When you take small children out to eat you have exactly however long it takes to order and eat one course minus 7 minutes before it all goes horribly wrong.
It makes no difference how quickly the food arrives the last 7 minutes of your meal will be spent shovelling hot food into your mouth whilst one of you jiggles the baby or takes a toddler for a walk around the block.
One course? But what about starters and puddings?
Oh sorry was that a genuine question?
You can of course order starters, like most things with food it’s a question of balance.
If you have the soup to start you must accept that your main course will be awful. No chef on the world can make food taste great when it is served with a side order of grumpy child.
You can take books, toys, stickers, play doh and snacks but after a certain point small children will get fed up and will want to wander off or roll around on the floor.
According to popular belief this is what all parents do every time they eat out – just let their children run riot.
As a parent I can tell you this is totally not true if we really did let our children run riot restaurants would be closed for refurbishment every single week.
In the middle of writing this post I came across an article in The Daily Mail about some parents taking their cot out to lunch with them.
It threw up some interesting comments on the subject.
what would work great is to just stay home with your kid. It’ better for the kid, better for the parents and better for the innocent bystander.
- akamat , Faraway, United States
Yeah parents how dare you go out and support local businesses with your patronage?
What would work great for everyone else in the world would be if you stayed at home with your kid instead of inflicting their scary tiny faces on innocent bystanders.
I shall immediately devote my attention to establishing a support group for innocent bystanders who have, through no fault of their own been subjected to the horror of seeing real live children out on the streets.
Guess what, if you’re kid can’t sit in a high chair, THEN YOU DON’T GET TO GO OUT AND EAT!!! Learn how to make you’re kids behave.
- Aztecsfan, Peoria Arizona, United States
Aztecsfan if your grasp of written English is not very good THEN YOU DON’T GET TO POST COMMENTS!!! Learn how to make your sentences understandable.
Except I’m talking crap. You do get to post badly written comments in fact it seems to be positively encouraged.
That is not a cot. In my times it was called a play pen. And I think it is an excellent idea if the restaurant does not have a facility to entertain children. If, as this couple, you want to eat outdoors, the child would be running in the street and making a nuisance of himself. Either this solution or some kind of harness arrangement to keep him tied to the leg of the table or chair. There is nothing to be “shocked” about.
- necat_poa2010 , Porto Alegre, Brazil,
Porto Alegre is one of the host cities for the 2014 football world cup. If you go there do not be shocked when you see locals dining out with their children tied to the table leg.
I would rather see pictures of very elderly parents being looked after by their children…
- pramesh, london,
OK pramesh then maybe don’t read The Daily Mail, their coverage of really old people having a nice time is patchy at best, come back when the Kardashian’s have aged a bit (which will be never).
I wish more young parents would discover the joys of the “play pen” which is what that is. It is not a crib. Put the child in the playpen at home if you need to get something done in the same room. You do not need to hold your child all day and or carry them all the time ala Katie Holmes. Do not sit there and tell me you have no time to do anything, wash your face, clean clothes or pick up the house. It is called TIME MANAGEMENT and it will come in handy later in life!
- Badger, PDX,
Badger has some useful advice about time management, sorry TIME MANAGEMENT. Basically all of us parents who claim to have no time to do anything like picking up the house ( which to be fair would take a lot of training down the gym) should be dumping our pesky children in playpens and learning about (cover your ears) TIME MANAGEMENT.
Hate to tell you Badger but I already do the dumping the baby in the cot bit but I don’t tidy up. I prefer to make myself a nice cup of tea and sod the housework and the face washing.
As long as the child is happy, nothing else really matters!
- Ally, U.K,
Ally you’ve let me down, you’ve let The Mail down and you’ve let yourself down with your perfectly pleasant comment.
Go away and don’t come back until you have some anger and bile to spew.
What kind of world would we be living in if people used the internet to express balanced judgements about other people?
I don’t make the rules, I just live by them.
If you were looking for some solid advice on eating out in public with small children without upsetting other people then it would seem the answer is simple: You can’t.
So don’t worry about it.
Have A Nice Day!