Helpful Hint #682- Restaurant Woes Be Gone
The holidays are on full force now. Are you having to meet up with family and friends at a nice restaurant this season? Do you have small children and the thought of putting yourself and them through time in the booth make you a little stressed? Then read on! This post is just for you!!!
You have survived. You know what I’m talking about, one of those horrid nights out with the children to a local restaurant and you and your husband have made a verbal commitment never to leave the house during a meal time ever again. The wiggles and loud voices came over the children and then just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse… the whining and which promptly turns to the sobbing of you and your child. Well, the truth is we have all been there. And sometimes it is just unavoidable. Everyone is tired and just ready to go home. But, it doesn’t have to be like that every trip to the restaurant. The key is being like a boy scout…prepared.
1. Carry a package of boring crackers in your purse. This is especially important with younger children. When you go to a restaurant, everyone is hungry, sometimes starving. All the good smells start perking up the children’s senses. They know that tummy is growling. They want something to eat…now. Well, you don’t want your child to ruin his dinner, yet you want to keep the peace in the restaurant. If you have some crackers that they just sort of like, it will settle the tummy rumbles and yet they won’t want to fill up on it. I don’t know how many times the food arrives for the adults before the children. Or for toddlers, everyone has a meal and the parents opt to wait to feed them at home. If I was that toddler, I would find it very unfair and verbalize my disapproval. Or the worst ever, the food is not what was ordered for the child and they have to wait twice as long. Oh, how much adult conversation time was saved all due to a cracker stuffed mouth. I love the makers of Saltines for my older children and Cheerios for my toddler friends!
3. A distraction is always good. When my children were toddlers, I always kept in my car a little bag of toys that they never saw, except in the restaurant. When selecting your one or two toys, my only suggestion is not to pick a ball as that encourages little Billy to throw it at others or anything with a wheel as little Sally will surely try to have it jump the canyon to the next table. I like magna doodles. And as they get older nothing beats a pen and a notebook. Perfect for drawing or playing games like tic-tac-toe. A good tiny stuffed animal works well, as does things like silly putty (not playdough, this leaves a color mark).
And let’s say you forget all this, and are at the restaurant without any diversions. I’ve been known to have my kids count the sugar packets, play games like who can guess what and win a packet, and when they were really starving just let them eat the sugar. If the service is too slow, then I figure it’s their own fault that I had to let my kids eat the sugar and we should all just suffer together.
Thank you so much to the DownhillRun guest contributor today – the author Cherie Bright from Another Day, Another Story. Would you like to submit a Marvelous Tips Mondays post and highlight your site here? Please email me at DownhillRun at yahoo dot com.
Here’s more information about Cherie:
Cherie Bright is a stay-at-home mom, who refers to career as a holly homemaker/ mommy extraordinaire. She is the author of the blog and the book titled “Another Day, Another Story.” She is a graduate from the University of Arkansas with a degree in Computer Science and Communications, both of which she uses daily trying to outwit her children. Bright moved to The Woodlands, Texas in 2004 from El Dorado, Arkansas. She is the mother of two children and wife to one understanding husband. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, camping, and sitting around the campfire exchanging stories. “Another Day, Another Story,” is available at bookstores nationwide or by visiting barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com. A download version is available direct from the publisher at lulu.com.