Exhausted Mom Asks for Food to Go After Her Daughter Gets Fussy, Waitress Says 'No' and Sits with Them

Stephen Thompson
Apr 25, 2022
12:21 P.M.
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Babies and toddlers are often a handful, whether at home or in public spaces. An overwhelmed single mom from Greensboro had quite an experience with her toddler at a restaurant, but it came off as a miracle when a stranger stepped in to help her.


Motherhood is a lifetime journey, and many have attested that it is challenging. However, one of the most overwhelming parts of it all is probably a child's toddler years. When kids explore and border on being fussy, mothers are left in a dire situation and a big dilemma of handling outbursts.

These situations could often go out of hand, causing passersby and strangers to think some moms are incompetent, but the truth is, moms can often be tired and need a helping hand. A Greensboro, North Carolina, mom shared her first-hand experience on Facebook in 2018 when her toddler daughter refused to be calm during an outing.

Waitress, Nianni Nani Rudder feeding Courtney Pedigo's daughter | Source: facebook.com/courtney.r.pedigo

Waitress, Nianni Nani Rudder feeding Courtney Pedigo's daughter | Source: facebook.com/courtney.r.pedigo



The single mom, Courtney Pedigo, thought it was a great day for a little family outing when she and her daughter, alongside her dad and stepmother, visited Olive Garden. Pedigo planned to get the most out of the hangout, but her little daughter Harlynn thought otherwise.

Pedigo shared that Harlynn would often throw a tantrum from time to time and when it was close to her bedtime. On this fateful day, it was close to her bedtime, and the little girl was up to her fussy self as usual.


At first, the mom-of-one was not bothered as she tried to contain the situation, but Harlynn was having none of it as she kept wiggling out of her mom's arms. The young girl wanted to walk around Olive Garden. Her mom stated:

"She had me so overwhelmed from letting all of Olive Garden know she was in the house and trying her best to wiggle her way down me to run the restaurant."

Pedigo kept trying to calm her toddler, but nothing seemed to work. At a point, she became conscious of other people in the restaurant. She decided to take their little party outside because she didn't want everyone to become uncomfortable with her toddler's fuss.



Pedigo was sure she could not handle the situation with Harlynn anymore without causing an outburst. She called the attention of their waitress and beckoned her to pack up a to-go food box.

The plan was to eat out in the car, fussy baby and all. However, the series of events that happened afterward displayed an in-depth level of compassion.


The waitress, Nianni Nani Rudder, observed the mom's dilemma and frustration and decided to step in. Pedigo recalled the unbelievable response to her request:

"She really said NO "You're going to go sit down and enjoy your dinner, and I will be there to sit with her!"

Rudder told the single mom that she should not be bothered, as she asked her to go sit with her family and enjoy her dinner. Rudder also promised to be by herself, catering to her restless toddler.



Soon after pleasantly sending the mom back to her seat, Rudder was true to her words. She joined the family at the table, going along with a bowl of ice cream and caramel sauce for Harlynn.

The waitress sat close to the table and started feeding the little girl. Harlynn had preferred to stay in her mom's arms but did not mind taking the ice cream from Rudder.

Her mom explained that she kept being fussy while dipping her hands into the ice cream bowl, but Rudder did not mind. At one point, Pedigo became worried that Rudder would get in trouble with her employers for sitting with them, but the waitress reassured her it was fine.



In her Facebook post, Pedigo could hardly contain her gratitude and the relief she felt that someone out there cared for her. She gushed about being able to eat the food while it was still hot.

She addressed the second paragraph of her post to Rudder, noting that she "seriously" admired her. Pedigo wrote that she loved how the waitress handled her helpless situation while referring to her as a strong person.


In her post, the mom shared an image of Rudder feeding ice cream to Harlynn and looking effortless at it. The North Carolina native briefly shared Rudder's touching story, which the waitress let out while feeding the family.

The restaurant worker had lost her mom two years earlier, and she had to work as a waitress to fund her education. Pedigo praised her amazing show of affection to Harlynn while noting that her mom would be "so incredibly proud" of her. In her own Facebook post, Rudder stated:

"I did what I would want for someone to do for me if I was in that situation. People need to be more compassionate with one another."


Rudder's act of kindness earned her a silver star from the restaurant's management. However, the lasting message she passed across was the need for people to show more help and compassion to moms when they dealt with the normal fuss kids tend to show.

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