Posts Tagged ‘Eating Out’

Dinner out with my boys

Friday, January 14th, 2011

There is a restaurant in town that my husband and I used to go to all the time during our pre-baby life. We had gone a few times, then moved and it turned out we lived in the apartment next door to the chef/owner. We went a lot. And we loved going on Thursdays – Burger and Martini night. We still went a bit when Spencer was pre-high chair. We could bring him in his bucket-seat, he would either sleep through dinner or sit in one of our laps. We hadn’t been in nearly a year and finally decided to give it a try tonight. After a quick call to make sure they even had high chairs, we were on our way.

This may not be the best of the pictures I attempted to take, but it is my favorite.

Mr Adorable has his fancy pants on.

Overall, the dinner went pretty well, especially considering the place had white tablecloths. Or at least ours was white when we got there. The menu wasn’t very suited to finding a toddlery snack to go with the stuff we brought, but we went with an order of their fabulous deviled egg. Spencer did great and mowed through one and a half of them until he hit a caper and then he was having none of it. Luckily he had a huge veggie filled lunch and likes fries.

He’s been getting a lot better about plates. And straws. He is almost civilized, for a toddler.

The boy with no head destroyed the tablecloth. We tip well. Fun tip I learned: if you go to a snooty restaurant that doesn’t serve ketchup, those carrot-applesauce pouches can double as a dipping sauce, or as Spencer says deeep. Super fun night out. I think the kitchen might have been having an off night; we had the requested doneness of our burgers switched, but it happens. We have had so many good meals there that one that is less than stellar isn’t going to keep us from going back and bringing Spencer.

Total Nutrition Fail

Friday, October 1st, 2010

We decided to go to lunch on the spur of the moment, on the way home from running a quick errand. I didn’t have anything with me, no pacifier, no snacks, not even a diaper. I like to live on the edge. It was also noon, which is normally the start of Spencer’s nap/nap routine. We decided to risk lunch because he seemed to be in a pretty good mood, despite falling asleep in the car on the seriously 5 minute drive to the deli.

We get seated relatively quickly for arriving right at noon. The waitress to a while to come get our drink order and bring them out. Our default restaurant keep the baby entertained move is to let him eat lemons. He LOVES them. Calls them lum-lums. But we had no drinks yet. So I looked around the table, debated handing him a spoon, but that always gets thrown to the floor pretty quickly, so I handed him one of those little creamer cups.  French vanilla.

Spencer played with it, tried to smoosh it between his fingers, passed it from hand to hand. All the usual stuff. And then he put it in his mouth. I thought he might suck on it for a minute and spit it out. Nope. He turned into a total vampire baby and punctured it with his top teeth and started sucking the creamer out. We were so flabbergasted that we just kind of watched as he sucked on it and it started to run down his face, down his arms and get all over the high chair.

I thought the worst of it had passed and figured there was no need to take it away and incite a possible meltdown.  By this point, some lemons had arrived and I tried to swap one out, but he was pretty involved with the creamer. And then he hit the motherlode. Creamer everywhere. His shirt is soaked through because I didn’t have a bib with me. And he is sticky. And smells like a cheap candle. But our food came, we ate, he fell asleep in the car on the way home and we laid a very sticky little boy down for his nap. Lesson learned, do not give french vanilla non-dairy creamer to a baby. Heh.

Eating on Vacation

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

We seemed to have backslid a bit with baby-led-eating while on vacation. This is mostly due to the fact that we ate a lot of meals in restaurants and I am loathe to make a mess in them. This might be my food service background rearing up or just a general sense of societal obligation. I don’t want to be the people with “that baby,” the tantrum throwing, food flinging nightmare that gives babies in restaurants a bad name. I remember reading a comment on a popular feminist blog that basically stated that parents with small children should automatically tip 30% to compensate for the assumed mess and bother that said child creates while out to eat. That is total crap. We leave less of a mess than many groups of adults. There is little to no food on the floor, we brush off the high chair and pack out our trash.

That said, I am not sure how much longer we can get away with supplementing with out own food. Mostly just cheerios, mum mums or puffs, but still when eating in a place that offers a kids menu, when to you really have to start ordering from it? Part of the reason we are able to stay to neat in restaurants is Spencer’s own pigginess. Even at home, when we care a lot less about what ends up on the floor, we can’t give him much more than a bite or two of food at a time or he will shove as much as will fit in his mouth, regardless of how much he may be able to swallow. Periodically, I test his limits by putting third piece of banana on his tray and invariably I end up pulling it out of his mouth when he has mashed them all together into a big unswallowable banana blob in his mouth. We are still working on the concepts of biting and portions.

The unfortunate result of all of this is that more often than not, it is easiest just to pop a bite of food in his mouth when we are out, or staying with a relative with cream carpet, for that matter. I normally do this either with just my fingers or a fork. He’s become quite good at taking bites off of metal silverware and I only poked him in the face once. But now that we are home, he doesn’t always want to pick up food off of his tray. Last night at dinner, he would pick up the noodles, but only eat zucchini that I hand fed him. I’m sure he’ll get back on track now that we’ll be eating more at home. I just need to focus on the positive: all of those restaurant meals meant he tried a bunch of foods, he might not have had the chance to try at home, like bison, char-grilled bok choy, great smoked turkey and some of the best bbq brisket I have ever had.

Eating Out

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

I’ve noticed a lack of restaurant reviews that address any sort of family issues, so I thought I would just start my own. I would like to know in advance if a restaurant has highchairs or if I need to bring my own travel chair. Will other families be there? Can I change a diaper in the bathroom? Will the staff give me dirty looks for bringing in my baby? Is there a kids menu? I don’t need one now, but will soon. I will review the food, discuss the price and answer these questions and more in upcoming Eating Out posts. Look for them in the header or on the main page.

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