I vaguely remember in some distant memory when I used to enjoy going out to eat. We would celebrate the glut of birthday’s, anniversaries or any other special occasions of our extended family.
Now those days are filled with dread, sweaty palms, and exhaustion, always exhaustion.
It starts with setting the time of the meal. Once we know the time we can start prepping one week in advance to coordinate a nap schedule so that our 7 month old might only cry for 30 minutes at lunch time, not the whole hour and a half.
Once nap time is set it is on to the menu. If it is somewhere we frequent more often (think Chili’s) we can skip this step. A new restaurant though brings on the need to examine the menu online with eagle eyes hoping they have something our 3 year old might pretend to be interested in. When the realization hits that they don’t serve waffles for lunch we are relegated to his fate. He will eat bread and chocolate ice cream. Always chocolate ice cream.
Our final battle before we arrive is to decide who we will sit by. If we let our 4 year old sit next to his cousin we will probably be escorted out by the wait staff and the restaurant may or may not go up in flames. If we have him sit next to us there is still a chance we will be asked to leave, we won’t get to touch our food, but the restaurant will still be standing at the end.
When we arrive home exhausted after the meal we realize all this angst is really a waste of energy. We know how it’s going to go every time. Sleep will eventually even out. One day he may eat more than waffles. And the cousins will probably never burn a restaurant to the ground.
Going out to eat is never picture perfect anymore but it sure a lot more entertaining.