Surprising Reward for Family Who Removed Screaming Toddler From Restaurant


The Wistehuff family received a generous surprise after they took their screaming 2-year-old out of a North Carolina restaurant. (Photo: Facebook/Melissa Wistehuff)

You may have heard about the owner of a Maine diner who screamed at a fussy toddler for making too much noise. This week, a family of five — including one frustrated 2-year-old — had a much better experience at a North Carolina seafood restaurant.

When Melissa and Jason Wistehuff took their three kids — Ian, 2; Eva, 5; and Luca, 7 — to Sammy’s Seafood House in Morehead City on Monday, their youngest son threw a temper tantrum. “It went from zero to 60 in the blink of an eye,” Melissa tells Yahoo Parenting.

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“[The restaurant was] packed, but they were able to seat us right away, but it took us a while to get service,” she says. “My youngest child was getting grumpy. He was fine, at first, coloring. He had a nap earlier that day, so there was no warning that he was going to do this.”


Melissa’s three children, aged 7, 5, and 2. (Photo: T and T Photography)

“He was arching his back and stiff as a board, and he has kind of chubby legs, so it was hard to get him out of the high chair. At one point I looked at my husband and said, ‘I’m taking him outside in his high chair,’” Melissa says. She was getting a few annoyed stares from other diners, but she managed to get her son out and even walked across the street with him.

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After about 15 minutes, Ian calmed down, so he and Melissa went back inside. But the toddler’s good mood didn’t last long. “As soon as he took that last bite, he started again,” Melissa says. This time, Jason took Ian outside.

Then, things turned even more chaotic. “My oldest son looked at me and said, ‘Mommy, I think I’m going to throw up,’” Melissa recalls. So she took Luca to the bathroom, instructed Eva to stay at the table, and asked for the check.


Sammy’s Seafood House in Morehead City, North Carolina. (Photo: Facebook/Sammy’s Seafood House)

When the waiter returned, he had some surprising news. “He said, ‘Sorry I took so long with your check. I was about to run your credit card, and someone came up and paid your tab,’” says Melissa. The waiter explained that a customer had admired how she and her husband took care of their kids — and felt a little sorry for them, too.

Melissa wanted to leave a tip but she didn’t have any cash. So a guest at a nearby table paid it. “Just when you think that the world is putting you down, they’re not. They’re picking you up,” says Melissa. “They completely changed our night.”

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Melissa hadn’t heard about the family in Maine until this week. “I just know that if someone screamed at my child, I would be really, really mad,” she says. However, she and her husband never think twice about removing their kids from restaurants when they misbehave. “It’s just what you’re supposed to do,” she says. “We’re the type of parents that, if we even get the hint that our children are going to be upset, we take them out right away.”

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