Monday, October 11, 2010

Fine Dining With A Toddler

Everything I've Learned From Eating Out With a Baby:

Let's face it. Fine dining is anything but fine with a toddler in tow. Don't get me wrong. The dining experience can be fun and endearing (everyone loves a baby who throws food on the ground, right?) but eating out with a little one definitely brings about some new challenges. 

Challenge #1:
You can see in the picture at the top that when eating at a restaurant, parents are only able to enjoy and eat from half of the table because if anything is in the baby's reach, he will grab it with speed faster than lightening and end up with ranch, that was supposed to go on your salad, all over his fingers. 

Challenge #2: 
No matter how much you desperately don't want to be that family, you will. You know the family I'm talking about. They have a loud baby and an entire dinners' worth of food under the table.  As much as you think your child will be an angel, he won't. He might be incredibly cute and smile at all the ladies at the next table, but you will still hurry out of the restaurant with guilt hanging over your head because of the massive pile of crumbs left under your baby's high chair. 

Challenge #3:
You might as well order off of the kids' menu because your little one will want to eat only what you eat. If you have hopes of enjoying a salad, be prepared to share even if you know he'll just spit the lettuce out because he hasn't gotten all of his teeth and he can't really chew lettuce. It doesn't matter if you brought his banana puree and carrot puree, and the Life cereal to munch on, he will refuse it all because it's never quite as interesting as what Mom and Dad are eating.

But despite the messiness, eating out will still be enjoyable. He will do little things to make you laugh, alert you to the balloons tied to the backs of chairs, and offer to feed you bites of his food just in case you're still hungry. And if you are lucky enough to have a friend watch your little guy so you can have a date night, you'll miss him the entire time and all conversation will focus on him.

I guess that's just what happens when you're a parent. 

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  1. I know EXACTLY how you feel! My toddler is at that age where he must throw something or he screams bloody murder. And as much as I try to talk nicely and reason with him (as if reasoning with a toddler is possible), he still has the final say. I find that I give him as much juice as he wants, so long as it keeps him quite! Then I have a nice SOAKING diaper to looke forward to at the end of our meal..... good time! :)

  2. We have 4 boys (including 2 toddlers) and you can imagine what kind of chaos & mess that "brings to the table". I think servers, hostesses, and fellow patrons cringe when they see us coming. We do try our best to keep things hush hush & I try my best to clean up the floor before we leave.

  3. Whatever you do though, leave them in the high chair. I never wanted to become one of those families that lets their kids run around all over the place so we tried to leave them in their high chairs or booster seats as a rule. We still have to play games and stuff while we wait for the food so that they are not antsy. There are less crumbs on the ground now though!

  4. LOL! We went out to dinner this past weekend and we were definitely "that family." Food under the table, all the plates pushed to one side, loud baby drawing everyones attention. Good time! : )