It’s the nicest restaurant we’ve been to with Celia, not counting my brothers’ place in Montana. We just haven’t had the desire to eat in finer dining venues, because she tends to start breaking down well before the food arrives. When the food takes over half an hour to arrive, Celia can’t handle the lull, so she’ll squeak and squeal until we let her run around. She’ll run up to every patron in the place until someone gives her attention.
We eventually need to contain her so we end up holding her wiggly little body as she does her best to make her great escape. By the time the food comes, our best attempt at eating usually involves wolfing down the food quickly so that our squirmy, sometimes-wailing daughter can be passed back and forth from me to Michelle more easily.
Up till now, we’ve tried limiting ourselves to Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, and Middle-Eastern places. The kinds of restaurants where the lights are bright, the food is cheap but delicious, and the people are loud. In those kinds of places, a wiry child seems to fit in better. Plus the food gets served rather quickly.
But I’ve noticed that ever since she hit one year old, every week she seems more mature. She’s got at least a dozen-word vocabulary now, and is able to sit quietly if something is interesting in front of her. So, when my friend recommended going to a nice restaurant, and Michelle asked me, “Is it child friendly?” I said, “Let’s give it a shot, either way.”
Yes, there were pieces of food all over the table and our clothing. Yes, we ate more quickly than pre-child. And yes, our child did get passed around while we ate.
But no, there was no screaming, running, or general anguish.
Yes! Who says it gets harder? Parenting gets easier as they get older!