Every mum knows that going out for a meal with friends can be tough when you have your two-year-old with you.
But a hero waiter in England has stepped up to make sure Katie Donaldson had a great dinner – and her daughter Pixie had an even better one.
Recently, Donaldson caught up with friends she hadn’t seen “for years” at Dough Pizza Kitchen in Manchester. Pixie came too.
“As we sat down, she asked our waiter for a Mickey Mouse pizza and some spicy juice (fizzy water) and some crayons ‘please please please’!” Donaldson wrote in a Facebook post earlier this week. “I’m gossiping away with my buds and Pixie says, ‘Mummy, where’s that beautiful man gone?’ Her words, not mine!”
Pixie and the hero waiter. Photo via Katie Donaldson/Facebook.
The "beautiful man" returned with Pixie's pizza, her "spicy juice" and some crayons. Pixie asked him if he could cut up the pizza into tiny pieces, so he did.
"He even cuts up the bigger bits when Pixie points out that they are not 'pixie-sized' enough, and checks with her that they are all okay before he goes."
Even though another waiter took over their table, the "beautiful man" came back to check on Pixie.
"All this time my food is going cold, I've barely spoken to my friends whilst I've been picking up crayons and making sure she's eating all her perfectly sized pizza, and, lo and behold, over comes this hero who seems to sense my hunger (perfect timing again!) and asks Pixie if she would like to eat with him at the next table.
Pixie with the "beautiful man". Photo via Katie Donaldson/Facebook.
"If she didn't already think he was wonderful enough, he then produces a bowl of ice cream and sits with her, talking about her day, while she gets ice cream EVERYWHERE. He laughs at her silly faces and doesn't once complain at the mess.
"It might not seem like a lot, but that 10 minutes with my friends was heavenly. My food was still hot (ish!), no drinks got spilled, which is a record, all toddler meltdowns were avoided, and, most of all, my little girl had the biggest smile on her face all night.
"So thank you to the waiter at Dough for taking my two-year-old on her first date, thank you for letting a busy mum have her dinner in peace, thank you for making sure my little one felt like a princess, and thank you for going above and beyond your job for a little girl who you've never met before.
"In this miserable time there are still people who make the world a better place, even if it's just for 10 minutes at a time."
Donaldson's Facebook post, including photos of Pixie with the "beautiful man", was shared by friends. In less than a day, the "beautiful man" was identified as Mark Quinn. He was a little stunned by the attention.
“I’m incredibly humbled by it all," he told the Manchester Evening News. "She was just a super-cute kid."
“I’d like to think I was good with kids and will always try go the extra mile with customers. But there was something about Pixie that just connected and she took a shining to me, so of course I did what I could to make the meal easy for Katie.”
Donaldson tells Mamamia that the response to her Facebook post has been "insane".
"I've had a few bad comments about me letting her talk to a stranger but it baffles me! I love people and I'm glad she does too!"