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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Surviving Eating Out with a Toddler

We have a love/hate relationship with going out to dinner. We {love} it and mini d hates it. If you have been reading this blog for any length of time you know we do life as a family, it's just how we roll. We don't go anywhere without each other unless it's work related.

We love going out to dinner occasionally and even budget a line item specifically for it! Mini d is STRONG spirited and just isn't a fan of sitting still for any length of time, especially in a new environment. She wants to get down and explore her surroundings, can you blame her?

This past weekend while on vacay for the 4th of July we went to one of our favorite semi-fancy restaurants. I was shocked when we were walking out and overheard a woman making a comment about how happy she was she didn't have to "deal" with a child mini d's age. This particular woman and her family had been sitting at the table in front of us, and had two boys around ten-ish. To be honest after she had, had a few drinks she was being much louder than my little {almost} two year old anyway. Ok, rant over.

The point of the story is, mini d is a free-spirited two year old and we love that about her. I'm not saying we let her run wild. We do discipline for direct defiance, shhhhhh don't call dhr. What we don't discipline for is a two year old just being a two year old.

So how do we survive eating out?

Only eat at restaurants that serve bread. Or have a snack ready in the diaper bag if they don't. Pre-meal snacking is a MUST.

Don't pick a restaurant with a long wait list, or try to go early before the crowds.

Don't go too late. Running in to bed time is setting yourself up for disaster.

Play with straws and ice.

Have a coloring book and crayons stashed in the diaper bag.

Play pass the baby with family members around the table.

Take breaks walking outside or touring the restaurant if necessary. Daddy D usually takes this job if things start going downhill.

If things get REALLY bad be the parent you always said you wouldn't be and whip out your smartphone for them to watch their favorite movie on. At some point we all eat our words, just sayin'. This would be awesome if my kid even cared about watching movies.

Mommy's, have a glass of wine.

Just take a deep breath and enjoy every moment. No my child doesn't always want to sit in a high chair. Ok she never wants to sit in a highchair. Sometimes we all have a meltdown waiting for the food to come. Sometimes mini d needs to potty 27,000 times except not really during the course of the meal.

Enjoy the time with family and go anyway. My Mother always said, "this too shall pass." The stages of their childhood are ever-fleeting.

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