I took the boys to a restaurant for the first time. Well, not the first time, but the first time since they have been big enough to sit there and participate instead of sleeping in their carseats on the floor. Noah has been teething like crazy, and I have been searching high and low for things to distract and entertain him during the day. So when my dad asked if the boys and I would like to join him for lunch, I gave him plenty of warning as to what he might be in for. But he still bravely said “bring ’em.” So I did.
I was pleasantly surprised with how well they did. I was halfway expecting Noah to have a full on meltdown within the first 5 minutes. But they were both so mesmerized by all of the people and activity going on in El Ranchito that they mostly just sat there and looked around. Our primary problem was that our table was not baby-friendly. We were in a small booth, and it’s basically impossible to pull two highchairs up to the end of a booth. So I ended up alternating between which kid was in the highchair at the end of the table and which one was sitting in my lap at the table.
I came prepared, except that I forgot bibs. Rookie mistake. But I brought their baby food and some fingerfoods and those little plastic disposable placemats that are sticky on the back and stick to the table. And of course the giraffes. So the boys sat and ate their cheerios and crackers and stared at everybody in the restaurant.
But it turns out that cheerios and little crackers are NOT the best foods to take to a restaurant. Before we left, Nate (who was able to join us about halfway through), looked around at the floor and said, “I always swore we would never be THAT family.” Oh, but we were. There were cheerios EVERYWHERE. And little cracker bits. And slobber. And wadded up napkins from where I had been wiping the boys’ faces and fingers every five seconds. And the table was a wreck from having to move things out of their reach constantly. And our waiter was leaning against the corner with his arms crossed and a very frustrated look on his face.
Nate and I just looked at each other. There was no way we could walk out of the restaurant with a mess like that. So he passed the boys to me, and they both sat beside me on the booth chewing on their giraffes while their daddy climbed down under the table on all fours and attempted to reverse the damage… And there was alot of it. But after seeing Nate crawling around on the floor picking up cheerio crumbs, the waiter wasn’t giving us quite as dirty looks anymore.
So now I know that cheerios are not restaurant food, booths are not acceptable for two highchairs, and the guilt that comes with a mess is too strong for me to walk away from. But I also know that it is actually possible to enjoy a meal at a restaurant with two babies. So as soon as I figure out how to handle the logistics of everything else, it might actually be worth it! So you should leave a comment here or on FB and tell me how YOU handle restaurants with babies, because I don’t want to be THAT family again any time soon!