It was pretty easy to eat out when they were newborns and after that, we would put them in carriers during nap time and go get lunch. But after 5 months old, things got very complicated! We started solids and nap training--neither of which made it easy to take the babies out to eat. So, we just didn't.
They wouldn't fit into the restaurant highchairs and we would've spent the entire time feeding them and not getting to eat ourselves. With only one baby, you can take turns. But with two...there are no breaks. It just wasn't worth the hassle.
Now, they are eating just about everything they can get their hands on and we want them to get used to eating out and behaving well (oh, we can hope, yes?!).
On New Year's Day, we went out to brunch at a local diner. It went very well. So well that the next day we went to breakfast at a local cafe. We decided the diner had more action, faster food, same quality of food as the more upscale cafe and we spent significantly less money at the diner.
Both times the boys behaved well and we left patting ourselves on the back.
This past weekend, we braved the diner and again had an excellent brunch. It's faster than I prefer to eat, but then again most of my meals for the last year have been fast and furious.
We found the best way to get in and out is by wearing them in the Ergo's rather than taking the two single strollers and then trying to figure out where to 'park them' or fold and store them. If you have never been in a NYC cafe/diner, think small, cramped and crowded!
- Make sure you are dressed
- Get baby dressed
- Put baby in snowsuit/bunting with hat
- Put boots on baby
- Put coat on yourself, zip up
- Fasten Ergo around waist
- Find baby
- Put baby in Ergo
- Put on shoes (we don't wear shoes in our house)
- Grab backpack and gloves and walk to diner!
- Take everything off baby's side of table
- Wipe down table with wipes from your backpack
- Take baby out of Ergo, drape Ergo over back of highchair
- Put baby in your lap facing away from the table where he can grab everything and take off boots and snowsuit
- Put baby in highchair while trying not to let snowsuit drop to dirty floor. Realize the baby boots are on the table and are now being thrown to the floor.
- Find container of O's in the backpack and throw a pile on the table ASAP
- Once baby is occupied take your coat off before you pass out from overheating
- Glance at menu, order as soon as possible and ask for check at same time
- Start cutting up bananas and putting them on the table in front of baby
- Realize you forgot to put on their bibs. Put them on.
- Once food comes (it's a diner, it's fast, yeah!) starting tearing off pieces of everything and putting in on the table in front of the babies
- Start to panic that the babies are eating so quickly, you still haven't taken a bite
- Remind yourself that next time you should bring more cut up food so you have a chance to eat
- Eat. Fast.
- Keep giving the boys food. They seem to be a bottomless pit.
- Break out the cheese sticks.
- Keep eating
- Realize that your 'babies' have now eaten: O's, bananas, blueberries, plain buckwheat pancakes, hash browns, turkey sausage, scrambled eggs, buttered wheat toast, cantaloupe, honeydew and a stick of cheddar cheese
- Mentally calculate your grocery bill with 2 boys
- Decide 2 children is enough
- Pay bill, leave a big tip as you glance at the table and the floor.
- Give the kids the jam packets to play with while you finish eating. Hope that they don't bite holes in them.
- Take off bibs, wipe down faces and hands and table.
- Put on your coat, zip up and pray you don't overheat.
- Fasten Ergo around waist
- Start sweating.
- Take baby out of highchair, facing your chair sideways and put on his snowsuit.
- Curse that the boots are on the floor, find boots and put them on.
- Deep breaths as squirmy baby starts squawking
- Put baby in Ergo, put on gloves, grab backpack. Take a look at table to make sure you haven't forgotten anything and walk outside before you pass out.
See? Easy as can be.
Curious....where do you put the baby's food when you go out to eat?? If we put it on a plate, they would just fling it over the side, same goes with a place mat. We've tried the suction bowls, but our boys get them off in about 10 seconds. So...we just disinfect the table (we forgot the first time, ick!) and tell ourselves it's good for their immune systems to be exposed to some germs.
Jan 2, 2011. Checking out the menu. Breakfast at the cafe in our P.J.'s
Jan. 1, 2011. First brunch out at the diner. W2 needs a trim. Looks like he's starting to sport a bad comb-over.
Jan. 1, 2011 Diner Brunch