11 Anxious Phases Of Eating In Restaurants With Children
Nothing can match the white-knuckled anxiety of bringing your kids into a restaurant. Pat Fitzpatrick
has all the tips that Moms and Dads needs to survive the ordeal. (Alcohol and a mobile phone, mainly.)
1. Deal or No Deal
You know how it goes. “I’ll have two cheeseburgers, nuggets, the spicy thing in the photo over there and two bottles of water.” “Would you like to save money and turn that into a meal deal?” “How does that work?” “I talk really quickly, you say yes to everything because your kids are hungry and the whole thing ends up costing more.” “Ahm, no, in that case.”
You know how it goes. “And what would you like to drink, sir.” “Two glass of red wine. And two for my wife. We’re bringing them to the cinema, you don’t want to do that with kids unless you’re half pissed.” “And for the kids, sir.” “Pasteurised tap water. We’re not the type of parents who like to poison our kids with fruit juice. Did you realise that stuff is full of sugar?” “Do you realise, sir, that juice tends to distract them so you can drink in peace?” “Give them four bottles of juice each. And more wine for me and the missus. We’re going to a sing-along Frozen. I don’t want to remember a thing.”
3. The Foolish Foodies
You know how it goes. “What would you like to eat kids?” “Pizza and marshmallows.” “What would happen if I brought you for organic seafood in a Japanese noodle bar where they use seaweed instead of salt?” “The same that happened the last time.” “But you’re four now. Surely you’re too old to cry for 30 minutes solid, before taking a dump in your pants.” “You’d think so, wouldn’t you? Pizza and marshmallows, Dad. Anything else will end in tears and apologies. Japanese people are very understanding, but even they have their limits.”
4. The Guaranteed Thing That Will Happen
You mightn’t know how it goes, not yet. “I can’t believe we managed to get out to a restaurant, honey. All those people who laughed and said our social life was toast once Sophie came along! And yet here we are in our favourite restaurant with our lovely daughter, surrounded by family and friends, she’s eating risotto with truffles and basil and she’s not even one yet. I’m so proud of her. And I’m so annoyed with all the people who say that kids wreck your life. Hang on, she’s puking her guts up all over our favourite restaurant and it’s green because of the basil. Jesus, she’s still going, it’s starting to flow around the floors now. How could so much puke come out of one little child? The waiter looks really cross. I’m going to cry.”
You know how that goes. “Do you think the kids will sit still and let us enjoy a coffee?” “I’d says it’s less likely than Donald Trump becoming a Muslim.” “But look at them there, colouring away, surely nothing will stop them doing that for the next ten minutes.” “Waiter, we’ll have two coffees please.” Eldest child looks up. “Dad, I’ve never been so bored in all my life. I’m thinking of getting up and running around the restaurant, you’ll try and catch me but it won’t work and everyone will be looking at you.” “Waiter, make those coffees to go. And make them Irish coffees while you’re at it.”
6. High Chair
You know how it goes. “Go over there and get him a high-chair, honey.” “But he’s five years of age.” “All the more reason to restrain him in public.” “You make a great point.” *Gets chair.
7. Booth or Table
You know how it goes. “Would you like a booth or ordinary table, sir?” “What’s the difference?” “Well, in the ordinary table area of our restaurant, people eat their meals while seated on a chair and then leave happy.” “Over in the booth area, a small child standing at the next booth will stare at you weirdly while you try and eat your meal. You have trouble sleeping for weeks.” “Ordinary table it is then.”
8. Kiddies Menu
“Are you ready to order sir?” “Yes. We’ll have chips.” “Anything else with that sir?” “No, what’s the point? They only ever eat the chips.” “You’re so right, sir.”
9. Head of Entertainment
“Dad, can I have your phone to look at a video please?” “No, you cannot. We’re going to sit here and have a conversation over dinner, like a normal family.” “But every other kid here is watching a video on their father’s phone while he downs another sneaky pint.” Dad looks around restaurant. “Ok, two conditions. Don’t friend request some randomer on Facebook like you did the last time. And don’t tell Mom.”
10. How Much?
“How much did it come to?” “37 euro.” “But we shared two sandwiches, one portion of chips and drank tap water. How could it come to 37 euro?” “The food itself came to six euro and they added on 31 euro for something called ‘Because we are in Ireland.’”
11. Hot Waitress
“I’ll be right back with your drinks.” *Hot waitress walks off. Wife pipes up. “Could you have flirted with her any more?” “I could have flirted with her all day if you and the kids weren’t following me around, cramping my style.” “But she’s half your age.” “You say that like it’s a bad thing.”
Got a point to add? Let us know in the comments!