Sometimes it’s just nice to go out to eat, right? I’m talking a no dishes to clean, leave the mess under the table, get an umbrella in your drink kind of night. But add little ones to the mix and going out to eat can resemble a real circus side show.
I really appreciate it when restaurants break free of the crayon and paper distraction option and get creative. Crayons last negative 2 seconds at our table. My son puts them in his mouth and my daughter gives them the cold shoulder after mumbling something about markers. One of our favorite places to eat in the city gives out buckets of Lincoln Logs to the kids. That’s creative, right? And they work perfectly…until we find them dipped in the ketchup. Another one hands out WikiSticks, those skinny sticks of wax that can be made into fun shapes and objects. That’s creative, right? And they work perfectly…until they get “lost” and we spend most of the time under the table with the flashlight App. One time a restaurant gave us Etch A Sketches. That’s super creative, right? And they worked perfectly…until one of my kids got whacked so hard on the head with it we had to leave. My personal favorite though is when they bring out uncooked pizza dough for the kids to mold into their own creative artwork. One time I let them use the salt and pepper shakers to season them and got death stares from the waitstaff. (I think we probably deserved those.) So what is the solution my friends? What is the magical piece of equipment that will give our kids a little down time, not get dumped in ketchup, and perhaps even let us have an adult conversation? Ohhhhhhh Right. The iPAD.
But what if we’re judged? What if our kids never learn to handle boredom? What if they never outgrow the stage where they need electronics at a restaurant? What if they never learn how to look a waiter in the eye? What if they wanted to look a waiter in the eye but couldn’t because they sat too long at a restaurant staring at an iPad? Humf.
So what do we do? What do we do after we’ve colored 9 different kitties with the markers we remembered to stuff in our bag, had our fingers dented in from dislodging crayon in our son’s teeth, bent down to pick up 20 WikiSticks and forked out dried pizza dough from our daughter’s hair?
We take a sip of our Margarita, and we turn the damn thing on.
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