Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Sometimes we let them eat in public: Eight tips
1. In honour of some shame-free enjoyment of food, let's all go out for dinner, shall we? Burgers at Milestones it is, then.
2. When taking young children to a restaurant, keep in mind that the meal will be eighty-nine percent colouring, six percent bathroom trips, and five percent eating. So don't skimp on the crayons and paper. Usually restaurants will provide the paper and crayons, but always bring your own, just in case. Don't make the same mistake I've made in the past. A crayonless meal never ends well.*
3. If Shira is joining you for dinner, keep in mind that the percentages are a little more fifty/fifty, split between colouring and eating (no bathroom trips for this diaper-wearing girl), so be sure to order enough food. Plus she'll finish Alyce's meal, too. She's good like that.
4. Order food for the little ones as soon as you sit down. Alyce is familiar with this practice and now simply orders pancakes and syrup from the hostess as soon as we walk into a restaurant, even if they don't sell pancakes. But just in case, bring snacks. Lots of them.
5. Here is the ideal restaurant meal schedule: Order food for the kids before taking off your coats, get them colouring right away (no messing around with pleasantries), order your own food when the server brings their food, and then, and this is key, make sure their dessert arrives at the same time as your own meals. My children don't talk or move while consuming ice cream=the perfect time to enjoy five minutes of your meal in peace.
6. That wasn't a typo. If you can get five minutes of quiet, you're winning this game.
7. Don't mess around. Get the bill as soon as you can and get out of there before any meltdowns begin. I repeat: no dawdling. It never ends well.
8. Pat yourself on the back for exposing your children to the world of public eating. And then admit that you think you'll just eat at home from now on.
*In cases of emergency, little creamers can be used as blocks with which to build towers.