A well behaved child acts like a child. Sometimes this is sitting quietly and drawing. Sometimes this is running about giggling. Sometimes this is having a bit of a cry because you are tired and hungry.
Today I went out to lunch with some lovely girlfriends - two with teenagers and adult children and one childless. Chubs came too, and acted like a normal toddler.
My friends were very welcoming and supportive. They were happy to arrange the times around nap time (which actually backfired anyway, since toddlers can be a little unpredictable...) The friend who booked arranged a high chair and no one minded when I didn't finish a sentence.
The other diners were very understanding. Middle aged and elderly women gave me the "I've been there and I understand" look as I raced after Chubs as she made a dash for the carpark. A young couple who sat near us were encouraging of Chubs when she showed them her trucks and danced around while they were eating their meal. The young man gently grabbed Chubs when she made yet another run for the door when I couldn't get to her fast enough. It's very comforting to know that a random stranger cares for Chubs' safety.
I rang the cafe to thank them for not treating a child as an inconvience and I spoke with one of the owners. He hadn't been there when we were, and he said when he arrived he saw the sultanas on the floor and asked his wife if their almost two year old granddaughter had been in. He assured me that normal child like behaviour wasn't a bad thing at all and 'you can't just tell them to sit quietly'.
Both the owner and my friend commented that having Chubs/ children around made for a more enjoyable, fun and happy atmosphere. It's a real blessing to go somewhere were he vibrant and bubbly personality is valued and celebrated, rather than seen as something that I should apologise for.
Jamie Lynne posted a similar article, and it actually came across my newsfeed just after I got home from lunch which I thought was wonderful timing. Of course I'm not saying that children should be undisciplined, disrespectful, unattended or unaware of their surroundings. It was refreshing to go somewhere where children weren't just tolerated, but celebrated as a vibrant and beautiful part of the mosaic of life.