When Jeremy and I were dating, we spent hundreds of dollars each month (well…he did) eating out. That’s just what ya do when you are young and in love, right? Once we got married, the fun didn’t stop though. I really enjoyed cooking and experimenting with what I was good at, but come Friday night (and Saturday night, and Sunday afternoon) we looked at each other and said “where do you want to go for dinner tonight?”.
I guess we as Americans, or maybe just people, have a love affair with eating out. It always sounds like a lot of fun. You pay someone else to clean up your mess and get up 10 thousand times to fill your glass, you get to eat fun food that potentially you would never cook yourself at home, etc. So is it any wonder that it takes multiple children to torture us and beat this love out of our minds?
I remember when Cooper was first born. We were really busy as a family but we didn’t eat out a whole lot. (Plus, money was a bit tighter by then!) On the rare occasions we did go out, Cooper was quite a handful. I always wanted him to learn how to behave in restaurants/public, so I didn’t want to just vow off going out. I really wanted him to learn that there were expectations of him when we enjoyed the treat of dinner away from home. Finally, around age 3, Cooper started becoming way more fun to go out with. He finally “got it” and we as parents knew we could appropriately deal with any snafoos and continue on when we did go out.
Then, we had baby number 2. Sigh. And we are back to the stage of total torture to go out to eat with the child.
I find myself saying the same things: “Why do I do this to myself?” and “What was I thinking?” and I still find myself thinking that Chase needs to LEARN what is expected of him when we go out. If I never take him, how will he learn?
I am in our home town right now. All my favorite places to eat are just a 30-minute drive (if that) away. Nostalgia is at a peak for me right now. But somehow, that breakfast at Cracker Barrel is a whole lot less enjoyable when the munchkin is flippin’ out.
One day, I’ll be an old (and totally hot) Grandma watching Chase and Cooper try to deal with their kids at the dinner table when we are out…and I might say been there, done that to myself….or I may just invite everyone over to my house and cook…dinner-a-la-Nora Walker he he he he he he he…