Yup, that was me, my sis and her guy, and all of those little ones were my kids in that restaurant today. Yup, that was my daughter making the mess with her food because she grabs too much and shoves it into her face instead of mouth. Yup, that was my almost two year old giving the soccer whistle screech at the top of his lungs because he can't communicate. Yup, that was my second child yelling at the top of his lungs while having a conversation. Yup, that was my oldest making all of those weird movie effect sounds and tapping on the table. I know it bothered you.
I know you saw me trying to handle the situation. Trying to feed my baby; taking my almost two year old into the bathroom for punishment; signing to my three year old to use signs instead of trying to talk in a place he cannot hear language due to crowd; and trying to get my oldest to stim by rubbing the table instead of tapping it.
It's tradition for us to eat out the first week of February when we first get our returns back. It's the only time I do it because of my kids.
I thank the waitress deeply for putting up with us (yes, we tipped her very well). I thank the other patrons for not coming up to me this time (I have been approached before). I did like the "knowing smile" that the one man gave my sister's boyfriend when he downed his beer and got another one. I really appreciate the nice lady who said "hi" to my oldest while we were leaving and giving him a brilliant smile.
I know we were loud. I know it looked like I had no control over them, but believe me when I say that it could have been worse.
Now I'm going to go and take a bath before one of them starts the nightly wake-up routine they all still have. I am just very thankful that this time no one came over to tell me to control my children. I am very thankful that only a few people looked over with annoyance. I can see you, even while trying to handle them all.
But, again, thank you for not coming up to me to attack my parenting.