11/8/11

Cafes and Kids


We took our kids to a cafe last weekend that was a tad too fancy for us. The mirrored tables should have given us our first clue. The giant cookies at the counter should have been our second. Owen demanded that we give him one. He ate it before we got our lunch. Eventually we dropped 2 full glasses of water. On a positive note, the floors got freshly mopped twice while we were there. The food was delicious, but did my kids even realize? There was a lot of complaining going on. Sometimes I think my kids should just be (at best!) eating at Quiznos before the age of 10.


Do you sometimes try to eat at restaurants that are slightly out of your kids league because you're tired of the same old same old kid friendly places? I do and it's almost always something I regret! Maybe if I took care of my kids instead taking pictures the whole time . . . ha

15 comments:

  1. Whoops - meant to sign in with a blogger account, but somehow messed that one up...

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  2. Why, yes, I am super late to this party and commenting now :) A new reader who is catching up. You have a great blog.

    I'm currently in Japan, but am from the States, and find it so interesting that here, in a country with a negative growth rate, that I notice little kiddos EVERYWHERE! It finally clicked: people here bring their kids with them every place they go. It's quite normal to have a kid or two next to you in a nice cafe or on the subway or in line for coffee. I haven't noticed any one complaining or giving looks to the families - perhaps it's the Japanese culture of politeness or maybe it's a different way of doing things: parenting out in the open, instead of segregating into "kid friendly" and "not." The kids seem pretty well behaved for the most part, but they are kids, so crying and dropped glasses and a frantic mom running across the place to catch a wily toddler are all par for the course.

    But - to be fair - I don't have kids and have been in country for 1 month. So maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about!

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  3. yes I have and I will keep doing it. We've had great experience where our kids behaved beautifully and we've had horrible experiences where both of them where a pain - in both family targeted restaurants and a bit fancier ones. I keep on going because each experience teaches them something and change is good. I truly believe that having kids should not limit us completely to only dining at home or at Mickey D's...venturing out a little can be an adventure and if it goes well the memories can be great.
    www.fishlynews.com

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  4. we tend to picnic. even in the winter. nobody to give us dirty looks for our crazy kids and the birds clean up all the mess . but we have gone out and had melt downs, the kids make a huge mess and run around screaming..... i just chill out, let them make a mess of their dinner, they only eat their dessert, i drink a nice glass of wine, and remember to tip a bit extra. :) x

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  5. Those situations are never as bad as they seem from the inside. Growing up my Dad would take us on "Daddy Dates" for some special one-on-one time. We lived outside Chicago. For one of my "Daddy Dates" my Dad and I went to see Show Boat downtown and then went out to dinner at The Everest (a super fancy chicago restaurant). It was much fancier than he thought, certainly not a place for an 11 year old. When they brought us appetizers on a giant spoon that we didn't order, I had no idea what to do. My Dad said everyone was staring at us, and that he felt like an out of touch divorced Dad trying to impress his daughter on his visitation night. We certainly had a story to tell the rest of the family when we got home, and it definitely made a lasting memory between my Dad and I.

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  6. I'm one of those lame moms that will NOT take my kids to a non-kid friendly place if I can help it. I'm so paranoid the whole time and it just makes for a stressful dinner-even when the kids are being good. Yup, I'm a crazy one!

    I do however supplement by making sure all dates and girls nights occur at restaurants that I would never take the kiddos to.

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  7. Ha- been there, done that and getting ready to do it again with my grandson. The worst for me was when my youngest (now 9 but at the time 2) was spitting her chewed food out on to the restaurant (a fancy bistro) floor when she thought no one was looking. Fun times.

    Wendy - http://thedandybohemian.blogspot.com/

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  8. I think there is a season for all things:) A season for taking your kids to fancy restaurants is def.top on my list:) I like waiting until they are a bit older for such experiences. I really enjoy taking K to tearooms and fancy places (now the K is older and can appreciate the finer things in life)lol. As for C...I'll give this experience a few more years:)

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  9. I totally agree with "Chris"! The kids would probably rather eat at a kid-friendly place anyways and don't appreciate the extra money these places cost. You'll have plenty of time to show them the finer side of New York when they get older so save yourself the aggravation and enjoy the nicer places on your own during the day while they're in school.

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  10. Gaby [The Vault Files]March 30, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    We love eating out but with a toddler the game changes completely, doesn't it? Instead of having a relaxed time, getting a meal served, and enjoying all that, all you can do is try to keep your kid entertained and avoid a disaster (like the glasses one). So I guess you have two options: enjoy the adventure or avoid it! ;)

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  11. Ask for to-go cups next time or bring your own.

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  12. If you don't branch out they won't get the experience - but it doesn't need to be expensive. Just trying different cultures such as Japanese, Malaysian, Thai etc - as long as you tell them to keep the spice to an all time low - then it can be a load of fun. Since our child (ok we only have one so maybe that makes it easier?) but since he was 4 or 5 we have tried places like this and his palate is amazing plus he knows what's expected when you eat out. It also means you can keep away form those standard kid choices that aren't that great - fries, nuggets, pizza etc - our absolute favourite is sushi quickly followed by thai. Yum! The idea of doing it as a special 1 on 1 is a lovely one too. xxx

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  13. Gyða GunnarsdóttirMarch 30, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    Yes yes AND yes. When we travel with the kids we like to go to a place with GOOD food. We also try to pick out place like Italian, because they have often food that kids like a lot (pizza, spagetti) ;) , not OLIVE GARDEN.
    But after we had our 3rd child ( she is 3 now and does not like to sit longer than 10 min) we dont go as often, its really pain in ass to take all of them now. Maybe I wait until she will turn 3 1/2 or 4years old.

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  14. Okay, I'm really not trying to be harsh here (I love your blog, and to each his/her own, right?!), but....

    As a server in a "nicer" restaurant, I can't tell you how much we really, REALLY do NOT like situations like what you've just described. It doesn't just ruin your meal from the stress of it all, it ruins everyone's in a 10 - 20 foot radius and costs the waiter a lot of money because no one wants to sit in that section. I can't tell you how many times I've been told "not by the kids" or "we paid to get a sitter to come out, so we don't want to hear someone's kids while we're on actually on a date." If it's one kid (esp. above tantrum age), it's not too bad. Anyway, just letting you know, no matter how friendly they are to your face, they're really not happy to see you.

    Again, nothing personal against you or your kids. Just wanted to let you know the opinion of the vast majority of servers in non-kid friendly restaurants.

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  15. yep! i agree. i was a waitress too. i promise this cafe a step above a Hot and Crusty. haha

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