The 7 Stages of Dining in Public with a Toddler

#1 – SHOCK

Wait — what am I doing? Am I actually walking into a restaurant with my toddler?

#2 – DENIAL

I can do this. I’m armed with coloring books, Cheerios and an iPad. WE’LL BE FINE.

 

#3 – ANGER

OMG, he’s crawling under the table and banging the table with his spoon. The other diners are staring at us. Why can’t he just sit still for one minute? And why can’t those other people mind their own damn business? Haven’t they ever seen a kid lick bread crumbs off the floor before? Look away, people. LOOK. AWAY.

 

#4 – BARGAINING

“C’mon, sweetie. Get off the floor and eat just one bite? Please? Mom and Dad paid EIGHT DOLLARS for this bowl of Kraft macaroni.”

#5 – DEPRESSION

I’m never going to be able to enjoy eating at a restaurant again. EVER.

#6 – RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH

Maybe if I just let him rudely stare at the people eating behind us, he’ll be entertained enough to let us eat some of our meal in peace.

#7 – ACCEPTANCE

He only dropped 20 Cheerios on the floor, knocked over one glass of milk and dropped one iPad on the woman sitting behind us. Not bad. If we tip well enough, they might even let us eat here again next week!

 

Candy Kirby

Candy is the founder of The Mom Beat and a humor columnist whose work as appeared in Redbook, Nickelodeon's NickMom, Disney's BabyZone, HelloGiggles and eHow. She also used to be a staff writer for the soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful, where she penned many scripts featuring prolonged heated stares and countless “Who’s the Daddy?” story lines. Candy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young kids and three rescue Persian cats, the latter of whom are the real brains behind this operation.