Taking your young kids out to eat in public can be a combination of both fun and frustration! And yes, that goes for both you and the wait staff! On the plus side, you have the relief of knowing that you don’t have to cook. On the other end, you worry about what your little angel(s) are going to do, or not do. This is especially so when they are around two years of age.
Dining out with children is a process. It often starts with innocence and enthusiasm. It then progresses into a series of negotiations on where to sit, what to eat, and how to behave in public. Three cheers for all organizations that provide entertainment activities for kids. If not, or in doubt, remember to pack a book or favorite small game. Just in case your little one gets bored with your idea of a leisurely Saturday brunch!
Plan for Disruption
Expect disruption. The salt and pepper sachets may become a little army to set up in a trail across your tabletop. The different sauce bottles may be a way to create a beautiful colorful streaming fountain to the floor. Distraction by exploring the contents of your handbag is not always a good idea either. That is unless you want to laugh at your tampons led by their strings across the restaurant floor.
When the food arrives, the cutlery or crockery not to suit. To a young tot, they might think milk is a whole different beverage if it does not arrive in their usual cup. The shape design and decoration on different plates and cups may hold their attention. Who cares about the kiddie’s meal you have carefully selected! Bigger knives and forks can become missiles or suddenly shoot foot across into room and into the lap of your fellow diners.
Reflect and Enjoy
At the end of it, you’ll still be glad you did it! You’ve socialized your little ones, introduced them to something new, and enjoyed a meal with no washing up to do!