Chris and I have enjoyed several date nights lately. With the flurry of the holidays and my birthday came several opportunities for us to sneak out together. Evie and Mack were feeling a little left out, so we planned a family date night last night. I put on some makeup, Evie wore a dress and we ordered chianti and kiddie cocktails. It was so special and fun.
It drives me crazy when people complain about kids in restaurants (and on airplanes…and libraries…and graduation ceremonies). The common complaint I hear goes something like, “Those kids need to learn how to behave in a restaurant!!” Well…DUH…what do you think I’m doing by taking them to restaurants?! I’m teaching them how to behave in a restaurant! As any parent of a toddler will tell you, cordial and civil behavior is not instinctual – it is learned through example and gentle correction.
At least a few times a month we take the kids out to eat. However, we are very mindful of when and where we take them. We finish our meal by 6:45, well before the “cool” people are out for dinner. And, we carefully choose places that will kindly accommodate our boisterous brood. Our absolute favorite place here in the city is Club Lago. Its owned by two brothers with small children of their own, so they welcome us with open arms. Even the regulars sitting belly-up to the bar smile at us and chat with the kids. We know we can enjoy a wonderful Italian dinner there without wanting to hide under the tablecloth.
I think we all need to remember that we were kids once, too. And, as kids we probably annoyed some adults on more that a few occasions. If you find yourself feeling frustrated and bothered by typical childhood behavior, then consider it payment for the torment you inflicted decades ago!
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