I find restaurant dining one simple joy in life, offering opportunities for everyone at the table to follow their own whims about what to eat without imposing themselves on anyone else. I like the vibrant noise of restaurants, the mix if smells, the comings and goings and different timings. Knowing about the frenzy behind the scenes and the fact that I don't have to do the dishes just adds a layer of enjoyment to the outing. I like food, and I like variety, and I like trying new things.
What I do not like is parents with their children.
Let me be clear: children, I can deal with. Even the random and chaotic noises children make, I have no problem with. I haven't eaten in a hushed restaurant in probably 25 years, so child noises fit in with the noise of forks, breaking glasses, moving plates, the music that many eateries feel is a necessary part of the ambiance, and people talking and laughing over the noise.
I find it mildly annoying to listen to parents trying to hush the natural and inevitable noise children make in an environment that they're barely making a contribution to. I lose my tolerance when parents lie to the child.
Stop Lying to Your Child, and Stop Blaming Me
If you want your kids to be quieter, just tell them to be quieter. If you need to get other people's opinions involved in the request to be quieter, own it yourself. Do not tell them that I want them to be quieter unless I have already confirmed that story, because I probably don't. In fact, out of all of you at your table, I want you to be quieter --I don't want to listen to you using me to pressure your kid to behave the way you (not I) want your kid to behave. I certainly do not want to listen to you make noises that sound like an air compressor. Of all the noises in the world that are louder than the ambient sound in any large, people-filled space, shushing is only slightly less attention-getting than gunshots.
photo Pay No Attention to the Blues by goldsardine used with permission (Creative Commons, Attributed, Non-Derivative)