Table for two and a half?

I am one of those people that had a baby but still wants to do grown up things like going to eat in restaurants.  Rebel, I know.  However there are some challenges to taking your little person out to a grown up eating establishment.

The places I go all have a paper menu with puzzles on to entertain children with a menu aimed at them.  They give you a pot of crayons that I must wrestle off my baby as he tries to eat them all.  They provide you with a high chair.  This makes you feel like they are happy to have you there and expect mini diners to arrive.

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They do not however have some of the things that you do need if you are taking a small person out with you.  I am not sure if all babies do this, but with mine, if you put food into the top end of him, very shortly afterwards, stuff comes out of the bottom end of him.  If you do not have a baby changing area this does not mean that I will not need to change my baby.  I will change him on any available surface.  I will bag up the nappy and put it in the nearest bin.

Babies do not care about separating courses.  They do not want to wait in between courses for a lovely chat with the people they are eating with.

So I would like someone to open a restaurant for people with children, it still needs to make good food for parents to enjoy but there should be a few tweaks made so that parents can enjoy the time out spending lots of money on food that they don’t have to cook themselves.

The restaurant needs to have a few television screens with peppa pig on a loop so that children are occupied whilst the food makes its way to the table.  Bring the adult food out in stages, but bring the children’s food out all in one go.  You don’t think that bolognaise and strawberry ice cream go together? Well babies do, and they will merrily spread them both simultaneously around their faces with great joy and abandon. Then while adults wait for their main course or dessert they child will not sit there shrieking for no reason loudly terrifying the other diners, because they will be eating.

Children take an amazingly long time to eat. But if there is a wait for food they behave as if we have entered a famine and they might very well die in the next few minutes, you may be able to see a few bits of pre chewed garlic bread lying around them, but these are being saved for last.  Don’t take them away, just add to the food pile that they are collecting.  They may just be collecting them to throw on the floor, especially my baby who will do this and look for any dogs that may be hiding to come and eat the left overs and hopefully give him a little lick.

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Have a baby changing place.  Just have one.  Otherwise people like me will go into the corridor and use the chairs that you have removed to make room for the high chair to change the poop covered cherub on (yes Prezzo, that is what I did last night, when I said I would improvise I didn’t mean that I would put my baby on the cold, hard, unsanitary toilet floor, now if only you could remember which chairs they were….. mwahahahaha).

Now this one may just be my baby, but how about the children’s food having some sort of nutritional value?  I know that you have vegetables in there as my food was full of them and I had to give half of mine to my baby so that he was not just eating carbs followed by sugar.  The kids menu was garlic bread followed by pasta with either a tomato or bolognaise sauce then ice cream.  My baby shared our olives, then he had some of my baked mushrooms as well as garlic bread.  Then I took half of my vegetables to put into his pasta.  I can’t be the only parent out there that gives her child fruit and vegetables.  I would pay more for better food.  All of the money that I used to spend to lots of booze to go with my meal can now be diverted into spending on feeding my child.  I know that when you delivered my one and only glass of wine to the table and I greedily held it and looked adoringly at it as if it was a long lost friend, you thought I would drink lots.  But I can’t, I am out with my baby.

There will be mess and noise.  Accept it, also don’t give my baby evils.  Parents are very protective of the tiny, loud, smelly messy humans that they created.  Even if they look like a mini evil old man to you, that parent can only see the most beautiful creature in the world looking at them.  If you shoot eye daggers at my baby while he screams with joy and throws food on the floor, I might stab you with my fork.  It is not my fault, its hormones,  they make you a bit crazy.  You have been warned.  I have worked in hospitality for years, yes it is annoying to have to pick up spitty bits of food from around a table and scrape squishy unidentifiable things from a high chair.  If you are nice to our kids we will tip big and make it worth it.  Grumpy, stroppy face means no tip and no effort to clean up baby wipe mountain that we have been creating throughout the meal.

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So someone, (not me as I would hate to run a place aimed at kids, I love my child, not all of them.) should open a place where food can be thrown with abandon and parents can feel relaxed.  You will make a fortune.  I would come.  Otherwise people like me are going to continue to make other restaurants suffer.

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