Ever since Elijah was little we’ve eaten out together. I used to feel really nervous about how others would feel when I took Elijah out to eat. Would he make a mess? Would he be loud? Would others stare? Then I remembered I too was a baby once apon a time and everyone else was once a baby too, surely not everyone was kept out of restaurants out of fears of a possible tantrum?
Taking a baby into a restaurant is all calm and relaxing. Baby sleeps, feed change and back to sleep. People think they’re adorable sleeping or when they first sit in a little highchair and eat tiny meals when they start weaning. The older they get the more tantrums they have when they are hungry or bored. The cause of a tantrum is normally either of those two things and sitting in a restaurant isn’t the easiest of places to entertain a toddler and they must wait for their food.
I personally love taking Elijah out for dinner he always has fun and it’s something where we sit around giving each other our undivided attention and chatting. Sure we still have the odd meltdown here and there but most of the time it can be calmed down with distraction. Colouring pencils and paper or singing songs normally helps. But when he is particularly bored I do let him watch nursery rhymes on my phone till the food comes. I don’t normally let him have my phone in public but if I feel it’s going to upset people eating their meals if I don’t let him quietly watch nursery rhymes until his meals comes out then I don’t mind.
When the meal comes he always eats very well and tells us when he is done. We have even taught him to tidy away his mess and give us the plate. He’ll then wipe up his hands and face with help and we’ll wait for the bill. He will normally go back to colouring or will wait nicely if we tell him where we are going next. We do have our moments we feel judged when we are out like any other parents. When people stare because your child’s on your phone like you let them on it every single second of the day. Also sometimes Elijah will get upset because he can’t express himself and is hungry or bored and people always turn around to have a nose and I then feel how I approach his tantrums will be judged whatever happens.
I always say don’t stop enjoying meals out because your toddler may cry because every single last human being was once a toddler them self’s and should have a element of understanding. When you eat out you are teaching them how to behave in public too so if there being naughty teach them that it is not right. Remember tantrums are short and will be over soon and that it is ok to distract them with your phone if that helps. And if they cry? Remember your in a family restaurant and the people judging you who don’t have kids have no right too. Enjoy meals out, enjoy your food, enjoy your family time and enjoy your life!