Today I ventured into unknown territory: I had lunch with LO at a sit-down restaurant. Alone. Without our diaper bag of goodies.
It was the type of restaurant that I try to avoid even with my husband—the sit-down kind of restaurant where you sort of have to wait for things like your food and your check. And it’s pretty intimate with little tables. And other customers will surely give you the evil eye if your toddler so much as makes a peep.
Thankfully no evil eye was cast. There were two things about this restaurant that I gambled on: it was outside, and it was right next to a huge water fountain. We ate at the Farm at the Grove.
I wasn’t even planning on eating there; my original plan was for us to split a Jamba Juice until we got home and ate our lunch there. But when we were at Barnes and Noble, LO said, “Want food.” Okay I know I’m supposed to pay attention to food signals, especially if they’re saying something so direct as “want food.” But he said it right when he sat on a bench, and almost every time LO sits on a bench, he says something about food, whether it’s “want food” or “eat.” So I ignored him.
Later we go towards the Farmers Market because I wanted to check out a bench at World Market. Just as we were, oh, 50 feet from the store, LO says again, “Want to eat.” Okay, I better not mess with his tummy because I know how grumpy it can get. So we walk all the way back towards the Grove, and a lightbulb flashes over me as I think, “I wonder if the restaurant by the fountain has tables?” I even asked LO, “What would you like to have, smoothie or burger?” He promptly replied, “Burger.” Okay, fountain restaurant it is.
They sit us down next to the fountain and right away LO is mesmerized. Forget the crayons that they handed him! It was all about looking at the fountain, the fish and the rocks. I order quickly (BBQ bacon cheeseburger, to my husband’s dismay. “Did you give him Coke too?”) and made sure they brought us out some bread to pacify the grumpy hungry tummy.
The rest of the meal went smoothly. We split the burger and bread and had our waters. I didn’t feel rushed to have our check brought, and we probably could have stayed longer but there was a line of customers waiting for a table. In fact, when it was time to leave, he protested until I told him that we were going to continue standing by the fountain.
I’m very pleased with my first lunch date with LO. No frantic “Check, please!” necessary.