Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Restaurants and Children: Observations, Tips and Warnings (Part 1)

Carrie and I used to be frequent restaurant visitors.  But due to budget cuts and the abundance of children in our party that has changed a great deal.  However, on those occasions that we do eat out here are some observations, tips, and warnings from my dining with children experiences.
  1. Never ask your child where they want to eat.  It will never be where you want to eat.
  2. During the drive to the restaurant your children will complain that they are starving and that it is taking too long to get there. 
  3. If that restaurant happens to have a play area, those same children will eat one Chicken McNugget and three french fries and then loudly exclaim that they are no longer hungry.
  4. Did you know that children have compartmentalized stomachs, and that their green bean compartment is much smaller than their ice cream compartment?
  5. If I had a child's system of priorities when it comes to play vs. eat I would not be going to Quick Weight Loss.
  6. Regardless of how cute you think your child is when she is walking around taking the silverware off of other people's tables, the other patrons will not share your sentiment.  In fact, no matter how cute you think your children's antics are, no one anywhere will think so.
  7. If the restaurant that you have chosen doesn't have a playground there will always be a patron at another table nearby who will spot your family of six and immediately frown.
  8. Dear restaurant owner--what good is a playground if my children can see it as they walk in but I can't see it from my table. 
  9. Do not allow JoJo your child to dance on a nearby table.  Society frowns on such behavior.  Well, most of it anyway.
  10. Dear wait staff--unless you want to clean up crumbled and ground up wax off of the floor, please don't provide my 16 month old with crayons.
  11. Silverware should not equal drumsticks. See #6 above.
  12. Before children I was a good tipper.  With four children, I am now a GREAT tipper.
  13. Why do restaurants insist on keeping high chairs with broken restraining safety straps?  I will just have to leave after only ten minutes into my meal when JoJo insists that he MUST stand up. And really, those safety straps have a broken clip more than 50% of the time.  Really high chair manufacturer? You can't come up with a sturdier safety clip for your high chair safety straps?  If I was health inspector king I would close down any restaurant that has broken safety straps on their high chairs until they replace or repair any and or all broken straps.  Oh, now I get it. You're trying to get rid of us sooner.
  14. There are no high chairs in China. Nor are there any in the Chinese restaurants in Chinatown Houston, so we don't eat there anymore.  I am deeply saddened by this.
  15. If you really want to know how clean a restaurant is, check the high chairs, even if you don't have children.
  16. Who is the idiot who invented high chairs on rollers. I know it seems like a good idea because you don't have to pick the high chair up and carry it to the table but once a child is in it it becomes a giant baby bumper car. 
  17. Do not let your 16 month old boys out of their high chairs. The young couple sitting nearby will not appreciate it when Manny your son plays bumper car with the gentleman's chair.
  18. About #17above.......sorry sir. Of course, in a couple of years you will have a strange feeling of deja vous when your kids are doing it, too.
  19. Clearly I need to see a therapist regarding my obsession with high chairs.
In the end, it is rarely worth it to eat out, especially since unless we are eating at the golden arches or the place with the spotted cows it will cost in excess of $30 to eat.  I will really miss you Chipotle, Chuy's and ChinaTown Houston!

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