Gosh it’s nice to have someone else do the cooking and cleaning. Heck, it’s even better to have someone cart all of your food to you and keep your drink topped off.
What’s not so nice is having your not-so-thrilled little one throw a complete fit after only a few moments of peace at the table.
It usually starts really well. Menus are being passed around, drink orders are taken, and our 21 month old is interested enough in the hustle and bustle around him to stay cool.
Then comes stage two: placing an order. By now he has lost interest in the coloring page, and all of the crayons are on the floor.
Around this time people are nearby tables have noticed that he is the cutest little thing that has ever lived, and sometimes he will coo back and forth to them — this can buy you a few more minutes.
But by the time the order has been placed, your table and the surrounding area looks like you invited Theresa Giudice to the party and said something she didn’t like.
So what to do? The food hasn’t even hit the griddle and your already desperate. You can resort to standing up and giving him a tour of the restaurant to pass the time until your meal hits the table, but usually that only leads to him demanding that he be put down to gallop around the building.
We’re not thrilled about him prancing through the place with servers carrying heavy, hot trays.
It doesn’t take long before mom and dad are looking at each other agreeing that “it just isn’t worth the money” to try to eat out.
There are only a few glimmers of hope for us. We don’t usually leave him to go out on our own, so here is what has worked even a little:
- Stuffing his face. Bring his favorite little snacks–even the ones that you only give in moderation–and keep his little plate full.
- Order something as an appetizer that he loves, and let him go bananas with it. Messy face, soggy bib–the whole nine yards.
- Be ready as soon as the servers comes for your order. Don’t let them walk away with a simple drink order.
- Most importantly, only go if your little one’s day lines up with your trip. In other words: has he napped? Is he feeling well that particular day? Are there any new little trinkets you can hand him to keep him occupied?
Without those simple tricks, it really is not worth the money.
What are your experiences with babies/toddlers at restaurants? Do you have any tips on keeping them content while you at least gulp down those first few bites? Let us hear it below.