I’ve heard there’s a wonderfully magical solution to fix all the problems of dining out with a toddler.
Don’t do it. Wait until they’re in middle school before going out to a restaurant again.
That’s what I hear, but we’re stubborn and like to go out to eat. Maybe even enjoy a little bit of torture that goes along with it.
We pick our battles and the restaurant to decrease the chances of having an unpleasant evening out.
Restaurant is quiet?
Restaurant has a wait?
Restaurant is upscale with a pricey menu of food that our kids won’t appreciate and it’ll take 20 minutes to make?
Oh hell no.
I’m one of those people that when the waitress comes up to introduce herself and get our drink order, I say, “Can we go ahead and order our food? Little guy is like a ticking time bomb with a time limit.”
Most of our restaurant criteria when it comes to figuring out where to eat with our kids is pretty simple:
Stuff to look at.
Room to move around when the little guy gets too antsy and starts squealing, crying, gets possessed by a demon.
Easy kids’ menu with either mac ‘n cheese or grilled cheese.
Other kids making noise so all the blame can’t be put on us. “Don’t look at us, that was YOUR kid who squealed with delight as he threw his macaroni at you!”
Although I’m crazy and do love to cook, I certainly don’t want to do it EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. Mommy needs breaks. And a cocktail. Or three.
The most rewarding part of it all is when the toddler walks away from our table (don’t worry, Daddy goes with him) to explore, then sees me from across the restaurant and yells, “MOMMY!!!” and comes running back like he hasn’t seen me in three years. At that point, he can make as much noise as he wants, because the feeling Mommy gets seeing that is just pure awesomesauce. Speaking of sauce, I need some more Alfredo with my pasta, it’s not drowning in it. Please. Also need a refill on that apple martini.