North Carolina waitress offers to feed fussy infant so the mother could actually enjoy her meal
Courtney Pedigo from Greensboro said that she had been out at the restaurant with her daughter Harlynn, her stepmother, and a few other friends on October 1
A waitress from North Carolina is now being applauded on social media after she was photographed helping out a customer by feeding her fussy 18-month-old baby girl so that the exhausted mother could enjoy her meal in peace at a local Olive Garden. Courtney Pedigo from Greensboro said that she was at the restaurant with her daughter Harlynn, her stepmother, and a few other friends on October 1. She said that once in the restaurant, Harlynn "wouldn't sit still." The 24-year-old mother spoke out and said: "Harlynn, it was getting to be her bedtime and I could tell it wasn’t gonna be a good sit-down meal."
She continued telling PEOPLE: "I tried occupying her with some movies on my phone, I tried holding her. She was just getting really fussy and whiny. I was just getting overwhelmed. I knew it was time to go out to the car." The young mother found Nianni Rudder, her waitress, and asked for a to-go box so that she could take the child to the car and eat there.
Courtney spoke of Rudder: "[Nianni] said, 'No, you’re gonna go over there and eat your dinner. I’ll be there in just a second to play with her.'" The young mother said that the waitress then came to the table with food and a little bit of ice cream.
The mother continued: "She sat there and fed [Harlynn] some ice cream and was wiping her hands and her face. She talked to my family and opened up a bit about herself. It was pretty cool. I was just really flustered and overwhelmed, and she was a breath of fresh air." Courtney also said that she was "shocked" by Rudder's kind act.
She recalled: "Everyone at the table was like, 'Wow! She didn’t have to do this.' She chose to sit there with my family and occupy my baby so I could eat … I’m a single mom, and it’s hard sometimes. She calmed me, a total stranger just calmed me down." After the incident took place, Courtney shared a sweet image of Rudder and Harlynn on Facebook and thanked her for her kind gesture.
In only a little over a week, the post gained more than 5.5k "likes." Rudder, however, posted on her own Facebook profile that she had never intended for her simple act of kindness to go viral in such a way. She wrote: "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. Anyone with a heart would have done the same."
Courtney has now said that she and Rudder have spoken to each other since the night that they met in the restaurant. The young mother recalled: "She said to me the other day, 'We’re family now.' We’re friends on Facebook so she’ll message or I’ll message her to see how things are going. Her and I, we’re gonna keep in touch, definitely."