the booth I see a pile of Cheerios. Not just a few Cheerios, but a whole Ziplock baggie's worth of Cheerios. They have been ground up into a powder that is going to require me to get on my knees and sweep up. Maybe I didn't win the epic battle between us. He has the last word I suppose since he is gone and I am still here cleaning up after him. Knowing that he ate a whole plate of nasty-ass zucchini pancakes when he wanted waffles makes the cleaning easier but I must admit he was a good challenger. Maybe I am not the victor after all, but neither is he. Perhaps it is a draw.

The battle is not over, kid. I will will win the next time. I guarantee it.

Portions of this blog post may have been fictionally enhanced.

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Jill said...

"...gonna get a waffle out of ME?" made me howl with laughter!

Kids, ugh. Just UGH.

Nicole Howard said...

WTF is it with parents constantly pandering to their kids? Is it because they don't want to look like a bad parent in front of complete strangers that they couldn't give a fuck about at any other time? Kids like Demon Cheerio Child get away with that behavior because the parents are afraid to slap the shit out of them in public. FUCK THAT. I will bitch slap,give a good kick under the table or retire to the ladies room where I can lock up the handicapped stall (sorry crippled folk)but I'm in the ass kickin' business and business is good motherfucker!

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! Great job :-)

anne marie in philly said...

spoiled little shit! wait til he grows up and finds out that the world DOES NOT owe him anything but a kick in the ass!

ball gags and duct tape - perhaps you should keep those at the ready.

Anonymous said...

Sooooooooo gooooodddd! Funniest thing I've read in a while. You could be a less whorish Chelsea lately and slang best sellers

KC said...

I'd say you won that one. Sweeping up Cheerios is nothing compared to having to eat something you hate!

Kalei's Best Friend said...

As they say " apple doesn't fall far from the tree".... and to think the kid's mother's mother was probably the same!. We're going to hell in a handbasket for sure!

Anonymous said...

Funny, I seem to remember my parents either telling me what I was having for food, or giving me a couple choices (if we were eating out, at home, it was whatever mom felt like making)and making me choose before the server got to the table. It is my absolute pet peeve to be held up at a table while Mommy tries to get her 2 year old to decide what they want. Pick for them!!! I certainly never starved , even when I didn't like what my mom made or got me, your kid won't either. And maybe, just maybe, it will teach them some damn manners and have them grow up without such a sense of entitlement if they're not getting what they want, when they want, as soon as they pop out! I always see those parents, and just think about how much hell their life will be in another 10 years or so...and smile :)

David Fulk said...

I kept hearing the theme song from 'The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly' playing over the sound system. :)

Rogue Wino said...

Epic Baby Battles of History: Of Waffles and Mommies
you kill me, this post is hilarious

Seamless Web Bitch said...

This is just a wild guess, but do you work uptown Bitchy Waiter? Like somewhere between 59st & 110 perhaps??

JoeinVegas said...

Yup, tie. But I think the kid will win out in the end.

Mary A. said...

I know I am just a hick from Texas, but I kinda have a rule against bringing anyone under the age of 15 to a restaurant that has things like zucchini pancakes on the menu. I just get the vibe that it's not the right demographic.

ya know?

Anonymous said...

I think I just peed...a little

Confessions of a Degreed Waitress said...

lol I second what Mary A. said!

Plus, any kid that comes in WITH their stroller is going to be spoiled rotten and a total pain. The parents need to leave that huge aisle-blocker in the car. Let the kid walk those fifty feet to the front door; it won't hurt him, I promise.

Anonymous said...

What is it with Cheerios? Will he starve if he doesn't have a snack available 24/7?

@Confessions This is NYC, odds are very, very good that there is no car.

Kevin K. Damiano said...

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Anonymous said...

I really enjoy reading your blog. I am working my ass off to get through nursing school and your blog is a great source of comic relief for me. I work as a bartender/server to pay my bills and I can relate to so many of your posts. I just want to say I think you're awesome and I wish you and your husband the best!
- bartender from montana

Pete said...

For once I don't want my time back. Made it to the end with little effort, no grimacing, possibly even a smirk. Well done. You're still a bitch.

The Queen of the Bee said...

yummy, yummy, yummy...OMG!! I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to look at a parent and say something like "hey kid will hate that" or "why bother giving them anything at all??It's just going to end up on the floor."

No(L) said...

Hey Bitchy, I thought I would give you a shout and tell you about something that happened to me last night. As an almost full time server, I see my share of outrageous behavior by parents. I was so happy to see the restaurant that banned children under 6 that I posted about it here (
But I digress, I had a table last night of three young women and two twin babies (2 years old) To say these children were well behaved would be a bald face lie. They were a nightmare. Screaming, ripping the paper on the table and the menus. throwing food, plates, silverware, everything they could get their hands on. At one point, I feel like they were playing fetch with the women - they would throw something just for the ladies to get up, pick it up, hand it to them and then throw it again. Appalling. I was not thrilled (and neither were the folks trying to enjoy their dinners in my packed section) but I trucked on through and smiled nonetheless. Well, would you believe I was in the shock of my life when that young mother motioned me over towards the end of their meal and said "please don't worry about the mess, I am going to clean this ALL up before I leave - it isn't your job to clean up after my brats." Bitchy, you could have knocked me over with a feather. AND she did. She got down on her hands and knees and picked up the mess that her children made. Wow. Good parents DO EXIST.

Waiting In WV said...

Nice! You are a breath of fresh air to a fellow waitress. :)

Kendra Clawson said...

This is by far the FUNNIEST thing I have ever read! Lmao!!

Emily H said...

I have a couple of methods that I personally subscribe to when managing outrageous kids.

#1-Crazy kids running: I watch their planned route, step quickly into their path, and stop, causing them to run uncontrolled, into my legs. Now, I make sure I am not carrying anything hot when I do this. (It is not my intention to hurt the child.) I then look down into the little face and hiss "Stop running!" while smiling benevolently.

#2-repeatedly tries to talk over mom and dad while I am taking their order.

When the parent looks at the child, as to say "What an angel." I lock eyes with said child, lean in, widen eyes with a "no-back-talk-mom-look", give one dead pan look of death and politely turn to the mom/dad, and say "You were saying?" Never look at the kid again, directing all questions to parents.

Rebecca Cowan said...

I am lucky not to have this problem. My four year old will sit at a place and is content to eat what is brought without complaint. She says please and thank you and respects that the server is busy. They aren't there to talk, they are making money. She just gets it.