Toddlers and Restaurants

We ate dinner out and watched a couple with tiny girl twins.

One was having a colossal meltdown.

Maybe it was the 10:00 p.m. dinner hour?

Perhaps they didn’t want to be at TGI Friday’s at 10:00 p.m.

Whatever the back story (and I’m not judging if you like to keep your kids up late because we did but mostly at home), one twin was very, very unhappy.

Round 1

Mom dashed off to the parking lot and returned with a bag that we hoped held a magic sippy cup or favorite toy.

Dad held the screaming, bawling twin.

The silverware was up on a ledge safe from little grabby hands.

The food arrived.

Mom got up from the booth.

Dad unwrapped his silverware.

Why does Dad always get to eat first?

Mom walked down the aisle of the restaurant.

That’s when I spied an impish tiny twin heading to the bar.

Mom followed close behind.

I wanted to tell them…


Don’t cave in and make that giant mistake.

NEVER let them walk in the restaurant.

The clear choices are:

  1. I can hold you
  2. You can stay in the high chair
  3. We can go to the car

There is never a choice of let’s walk around the restaurant and I’ll chase you.

Not only is it annoying for other patrons who may have paid a babysitter or actually lived through the early parenting years and were actually enjoying a child-free dinner – it really is a DANGER ZONE.

She was barely 2 feet tall. This means she’s hard to spot with a bustling wait staff carrying hot food.

Round 2

Dad is now following the 2 foot tiny twin around the restaurant.

Awesome blocking moves with his legs while he carries the other twin.

So Mom can eat her cold dinner.

The kid’s face says it all,

“V-I-C-T-O-R-Y. I am the winner of screaming the loudest and ruling the family.”

We laughed remembering the days when one of us had to step out with one of the three tiny Humpfreeze kids.

We patted each other on the back knowing we did not ever let them loose in a restaurant.

Really, we didn’t.

It just was not an option.

The Mom looked frazzled.

The Dad looked tired as he leaned on the corner of the booth behind us.

I remembered kind words that strangers spoke way back then.

I felt it was my turn to return the favor.

I said, “You’re going to make it. Our tiny twin girls just turned 20 last week.”

The Dad smiled.

As the Dad turned and walked away to catch the loose twin, PhilBillPaul whispered to me…

“Should I tell him that this is the easiest it will ever be?”


One year ago..

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  1. 1
    Jenn Ross says:

    Love it…one time in church on Palm Sunday our toddler son was intent on getting up every 5 seconds to go procure yet another palm. Hubby was on a business trip. Trying to hang onto him while keeping an eye on the other two was a challenge and he escaped once or twice. A Mom of 8 in the pew in front of me turned around at the handshake of peace and with an all knowing look on her face and an extra pat on the arm said “Peace be with you..remember your blessings. It stuck with me all these years…he is now 24 and yes that was the easiest part but tell PhilBillPaul that is a secret that we can share but won’t be believed when you are in the moment of toddler chaos! You do remember with grandchildren which is why I have so much more patience with them..oh and the fact I get to hand them back..teehee!

    • 1.1
      Sherra says:

      Yes, that’s right Jenn – we know it’s a secret because it’s hard to see anything beyond the season you are currently in so we kept it to ourselves. It was fun for us to watch and remember!

  2. 2
    ~julie says:

    The problems really NEVER are small no matter what the child’s age.

    • 2.1
      Sherra says:

      The toddler problems always felt pretty small to me. I guess because it’s the stage I most enjoyed and appreciated. Perhaps because I felt more “in control” and they were so dang cute. I’m still working on my “control” issues. 😉

  3. 3
    Melinda says:

    Amen on the “control” issues but I still don’t have any patience for parents that insist on bringing toddlers out at that time of night. IMO children need to be IN the bed after 9 and NOT in public!