I mentioned a few days ago about the insane mess that resulted in our first real restaurant outing with the boys. And about the guilt I had about leaving said mess, which resulted in Nate crawling around on the floor underneath our table picking up cheerios, crackers, and toys while our frustrated waiter looked on from the corner.
Well yesterday my mom solved the problem. I think. She got the boys a little pre-Valentines Day happy.
Let me introduce you to the Neatnik Saucer:
It’s a pop-out restaurant highchair cover that has a flexible plastic surface that keeps food/toys/crumbs from falling on the floor. It fits on any standard restaurant highchair (with room for the little built-in seatbelt on most of chairs). AND it has a little lip around the edges to keep things from rolling off or spilling. AND it has two little velcro tab thingies that attach to sippy cups or toys (or anything that would tend to get launched across the room by little hands).
Plus it folds up into a little carrying case that will fit into my diaper bag.
Based on the reviews that I’ve found online, most of the people who use them say they work really well. There are two main downsides that I’ve seen — First, it’s hard to figure out how to get it back into the little case (its kind of like one of those pop-up toddler tents – you pull it out of the case and it just kind of pops into shape.) I can vouch for that difficulty because I took it out to look at it yesterday then tried to put it back. It definitely took me a couple of tries to figure out how to fold it back up. But I think I could do it pretty quickly and easily now that I figured it out. Second, it would be hard to use at a really small table. And to use TWO of them at a table, I’d have to at least be sitting at a 4-top. But I think that’s doable in most restaurants.
So now I can’t wait for our next restaurant outing so that I can give it a try. This just might solve the problem. Or it might be a complete disaster and yet another one of those little gimmicks marketed to new mothers who don’t know any better. We’ll see. (Although I’m really hoping for the former rather than the latter). But rest assured, I’ll let you know how it goes. Maybe I’ll even take a picture. And if it’s a raging success, I’ll post a link to the only place you can buy them in Jackson …and perhaps discuss with the owner about getting some commission off of this brilliant advertising plan. Hey it’s worth a shot, right?