To (Kind) Strangers

… who are annoyed by our kids.

I’m so sorry we ruin your dining-out experience with your loved one. It’s just we gotta bring our kids out because noone watches them at home. At this point, we still don’t trust a babysitter to watch them in our house. We’re tired of eating at Chick-fil-A and Applebee’s and now we really want to have good sushi. This fancy restaurant is the only place that serves good sushi in town. I’m not eating sushi from Chinese Buffet restaurant, I’m not. And I’m not taking salmon sashimi home.

I’m so sorry that our kids talk a little louder than they’re supposed to. And one of them climbs out her high-chair, gets to your table, and interrupts your dinner by saying “hi” and acting silly. I train my kids to behave in public, but once in awhile, they fail us, they really do.

I’m so sorry that my kids run around at grocery stores. Because everything looks new to them, everything excites them. But you have to believe me, I try hard for them not bothering anyone. Most of the time they agree to stay in the shopping cart, but after awhile they want to get out and see what’s happening. Bless Basha’s with its supervised play center Cub House. But you cannot expect us to shop there all the time. We need to be pretentious too, we sometimes shop at AJ’s Fine Foods.

But most of all, I’m so very sorry, my kids cried for many-many hours in the plane from LA to Tokyo. I miscalculated, I thought my then 9-months-old twins would make a great international traveler even would have their own frequent flyer card. I’m still traumatized to travel because it was simply painful for me to watch them cry, but it really was unfair for you to experience that too.

As a parent with younger kids, I try to minimize the uncomfortable situation with you strangers, by calculating the feasibility of taking my kids to public place. I discipline them and when they really act out, you bet I would remove them from the venue and take them home. But once in awhile our guard is weaken and unpredictable event becomes unavoidable. There’s always shitty moment, and we beg you to understand.

We parents with younger kids just ask for your kindness, to have a never-ending tolerance for these little people that somehow cross their path with you. I know they are not even yours yet they often step in your comfort zone and ruin your mood. But hey, sometimes in life we have to deal with things that are not pleasant.

And for what it’s worth, we’re all once little kid.


Uly Siregar
A mother of soon-to-be 5 years old, and 2 years old twins.

This has been a guest post by one of my Indonesian friend/blogger/writer. She’s an awesome writer, her writing has been featured on Indonesian magazines (pssst, she used to have her own sex column).  Uly Siregar is a former Indonesian journalist, currently a contributor for a newspaper in Jakarta and a grad student. She lives in a quiet suburb in Arizona with a husband and three little girl. Read more about Uly Siregar and please show her some love.



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9 Comments on To (Kind) Strangers

  1. Uly Siregar
    October 22, 2011 at 3:44 pm (5 years ago)

    Aww… thanks, Oyen. Remember, you still owe me!!

    @Bicultural Mam, Jessica, Susan: Thanks!! and Greetings from the writer 🙂
    Uly Siregar recently posted..Raising You with a PrayerMy Profile

  2. Alexandra
    October 24, 2011 at 1:38 am (5 years ago)

    New Follower to your blog!! Love this post!

    I have an almost 2 year old, I know how this feels!
    Alexandra recently posted..Mama on a MissionMy Profile

  3. Kiddothings
    October 24, 2011 at 7:44 am (5 years ago)

    Great letter Uly! All the things I have thought of saying to strangers who gave us those looks. And that last line is just perfect.

    Maureen, just wanted to pop by to say thank you for leaving me a lovely comment on my post over at Jdaniel4’s. Much appreciated
    Kiddothings recently posted..Tipsy Friend – Natalie of From Corporate to DomesticMy Profile

  4. Nami
    October 24, 2011 at 11:06 pm (5 years ago)

    This was a fantastic post – thanks for stating our worries so passionately. It’s a shame, because my husband and I stopped eating out because our boys will be boys. But when some passengers fled the subway car we entered with a group of kids, it really made me furious. My friend handles those kinds of people by saying, “Oh don’t mind the rude man, he was obviously never a child.”
    Nami recently posted..Illiterate Tooth FairyMy Profile

  5. Andrea
    October 25, 2011 at 9:44 am (5 years ago)

    It’s tough to carry on when strangers are rude about your kids, but impossible to teach kids how to behave in public if they’re never exposed to restaurants and the occasional pretentious grovery store. 🙂 Parents who come out with their kids: be brave! Your kids have to learn how to act in social settings. They will mess up, and life will go on. Besides, I’ve seen far worse manners in adults in the first-class section of an airplane.


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