Our kids have always been pretty good in restaurants. The smug part of me would say it’s because we made them sit while we were out in public. The rational part of me realizes we just had kids that were good at going out. Sort of like our kid were good sleepers. Sort of like how they were good eaters as babies. I’ve learned that there are things you have little control over. I had nothing to do with how they slept. I had little to do with how often they’d try and enjoy new foods. Prior to Coop, I figured it was because I was strong. I let him cry at night. I didn’t serve only food I knew he’d eat and I never fixed anything else if he didn’t eat dinner.
After Becks, I realized I was sort of wrong. My will and stubbornness didn’t change. It’s in my genes. I will argue the sky is green if I need to. I will ignore a tantruming child for hours if necessary. What changed was the child. And I had to change to make life easier. I didn’t have all the answers because it worked one way once. I had to learn that there were many solutions, I just had to listen. And life got easier. So I listen. I might not always agree, but I listen.
About a year ago, I thought our Good Restaurant runs were dashed forever. We’d sit down. Ask Becks what he wanted to eat. Grilled Cheese. Colored. Talked. Laughed. The food came and Becks didn’t want Grilled Cheese, he wanted Mac n’ Cheese. Demanded Mac n’ Cheese. Screamed Mac ‘n Cheese. Forever. One thing I hate is when a kid flips out and the parents do nothing. By “do nothing” I mean they stay in the restaurant for the flip-out to end. So we’d leave with Becks discuss options and come back to the table. Sometimes we’d have to repeat. Once or twice it was three times. But he’d come around and eat his Grilled Cheese. Thankfully that phase ended. Not fast enough, but it’s gone. <knock on wood>
Tonight and every night, I was grateful for good resturant kids and a table full of crayons and paper. We only have to pull out the iPods when we dine with friends. When we’re alone, we eat and leave. But with friends, I want more time. And I will happily pull out technology in order to get it.