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Server Called Out For Stepping Over Toddler Sitting On Restaurant Floor While Holding Large Tray

Petr Sevcovic/Unsplash

It’s no secret that parenting is hard, and sometimes parents have to do what they have to do in order to care for their children.

But “do what you have to do” absolutely has its limits, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

After a giant spill at her restaurant table, Redditor Apprehensive_Yam7453 made the tough decision to put her toddler on the floor while cleaning up.

But when a server stepped directly over her child, the Original Poster (OP) was certain he was in the wrong, not her.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for complaining (to the manager) about a server who stepped over my child while holding a large tray?”

The OP made a quick decision while cleaning up a mess her toddler made.

“I was at a restaurant last night with my toddler. I was at the restaurant alone (other than my toddler).”

“It was a two-person table with just me and my daughter.”

“She spilled her drink, so I had to take her out of the high chair and place her next to me for a moment while I grabbed wipes out of the diaper bag.”

“She was admittedly sitting on the ground for that moment because I didn’t feel comfortable putting her on a chair by herself.”

The OP was appalled by an interaction with a server.

“A waiter was walking with a large tray and very clearly saw my kid.”

“But instead of saying, ‘Excuse me,’ or pausing for a moment to allow me to pick her up, he stepped directly over my kid while holding that large tray.”

“I was pretty upset because I saw him put the tray down at a nearby table, and it had several steak knives on it.”

“I complained to the manager who seemed appalled that the server would step over a child while holding a tray full of steak knives.”

The OP was sure she had done her best.

“My husband said I’m in the wrong because our daughter shouldn’t have been on the floor in the first place.”

“I agree that typically, a child should never be on the floor of a restaurant.”

“But I had to place her somewhere other than the high chair in order to clean up the spill, and she’s too little to sit by herself on a chair.”

“The server very clearly saw her and made the conscious decision to step over a toddler while holding a tray full of steak knives.”

“I very easily could have moved her had he just said something and paused for a few seconds.”

“But by the time I was able to react, he had already stepped over her.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some said the OP should be grateful something worse didn’t happen.

“You should be thankful the server saw your child and stepped over her and not on her or tripped over her while holding that tray.”

“YTA. Don’t put your kid on the floor.” – WaywardMarauder

“It’s equally possible the server didn’t register the kid was there until it was too late. Tunnel vision when busy is a real thing and even if mom thinks the server saw the kid doesn’t mean the server actually did in time to correct.” – Agreeable-Tale9729

“He was holding a massive tray, and stopping suddenly would have probably ended worse, so it may have been better to just continue on safely. Nothing even happened! YTA, OP.” – katherinemma987

“I once worked at a place that rhymes with Crapplebees, lol (laughing out loud). They have ‘sizzling fajitas’ that come on exceedingly hot skillets, and I was carrying out two orders.”

“A 2ish-year-old came bolting out in front of me from the other side of the bar area, and I had to choose between stopping and likely having those skillets slide off the wooden boards they come on and hitting the kid… or kneeing the kid in the head and continuing on my way to my table.”

“I chose option 2. The parents were P**SED, but I literally told them, ‘Yeah, that’s why you don’t let your kid run around a restaurant, you’re lucky he’s not actually hurt.’ YTA, OP.” – NancyNuggets

“Stopping suddenly gets you hurt in restaurants and so does backing up, you keep moving forward in loops. It’s the law of serving. So is don’t kick children, but there’s nothing about stepping over them. I lift trays over heads all the time.” – Internet_Screaming_8

Others agreed and were insistent the OP was wrong for placing her daughter on the floor.

“She should have used the high chair to keep the baby away from spillable containers.”

“Once that failed, if the high chair was too soaked for the baby to stay there, she should have held the baby and let restaurant staff dry up the spill and/or bring another high chair.”

“If it was a standard open high chair, she should have left the baby safely strapped in and mopped up the spill, then taken the baby to the bathroom to change into a new outfit, and let the staff dry the high chair or bring a new one.”

“Sticking the baby on the floor should never have occurred. Baby could have been badly hurt by being stepped on, or having hot liquid spilled onto the baby.” – Sooozn85

“Can confirm, I worked in a busy restaurant for many years in the FOH. You develop the ability to hard focus on what you need while still registering obstacles. I’m sure the server noted something on the floor and just moved over it.”

“OP, you’re really lucky it wasn’t worse. If that server were less experienced, they could have easily tried to stop too quickly and dropped that whole tray on you, your table, or your kid.”

“Don’t put your kid on the floor in the way, they’re not a diaper bag or a purse. Though… I mean, don’t put those in the way either, but at least if I kick it, it’s not a big deal.” – KirinoLover

“Those big trays full of entrées are extremely heavy, and to stop and wait and have to ask someone who clearly saw them coming to move their child is ridiculous.”

“She kept saying the server saw her, and he should have asked her to move her baby. But the OP saw him coming, why didn’t she grab her child out of the way then? Just extremely entitled of her, wow.” – 81darlenia

“Gross, do not put your child on the floor of any public place. Hold your child and clean the spill. We’ve all had to do it. Wait until you have a second and you are juggling.”

“You should have not told on the waiter. He could have dropped the tray on the child after being abruptly stopped. YTA.” – Typical-Garlic-7308

“I also don’t see why it is such a big deal what the server carried. If they fall while stepping over the child, the knives will fall NOT on the child. They fall behind it. But stopping could cause the knives to land on the child.”

“I also never understand parents that put their toddler on the dirty floor, doesn’t care they are in the way but they’ll raise h**l if someone gets close to the toddler.”

“And the server just stepped over. Where is the deal? I don’t want to put a child and a dog on the same level but who didn’t step over a dog before on a bus or train?”

“Why is a child so much drama? And server really balanced their plates. YTA. So much drama for nothing.” – Sheeps_n_Birds

“OP sounds like one of THOSE parents. Overly sensitive, yet somehow blaming all their mistakes on others, taking out what they viewed as a threat but could have prevented on others.”

“Wow. Just wow. He stepped over her, OP.”

“Her being on the floor was dangerous, probably more so than putting her on the chair for a few moments while you hold her legs and clean up the mess.”

“It’s all about positioning. You put your daughter in danger, not the waiter. The dude was busy at work, dealing with folks all day.”

“You and your kid ain’t special. Just another customer. And just because you are a customer doesn’t mean he needs to bend over backward just for you.”

“You saw him come and didn’t move your child. You’re a huge AH, OP. But have a great day. Take a nap. Reflect.”

“We all make mistakes hun. Just own up to them, and be better. That’s all. And how you be better is by thinking about another person’s perspective.” – icebluemooninthecity

While the OP was furious and insistent that the server should have thought of her toddler before continuing his travels with a large food tray, the subReddit had other ideas.

Not only could the OP have waited to clean up the mess or ask the restaurant employees for assistance, but she also could have placed her toddler on a chair, which arguably would have been must safer than the floor.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.