A mom was recently given a helping hand with her fussy toddler by a gracious and thoughtful waitress who could see she needed a break.


Nianni Rudder, a waitress from the Olive Garden in the USA has recently been praised for her random act of kindness. She noticed a mother having trouble feeding her toddler while at dinner and decided to help out.

Courtney Ruth Pedigo was meeting her father and step-mother for dinner. She was looking forward to the evening but then her 18-month-old daughter Harlynn became fussy and wanted to be removed from her high chair.

“Tonight my family and I went out to Olive Garden for dinner, and per Harlynn’s usual she did everything but sit in her high chair and eat her dinner like I picture in my dreams. 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”

The exhausted mom then walked over to a nearby waitress and asked for their food in a takeaway container so she could sit in the car with the child to eat. What happened next blew Courtney away.

Nianni refused her request and said she would be at the table in just a moment.

“No, she’s not bothering anybody,” Rudder told Pedigo as she recalled to CBS News. “You’re going to go over there, you’re going to enjoy your dinner with your family, and I’m going to be over there in a second.”

Nianni then walked over with a bowl of ice-cream and caramel sauce, sat down at the table and took the child’s attention to feed her.

“I had went to find our waitress to ask if she could please bring my food out in a Togo box cause we were going out to sit in the car… She really said NO. “You’re going to go sit down and enjoy your dinner and I will be there to sit with her!” And that’s exactly what she did!” (sic)

Courtney was able to focus on her own dinner, which she praised was still warm. The family chatted with their saving-grace and learned she was having a tough time after losing her own mother.

Courtney thanked Nianni for going above and beyond her waitress duties. She shared the thanks on Facebook and the pair have since been featured on news platforms across America.

“Girl, you will never truly know how appreciative I am for tonight. I seriously admire you, Not only because you took the time to bribe my bratty little human with sweets so I could eat but because you are so so strong!”

“I aspire to be the go-getter you are, and like I told my dad on our way home, it has to take someone with a strong heart and mind to do what you do because I know I couldn’t! Thank you for your amazing service and for being so kind to us all!”

The story is very heartwarming and shows how one small act of kindness can make a big difference in someone’s life.

Sources: The Good News Network / Facebook
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens.
Click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast, with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to and he truly believes that there’s good news all around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:

Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll hopefully leave you feeling a little more proudly South African.

Facebook Comments

Tyler Leigh Vivier
About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *