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Restaurant Wars

It’s funny. After reading Modern Mom’s post the other day, I’m thinking maybe our families should join each other for dinner out. Restaurant dining has never been our toddler’s strong suit. Even as an infant, she rarely stayed quiet long enough for my husband and I to enjoy a meal out. I know some people would simply say that restaurants and toddlerhood are an impossible match. But that’s just not us. We enjoy eating out, and we’re not trying to take our 2-year-old to any fine dining establishments – but even the local diner, pizza place, or kid-friendly Bugaboo Creek have posed their challenges. We come equipped with books, quiet toys, crayons and snacks, but still she can rarely sit still long enough for us to eat our own meals and she almost never eats any of her own, despite the fact that any meals out are always planned around her schedule. This past weekend, however, we did have one unmitigated restaurant success. We had lunch at a small place where she enjoyed playing with the salt and pepper shakers, ate her chicken, and sat the entire time in her own booster seat (only alternating occasionally from her bum to her knees). She even used the bathroom mid-meal and came back to her lunch. There was no special trick, nothing we did differently from any of the other times we’ve taken her out, no magic bullet. SO, my husband and I have been heaping praise on her ever since (positive reinforcement is something I’m trying to make a deliberate effort to work on), hoping it will be the start of a new era. I wonder what tricks other moms have had success with.

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One comment

  1. Anonymous April 9, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    We eat out with our toddler almost once a week. We don’t have a ton of take out places by us and I really don’t like to cook on the weekends. Besides keeping a stash of Wikki Stix in the diaper bag, http://wikkistix.com/, we also often resort to hiding the sugar packets in our hands and having our toddler guess where they are. She thinks it’s hysterical!

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