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Apr 11, 2009

Dinner for Three

Tonight was the first time that Patrick and I have attempted a real dining out experience alone with Colin. This is partly due to finances, as we have been saving and scraping to get our house together and have money to move, but also because we still consider ourselves to be newbies to the parenting game and don’t know how to handle a screaming child in public. There was no mutual decision like Tonight Is The Night! or anything, but there was definitely an excitement about sitting at a table and having someone bring us stuff to eat. It had been so long since we’d been out that when I missed the server’s question before we’d ordered, I couldn’t even predict what she’d said. Drinks, Patrick muttered to me. She wanted to know what I’d have to drink. Yes, yes. That usually comes first… I remember now.

As far as babies in public go, I think Colin did pretty well, but I was a nervous wreck the whole time. We intentionally went out early, sat in the back in a booth, and brought tons of food and toys. Naturally, all Colin wanted to do was drink my Diet Coke (not on your life, kid. Get your own.) and mash my veggie burger with his chubby little hands. Luckily, he is easily distracted and I was able to deflect his attention to the shiny baby spoon with applesauce on the end of it.

Patrick and I tried to carry on a conversation, but it mostly revolved around two topics. We either discussed how adorable our baby is (I mean seriously cute.) or we devised exit strategies in case things got bad (I would make a run for it with Colin while Patrick stayed to pay. Not original, but we felt it would be successful.). Luckily, we didn’t have to employ any such strategy and, after a good helping of applesauce, Colin settled into chewing on his book and banging his spoon happily on the table.

Eating out is one of my favorite, favorite things and it is something that I have greatly missed as our money and child-having situation changed over the last year. But now, having done it with Colin, I don’t know that it’s worth the stress. The whole time we were there, I was consumed with Colin’s status: hungry? Sleepy? In reach of anything breakable? Noisy? Eating something he shouldn’t be? Eventually, I looked down and my food was almost gone and what was left was cold. I hadn’t even noticed that I was eating, much less enjoying our “night out”. I might as well stay home and have cereal.

On the bright side, in moving to Indy, we’re essentially moving into Babysitting Country. Perhaps this will mean the return of dinners out. Maybe.

2 Readers rock!:

XE said...

It'll get better :) The baby and toddler years are not good for eating out, but once Nora hit 4 or 5 it was really easy to take her out to a restaurant.

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