My babies are almost 7 months old and a LOT has happened in their little lives so far!
One thing that hasn't happened....Dining out.
As a new mom and a new mom of twins, I cannot seem to conquer my fear of taking 2 babies out to eat.
So, We have ordered food to go, gotten take out and had pizza delivered whenever we feel like eating out. And frankly, I've been ok with that!
We have avoided public meltdowns, screaming fits and embarrassment.
But, it seems my avoidence streak will end this weekend.
We have family coming into town and they want to go out to breakfast.
Of course there is nothing I want to do more than seeing family and enjoying a wonderful breakfast with them! My first thought...do we have to bring the boys?
Who wouldn't want to see these adorable baby boys, especially family who has only gotten to see them once since they were born.
So, I've been on a search for tip and tricks from other moms of multiples on how to survive this adventure.
*I will say that since the boys have had their surgeries, I am a little more hopeful that meltdowns will be to a minimum since they are no longer in pain!*
Here's a few tips I have read...
1) Be Prepared – Bring whatever you need to to soothe the savage beast. That could be a favorite blanket, a stuffed animal, a special toy or my personal fave – candy to be used as bribes! Whatever it takes to keep them quiet while you enjoy that gourmet dish that you’ve been craving.
** This, I can do. We have a million toys-- but obviously candy is a no-no.
2) Feed ‘em First – Not kidding. really, feed them something before you get to the restaurant. Most of us parents know that young kids have a penchant for not liking practically everything that is put before them, and complaining about it when you try to get them to eat. In the worst case scenarios, the meltdowns occur, with full-out tantrums and screaming fits being experienced by not only your family, but the whole restaurant. You will not be looked upon positively in these situations, so spare yourself and feed Johnny before you step out on the town. You can always get them a dessert or something when you’re there, if they start acting up and demanding food.
**Again, Can do! We will pack their bottles and try to feed in the parking lot! It is breakfast though, so we will be leaving our house early to drive 45mins..so we'll see how hungry they are at that time! Luckily they LOVE fresh fruits so mommy will be ordering some fruits for them to chew on!
3)Be a Family of Early Birds – Go early. You will have less traffic in the restaurant, more attention from the staff and less of an opportunity to annoy a large group of people. If you can coordinate an early evening dinner or early lunch, do so and you will feel a lot less stressed.
**Great idea! Doesn't quite fit our senario this time, but will keep it in mind!
4)Bribery, Negotiation and (sometimes) Threats – Use them often.
**Our boys are too young for this tip, but I don't think I would have a problem with the 'threats' part when they get older ;)
5)Plan Your Getaway – Similar to when traveling on an airplane, you should always know the locations of the emergency exits. Having small children may necessitate an emergency exit. Accordingly, plan your course of action and hope, like being on a plane, that you won’t have to use it but be assured that you can if you have to. And quickly.
**Too bad there isn't an attendant that points out all of their exit doors when you arrive--or even a floatation device, if needed!
6)Diversion Tactics – Can you say iPhone? Okay, how about any similar device that will keep your kids occupied and rapt while you dine in peace? I’m all about TV-watching (or smart-phone watching in this case) if it will keep the kids quiet for a little while. Load up some of little Johnny’ favorite programs on your device and make sure the battery is charged.
** The boys LOVE my iPhone, this will definitely be in play!
7)Team Huddle – Whether you are going with your child’s father, your mother, a favorite aunt or close friend, you should use the “team” philosophy and plan ahead what the play-by-play strategy should be. Huddle before the big event, make a game plan, delegate who’s doing what and be ready to rumble…if need be (the rumbling might be with a three-year-old, mind you, but be ready nonetheless).
**Thankfully we will be with a lot of family-- having the Team will help a ton!
8)Wait Staff Allies – Be very friendly with your wait staff. Very friendly. They can be your allies or your adversaries while you attempt to have a bit of a life by eating at a decent restaurant. They may even help you entertain your kids – your choice. You set the tone as soon as you get there, so you might as well make it a positive one since you’ve taken the jump and brought along the family. Oh, and be prepared to leave a very substantial tip, one that will compensate for the crème brûlée that’s ground into the floor.
** I must say I am one who is ALWAYS extremely courteous to the wait staff. I've been a waitress- I know it blows and the last thing they want is a shitty parent with a cranky baby. Enough said.
Restraints Seating – If your kids are small enough, do not forget the stroller or booster seat. When the going gets tough, the tough sit down…and make their kids sit down as well.
** Not sure about this one. The boys are still so young.. They do NOT like to be stuck in their carseats anymore..hopefully they are big enough for the restaurant high chairs. I think they will enjoy sitting up with everyone and playing.
10)Check Yourself – Ask for your bill as soon as you order. That way, if you have to make a speedy escape (see tip #5), you can do so more quickly.
** This one just made me laugh. I'm sure if you follow #8- they will understand when you need the check quickly :)
Those are just a few I have gotten from fellow moms of multiples-- I'm curious.. Anyone out there that is reading this, do YOU have any tips on Restaurant Etiquette with babies??