I've been lucky lately, and haven't had any truly horrendous children to contend with. I'm sure now that I've said that, my next shift will be nothing but screaming, puking monsters. Dammit.
Another server's table last night was a woman in Army fatigues, her three year old daughter, and grandma. They started out in a booth inside, but moved outside when the kid started screaming. I thought that was considerate of them – at that point nobody else was sitting on the patio. Of course, once you get one person out there, the patio stops being invisible and suddenly everyone wants to be there.
So it was about half an hour later that I approached the patio door with my arms completely full. It was one of those heavy loads that I knew I would be fine getting to the table, but if I got delayed for long it would start to hurt. But we were so slow, and there were no big tables in the way, so I figured I'd be fine. I'd forgotten the screamer on the patio.
Sure enough, I approached the patio door and the kid was sprawled on the ground just outside it, whimpering as if being tortured. Normally I'd just knock the door open with my hip and be on my way, but instead I had to stop and stand there. The table next to the door thought I needed help getting it open, and a woman in blue was getting up to help me.
“Oh, I'm okay. There just a little girl having a fit outside the door.” I said it in my most sympathetic tone of voice, not even showing my true irritation.
“She's been having a fit since they got here!” The woman watched as Army-mom berated her child, still blocking the doorway. Then she began re-arranging items on the patio. At first I couldn't figure out what she was doing. Then I figured out she was blocking it so her kid couldn't leave. There's a gap in the railing right where the door opens, I assume for fire safety purposes. So instead of, you know, controlling her child, Army mom began moving our large flowerpot to block the entrance. Then she moved our server cart.
That's what really pissed me off. That cart has condiments, napkins, water pitchers, etc. on it, and she just rolled it so it was halfway off the patio, wedged in the rocks, almost everything on it knocked over and in a mess. Oh, and it was partially blocking the door now too! So she could ignore her kid.
At that point the lady in blue let out a noise of disgust and started to ease the door open, hoping the woman would take a hint and move her goddamn kid. Eventually she did, and I gratefully dropped off the food in my arms before it splattered all over the floor. I'd been standing for at least a minute, probably almost two, while this woman let her child scream and re-arranged restaurant furniture.