Monday, 7 November 2011

The One with the Meal Out

The boy is being particularly trying at the moment.

On Saturday he virtually concussed poor Fairy Godmother Ken by accidentally whacking her over the head with a plastic toy box! Some tissues, to mop up the blood from the cut, and two paracetamol later and she seemed OK but I was mortified.

Today, at Jingles, he was described by a mum I know as "willful"!

That's just polite for "stubborn little sod" in my book!

So on Sunday, which was Nanny P's birthday, our planned trip to Pizza Express filled me with anticipation and moments of sheer doom!

You see I used to be one of those people.

I was a tutter!

And in all fairness so was my Mum. In fact she was worse than me.

I didn't have children, I'd paid for a nice quiet meal out with my husband/friend/parents/anyone who'd buy me dinner and I didn't want it spoilt by other people's screaming kids, thank you very much!

I cringe now when I think back and although it seems my patience levels are currently at an all time low, my tolerance is much better than it ever was before the days of the boy.

Now I understand, and even agree, that taking small children to restaurants improves their behaviour and social skills. I get it.

Doesn't stop me being nervous of it though! And bless Nanny P she is too. We are both to acutely aware of the curse of the tutter and we both feel the embarrassment of the situation and our past misdemeanors.

The problem is my Mum doesn't help and always makes me worse when we take the boy out in public. She looks permanently surprised with a wide eyed "I can't believe I'm doing this" expression on her face, coupled with an involuntary tick where she constantly looks around to check if anyone is staring at us!

But the boy is nothing but an entertainer and in these days of family orientated restaurants, any slight melt downs went completely unnoticed, such was the amount of little ones in there at 5 pm last night. I would go as far as to say he was great.

He started playing a game where he'd hide a book behind his back, say "Gone" then, when asked where it had gone, would point over to the kitchen area and say "There. Apples" and laugh as it was quite clearly not in the kitchen but behind his back.

This had added comic value due to the "Apples" in question actually being plastic tomatoes decorating the shelves above where the pizza's were being made. More importantly on one occasion the boy, showing the same comedy magic skills of Tommy Cooper, said "There" and pointed to the kitchen with the hand that still had the book in it!

So I should be braver and just get on with it. The boy is fine, as long as he has a game and a new audience to play to.

He's only trying because he needs constant entertaining and to be constantly entertaining.

So eating out with a toddler is easy, if you do it just like that........

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