Monday, October 27, 2008

Dining Out with the Kids

Today is my grandmother’s 87th birthday – Happy Birthday, Gram! In celebration of her birthday, my father and stepmother (Grandpa & Gramby) take Gram and my little family out to the “swanky” yacht club for dinner. It’s always a special treat, and because Grandpa and Gramby spend so much time at the yacht club, some of the wait staff there are like extended members of the family. My husband had to work Friday night, and I showed up at the club with my girls, and there in the parking lot was Sue, who works in the restaurant. She flagged me down and offered to walk the girls in (where the grandparents were waiting) since the parking lot was packed and I would have to park far from the door – such service! And my girls know her well enough that they popped right out of the car – even my little one – and trotted right in with her.

It was quite crowded on Friday night, but luckily we had a reservation and were seated quickly. It took a while to place our order, but I have learned recently, to order my girls’ dinners to come out with our appetizers (if we order them). That way they can start their dinners, and then while the adults are having their dinners, the girls can be moved onto a little dish of ice cream as dessert. This keeps the kids content, and moves things along a little more quickly, since my husband and I rarely order dessert, but my girls enjoy it! Anyway, I always try to be well prepared to entertain my kids (my diaper bag is always packed with snacks, crayons, little toys, etc.) and I am always concerned that we are going to disturb other diners. I was sitting right next to my little one, who was in a highchair backing up to the wall of the restaurant. At one point, I turned to my right to talk to my father and grandmother, and all of a sudden my stepmother said, “Oh, no no!” And I turned quickly to see my little girlie with her hands on the FIRE ALARM BOX! THANKFULLY, she did not pull it, and I quickly moved her away, but the people at the table next to us had seen and were chuckling to themselves. At the end of their meal, they got up and as they were leaving, the woman said, “It was nice dining with you!” And I said, “Oh, I hope we didn’t disturb you!” and she said, “Oh no, they were very well behaved!” And I said, “Oh, you are just saying that because she didn’t ACTUALLY pull the fire alarm!” And the woman laughed and said, “No, really, we have 4 kids at home and yours were very well behaved!”

All in all, I would call that a successful evening out!

What tips do you have for taking the kids out to eat?

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