Public + Child + food = disaster, but learning to adjust to the new eating environment can make everyone's life a lot easier. Entertaining a toddler or baby in fact, can be difficult even in surrounding's your familiar with. When entering a restaurant I think all parents feel the eyes of peaceful families and couples bore there eyes right through your soul as they instantly judge you, your child and probably the rest of your universe. I do on times feel like screaming that I am indeed welcome to the establishment and do not belong in McDonald's just because food is served with a toy. The pressure of not disturbing the peace can cause more stress than the actual task at hand but putting those feelings behind you will create a much happier atmosphere allowing everyone to (try) and enjoy the night. My little girl is almost two and it seems the older she gets the more she intends to show us up in public but to be honest some of her antics can be hilarious. Who doesn't love watching the snobby couple picking Spaghetti out of there hair... No, me neither. A few things I've learned is being prepared for the worst can go a long way.
1. However silly you may feel, packing a small suitcase full of activities and toys will help keep the peace amongst other diners while waiting for food to arrive.
2. In the suitcase chuck in there favourite plates, cutlery and bibs, the more homely the settings feel the more relaxed they will be.
3. Sharing your starters with the little one can help spread the meal out, rather than rushing to order a child's main meal let them eat little portions of food throughout the evening therefore avoiding the rest of the family shovelling there last course down there throats in attempt to exit the restaurant.
4. Spare clothes, I don't think I need to explain this one.
5. Order food you think your child may be familiar with hopefully avoiding the screaming tantrums of getting them to try something new.
6. Lastly try to enjoy yourself. Eating out as a family can be a lovely and special bonding experience for you all. Although routines are good for any child a change is as good as a rest (well so they say).
Liver Pate that Isabelle loved.