Having children is a wonderful, life enriching thing and my daughter makes my insides all gooey just thinking about how much I love her and adore her company but there are times when you’d quite like to lock your little darlings safely in the loft so you can enjoy certain occasions like a civilised, sane person. Visiting restaurants is an example of such an occasion and here I have put together a little comparison between dining without and with toddlers.
p.s. Sorry for the dodgy table, I’m a beginner at WordPress!
|Without Toddlers||With Toddlers|
|Select a restaurant based on what food you fancy eating at that exact moment.||Select a restaurant 3 days prior having researched online that it has a children's menu which features fish fingers and chips, spag bol or pizza.|
|Enter the restaurant and have an expensive cocktail which takes 25 mins to prepare at the bar whilst waiting patiently to be seated, preferably at a cute little window table.||Attempt to enter restaurant but fail due to width of pram, call loudly for some assistance in unbolting the double door so you can fit. Ask to be seated IMMEDIATELY at a MASSIVE table in the back so your child can't easily make an escape. Order a bucket of house wine before you've even arrived at table.|
|Admire the interior of the restaurant as you peacefully follow the waiter smiling and perhaps saying a polite "Hello" to fellow diners.||Try to make it to the table without amputating anyone's foot with the pram or knocking drinks off tables with enormous changing bag. Encourage/beg child to keep hands inside the carriage until the pram has fully stopped whilst all the while apologising profusely to fellow diners for your existence.|
|Take a seat and browse the menu for perhaps 45 minutes whilst enjoying more drinks and lively conversation with dining partner. Order the most expensive starters and mains on the menu.||Arrive at table and ask for highchair then try to find somewhere to put bloody massive pram and the 15 coats you seem to have brought with you. Order without even looking at menu as you've already memorised it off the website. Ask for some bread whilst you wait so you have something to shove into childs mouth to muffle shouting. Get entire collection of Crayola products out of changing bag along with bibs, wipes, dinosaur figurines and ipad uploaded with 105 episodes of Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom. Perform impressive body lock wrestling move on child to get them into high chair. Chase up that wine order.|
|Admire beautiful arrangement of food on plates and exchange tastes of each others dishes. Talk to fellow diner about current affairs.||Eat in 3 mouthfuls the boring low calorie salad you ordered to try and counteract the 12 Farley's rusks you've eaten today. Cut up childs meal into bite sized pieces and ask for a vat of ketchup which roughly converts to 45 satchets. Have broken conversation with adult dining partner whilst locating and picking up rolling crayons (Why do they have to be round?!) give up trying to get nutrient rich food into toddlers mouth, eat it yourself and order ice cream.|
|Browse the dessert menu, order something with a french name and comes with a compote.||Chase the icecream order as your child is getting bored and attempting to climb out of highchair whilst you desperately search in handbag for something to keep them occupied until it arrives. Smile nervously and apologetically to tutting adjacent tables as your child screams how they want to "GET DOWN" also order triple shot skinny cappuccino for yourself.|
|Enjoy after meal espresso's and digestifs, request bill.||Thank Jesus or whichever god you like for the miracle calming effect of icecream. Wonder why you can't inject caffeine directly into eyeballs whilst downing red hot coffee and start packing away mobile playroom into gigantic changing bag. Attempt to scrape up stamped on food from under table which looks like there's been an explosion in a fish finger factory. Give up and hide most of it under strategically placed napkins.|
|Pay bill and leave generous tip as you're a bit tipsy. Retire to the bar for more drinks, perhaps some champagne.||Hastily flee from bombsite table avoiding eye contact with waiter who'll have to tidy it up. Pay at bar on way out so you don't have to wait. Leave embarrassing tip made up of silver coins from bottom of your purse as you used all of your pound coins on the Postman Pat ride in Morrisons. Evacuate restaurant immediately before child experiences sugar high from icecream.|