What do you expect: dining out with kids
Our recent post about kid-friendly cafes brought up thoughts about how our littles "should" behave when dining out. I think the cafe experience is very formal, but - with holiday season upon us - there are plenty of reunions with family and friends, and plans of dining out as the activity of choice. Since becoming a parent, I notice that we are dining out less and less often. It's just easier. It's easier when the kids can excuse themselves when they are done, and adults can continue to graze and converse without them. It's cheaper (!) to stay home, now that the kids are older and often prefer to order from the regular entree menu and not the kids menu.
We have gone through an evolution dining out with the kids. We used to bring a DVD player of some sort to movies could hold the littles captive while adults ate leisurely (WOW!). We used to haul crayons, books, blocks, and a few other things to keep them occupied. Now (like I said, we eat out pretty rarely as a family), it really is a special occasion, a treat of an outing. We like to have "civilized" conversation, talk like grown ups, maybe sip beverages out of cocktail glasses (virgin shirley temples are making a come back).
What is dining out like for you and your kids? Do you have a toddler, and perhaps one adult is always out roaming with the little one? Do you have older kids who are the center of conversation? Do you have voracious readers who try to read at the table? Or perhaps that is unacceptable (to read at the table)?