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5 Things That Happen When You Take A Toddler To A Restaurant

I never understood the real value of take out until I had a child. I never truly appreciated that value until I had a toddler...

If we're all being honest, we can admit that toddlers are little jerks sometimes. Taking a toddler to any public place can be an epic battle, but taking a toddler to a public place where they must remain seated and semi still for any length of time can be an all out war.

Toddlers can be jerks sometimes..

Because I love self torture, I've taken Olivia out to restaurants quite a bit in the last few months, and I've realized there are a few sure fire things that will happen when you take a toddler out to eat.

1. You Get Seated In The Back By The Kitchen

Sometimes when I carry Olivia into a restaurant I feel like I'm wearing a scarlet letter on my chest. "T" for toddler, or "J" for jerk... The hostess looks longingly around the restaurant searching for a corner to shove us in that will stifle the noise my kid is sure to make. Which is totally fine, because I realize my kid is loud, and I definitely don't want to disrupt anyone else's meal, but they don't have to act like they're giving me the best seat in the house when they're shoving me and my loud ass kid right next to the kitchen. Just call it like it is. Say "here's your seat, please don't let your kid run into the kitchen. Enjoy your meal."

2. You Order a $7 Meal Your Kid Isn't Going to Eat

This is the very bane of my existence... Why are kids meals so expensive? I DON'T NEED A YOGURT OR A SIDE, I'll be lucky if my kid eats three bites of the grilled cheese. Why am I paying $7 for my kid to throw 90% of it on the floor, then stick the other 10% in her mouth, only to spit it back out and onto the table, then proceed to eat all the food off of my plate... I could've saved that $7 and bought myself a #2 from McDonald's on my way home...But, if I only order my kid a side of fries, or nothing at all, I'd feel super judged by everyone because I obviously care way too much about what people think.. even though I like to pretend that I don't...

3. People Seated Around You Stare in Judgement When Your Child Makes Any Loud Noise or Sudden Movement

I don't really understand why this happens.. to be honest, I don't understand how people can be so intentionally judgmental and rude. It's almost like they've never seen a toddler before. It's not like my kid is a rabid wild animal or something. Sure, she may squeal in excitement and jibber-jabber loudly, and yeah sure, sometimes I do wonder if she's been possessed by a demonic entity, but she's a freaking 1 1/2 year old. She just doesn't know any better. And the dirty looks and whispers from strangers ARE NOT going to magically teach her that. All those reactions from surrounding diners do is make me feel more insecure and anxious about an already terrifying and stressful situation. Remember when I mentioned the battle of taking toddlers to restaurants in the beginning of this post???

4. You Never Have A Chance To Enjoy Your Own Meal

Every time we go out, I always have hope that it will be different from all the previous times. I think, this just might be the dinner that goes off without a hitch. One where my child is prim and proper and perfectly behaved.

Let's all take a moment to snicker at this........

I don't know why we do these things to ourselves. We know we won't enjoy our meal. We will spend the whole time trying to keep our toddlers occupied and as quiet as possible. We brought the crayons, and the coloring book, and the Little People, and the tablet with Netflix on it. We prepare for the worst, yet somehow still hope for the best. I think a subconscious desire for self torture is a prerequisite for becoming a parent. By the time dinner is over, I'm thinking, I should've just ordered a damn pizza and stayed in my pajama pants...

5. You Leave Less Satisfied Than When You Came

Let me first say that leaving less satisfied has absolutely nothing to do with the restaurant itself, or even the judgmental restaurant goers... It's all about the internal mom struggle of trying to relax and enjoy a night out, but then remembering, "oh yeah, I'm a mom, relaxing isn't in my job description. I just paid $40 to throw my food on the floor and leave hungrier than when I came." Don't get me wrong, my family has a ton of great memories and experiences while out at restaurants, but a majority of the time it's freaking difficult. Maybe I've got some more tips and tricks to learn, or maybe Olivia just isn't at a stage where she can handle being in a public place with that many distractions.

Who knows....but what I do know, is that this weekend, I'll be 100% ordering take out...

What are your tips for taking toddlers out to eat?

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