August 6th, 2013
03:45 PM ET
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Don't mess with a military mom. A Lake Stevens, Washington, cafe owner learned that lesson the hard way this week after posting a photograph of the aftermath of a family's visit to the Rainy Days Caffé. According to CNN affiliate KCPQ, Rainy MacDuff asked two military wives and their children to leave her restaurant when one of the children had a screaming fit, then photographed the scone crumbs the group had left under a table.

Rainy MacDuff's Facebook post captioned, "I’d like to take this time to thank our customers with small children who don’t make messes,” was intended to draw sympathy to restaurant staff forced to clean up after their young patrons. Instead, it backfired, going viral and eliciting comments threatening boycotts of the business and bodily harm to MacDuff after one of the mothers, Kellea Poore, shared the post with friends and called for an apology.

Those on the milder, but still dissenting side chimed in, saying in Facebook comments:

"Basically,it sounds like you are a snob towards your customers and discriminate against children."

"You made a big mistake making fun of a customer's kids in public. They should sue you!"

"You're lucky I don't live in Washington or I'd dedicate my entire week to make sure you lose as much money as possible for being a disgusting human being. Don't run a business if you can't take what comes along with it. I hope you don't have children. I hope your BS closes your doors."

But MacDuff, a military wife, herself, found plenty of sympathy from restaurant patrons across the country, who agreed that the mothers should have kept their kids' detritus and decibels in check - or at least left a hefty tip.

Commenters on the cafe's Facebook page said:

"Too many times my wife and I have tried to go out and have a nice meal or coffee only to be ruined by loud misbehaved children. So, we agree with you and look forward to visiting your caffe many times in the future."

"If she is a military wife, she is not setting a good example as a military dependent and I'm sure the base commander is not going to see it from her POV either. It's the plain and simple TRUTH that was posted complete with a photo and sarcastic wit."

"Good for you for calling out that messy family! Parents need to know that it's not all right for their children to make messes and not pick up after them. If we had done that as children, our parents would have us on our hands and knees picking up to teach us a lesson, and then they'd never take us out again."

MacDuff apologized for the post writing, "It was not right to do that and I am deeply sorry for any embarrassment it might have caused anyone."

She also sweetened the deal by offering to donate the price of a scone for every comment she received within a particular hour, and has raised $220 for a back-to-school fund for the Lake Stevens Family Center. MacDuff also noted that the moms in question were welcome back - but only if leave their kids at home.

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soundoff (995 Responses)
  1. joe

    "Hello business sustaining, money paying patron. Your children (also considered to be patrons) are making noise. This is offensive. Please cut your meal short, and take your brats with you. Oh, and will you please pick up the mess? Otherwise we'll have to take pictures of your mess and post them on Facebook, and disrespect you for what you are, a failure at life and a bad parent. Oh, did I mention for you to clean up this mess?".

    September 8, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
  2. Mama Techie

    Crumbs on the floor should definitely be the employees' cleanup work, since they have brooms, etc., for that purpose, and presumably they do not expect their customers to enter their restaurant carrying those types of cleaning instruments. In addition, in this case, the family was asked to leave. When you are asked to leave somewhere, are you supposed to delay your exit with extraneous actions (such as cleanup)? I don't think so, I'm betting that kind of delay would cause someone to threaten to call the police! When you ask someone to leave, it is ridiculous to expect them to then hang around and clean up. Seriously.

    March 25, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
  3. Ryan

    I will have to make a neutral stance on this. Yes the mother should have tried to keep the children quiet, but the business owner shouldnt have made such a big deal with the mess on the ground. When you are at a resturant, and especially with kids, you will have crumbs on the floor. But is it really that big of deal when you own a vaccum or broom?

    March 12, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
  4. Dennis Erickson

    As a restaurant worker let me tell you we all despise a family that takes its loud and messy children out in public. We do teams all the time and we kick out the ones where parents don't monitor their children. Restaurants are not playgrounds. They are there for families to get out of their houses and enjoy pleasant atmosphere, food, and company. If you are disrupting someone else's family or even the way a business runs itself by imposing your self proclaimed rights as more important than anyone elses, you dont deserve to be in public. We WILL shun you, and you will become famous for being moronic, not for changing the world.

    March 7, 2014 at 10:20 pm |
    • MMA Fighter

      and we laugh when the ACLU shuts your restuarant down.

      July 29, 2014 at 1:58 am |
      • Canuck (Canadian) Person

        You're not condoning kids' poor behavior are you? (even though I agree kids can't be perfect) and I also hope that you are not condoning irresponsible parents are you?,besides,it's rude of parents to act irresponsibly.

        September 7, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
  5. Mandiski

    I'm a mom. When I go out to eat with my kids, I expect them to be on their best behavior. I clean up their messes (if they make any.) It's called parenting. Although often there are parents of kids with conditions such as autism where this is an exception – however they should clean up excessive messes. There are some people out there – with AND without kids – that feel the rules don't apply to them. People need to stop acting like jerks, parent their kids, and keep their opinions to themselves unless it's appropriate.

    March 7, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
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