Taking your kids out to eat in a restaurant can be daunting. It is a crapshoot. Will they behave? Will they get restless? Will my food come out in less than seven minutes? There are a lot of questions. Questions that do not ever include “should we order an after-dinner drink or dessert?” because if you make it through dinner unscathed, without tears or dirty looks from the wait staff or other diners you just want to pack up your crap and your kids and get the hell out of there before your good juju runs out.
Last night we had one of those once in a Blue Moon dinners. (Perhaps it was augmented by the three Blue Moons Mom slurped down during dinner!) It was perfect. We could have stayed for hours chatting it up at the table. How did we do it? Easy.
Step 1. Slide in to the booth in a manner that puts Mom far away from all of the kids. Mom is quick to jump to “Well, you knew this was going to happen!” when Baby squeals or Big Kid spills a drink. Or at least this Mom is. Yanno, before she has a couple of beers, anyway.
Step 2. Put a grandparent between Baby and Big Kid. Just do it if you can. Grandparents love to play tic-tac-toe and pick up toys off of the floor. Over and over and over again.
Step 3. Have a waitress that is over 27 but does not have her own kids. She is old enough to have the uterine twinge of “Damn, those are some cute kids” and not yet keen to the fact that it is the cute ones that wreak the most havoc. She will give you way too many straws. Key to step 4.
Step 4. Give your baby a straw. They will not poke their eyes out. Or choke. They will love it. When they throw it on the floor just give them another. Straws will not get ground in to the carpet like a Cheerio.
Step 5. Someone, anyone, preferably someone at your table but it could be a diner nearby, order the pork shank. Give the baby ALL the bones. Not one or two. Three. Three bones. She will be (you know I am going to go there) in hog heaven, I promise.
That’s it. It is that easy. Five simple steps to taking Baby out to dinner. You’re welcome.