We are a busy family of six. Before we had our last two kids (who are both now toddlers), we ate out frequently and enjoyed it. Not having to cook or clean gave us more time to spend talking and engaging with our children.
Nowadays, we try to cook at home or order take-out. However, no matter how much planning I do, there will always be occasions where we end up at a restaurant. It’s not that I’m opposed to restaurants, it’s just that I have two toddlers who are not restaurant-friendly. If we were to invite you out and offer to pay for dinner, chances are you would still say: “No thanks!” Let me explain…
Why You Don’t Want to Dine Out With Our Toddlers 1 of 8
You've been warned. Our kids, as much as we try, just don't have the manners thing down. Here is why we will totally understand that you say "no" when we invite you out to eat with our toddlers.
They’re Everyone’s BFF 2 of 8
Who doesn't love a cute toddler waving "hi" as you walk by? Yes, my toddlers do the simple wave, but they also have another trick up their sleeves. My youngest in particular loves meeting new people. If you're eating near him, watch out because he will stare you down — smiling, waving, and (if needed) screaming for you to wave back. In no time, his face ends up looking like the overly-attached girlfriend. I can't tell you how many apologies I've given and times we've had to move his high chair to help ease the awkwardness.
The Messes! 3 of 8
The floor, the table — it's all a MESS when the toddlers eat. From straw wrappers to food crumbs that for sure don't land on the plate — it's crazy-town. And yes, we always tip well.
Their Licking Problem 4 of 8
Keep all butter, along with salt and sugar shakers, out of sight of our kid. The dude LOVES him some butter. No bread necessary. GAG. And sadly, I've had to apologize profusely to a waitress explaining how my toddler licked the salt shaker.
Image source: iStockPhoto
Disgusting Answers to Simple Questions 5 of 8
A waiter once asked Izaiah if he liked his food. MISTAKE. Izaiah proceeded to stop eating, spit his food into his hand, and show it to the waiter. "I like my food," he responded. Then he proceeded to put the spit-out food back into his mouth and eat it. LOVELY. The waiter's face? PRICELESS. Thankfully he said he had two boys as well and totally understood.
They Like to Dine Pants-less 6 of 8
One time we decided to eat out while we were in the midst of potty training our then 2-year-old. He stood up in the booth, screamed loudly "Need to poop!" and pulled down his pants. Yes, I am a bad mom who took a photo. Thankfully he made it to the toilet.
Their Opinions on Mariachi Music 7 of 8
Once we were at a Mexican restaurant in Austin that has a house Mariachi band. While this is great for ambiance, I will say it gets a little awkward when they play multiple songs next to your table. Well our littlest was NOT having the music. He kept screaming "NO!" right at them. Apparently, Mariachi music isn't his thing.
Their Tortilla Chip Hoarders 8 of 8
My kid is a tortilla chip hoarder. He's been known to take the chip basket and hide under the table, eating as fast as he can on the floor. Sharing chips apparently isn't his thing.
Somedays I think we should sell tickets to “The Toddlers’ Restaurant Act” as a comedy show — or possibly as a method of birth control. I know there are people who hate kids and restaurants and what have you. Well I hate my own kids in restaurants, but it’s life. Yes, kids are kids, and toddlers are still in the learning phase. My goal as a mom is to give grace and parent with love, but being transparent — me + toddlers + restaurants = work in progress.
We try our best to teach our toddlers manners and how to act in public. We are constantly taking turns with a toddler in time-out and giving direction on doing this not that, but at the end of the day, my boys are boys. We are a family on the go, which occasionally requires going out to eat, and I am having to put on my big girl-panties and accept it.
This is all part of our journey in parenting, and I just have to keep laughing at these funny times. I know someday we will be sitting on the other side of the restaurant table watching our grandkids throwing food and screaming while our kids reign in the insanity. That will be a sweet day.
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