However, we all know that children, by their very nature, can be unpredictable. Which is why we take steps to try to assure that our restaurant experiences will be positive. We try not to go out too late. We bring items that will entertain them so they will be able to sit quietly. We go to restaurants that are considered family-friendly. All of these steps are taken to attempt an enjoyable meal. Unfortunately, there is a strange phenomenon that has occurred during our last few trips out to eat.
Last week, we decided it would be easier to go out and grab a bite to eat instead of cooking dinner. We'd all had long days at work and school, but we figured a quick trip to the local UNO's would be a fun, easy treat that the kids could handle. We were wrong. The kids were antsy. Multiple drinks were spilled. Charlotte shouted for the sheer fun of it. Sean bumped his head as he was crawling under the table. In all, it was chaos. The only saving grace was that we had the children
Then, a few nights later, the whole family was invited out to a sunset cruise in Boston Harbor and dinner in the North End as part of a birthday celebration (all of this after a day of apple picking). I was a little leery of how the kids might be, but I thought it would be fun. Our dinner reservations were for 8:15. A little late for my kids these days, but still manageable. When we arrived at Dolce Vita, the place was completely packed and they informed us that it might be another 15 minutes until they could seat us. We stayed on the sidewalk and watched people bustling about while we patiently waited. Unfortunately, fifteen minutes stretched into an hour (where I was no longer patiently waiting). PJ and I each had a sleeping little one and the three older children were sitting on the sidewalk entertaining themselves with games on our iPhones. By this point, I was convinced we had a disaster on our hands. After all, my kids could barely handle UNO's, where they actually have a children's menu.
Who in their right mind would take five kids under age eight into a crowded Italian restaurant on a Saturday night over an hour after their bedtime? Then again, whoever said I was in my right mind?
Dinner was fantastic! Our table had a long, padded bench where the little ones slept. The older kids were excellent while they split a steak for dinner and then the girls fell asleep, too. PJ and I got to enjoy a long, delicious dinner, adult conversation, and even stayed for drinks and dessert. (We did find it a little tricky trying to get 4 sleeping children out of the restaurant!)
|Sean slept through all of dinner.|
|The girls lasted until the steak was gone.|
Who knows what you'll get from kids? Mine have been raised in restaurants, but they still have their bad nights. They couldn't handle UNO's with crayons and a children's menu, but they had no problem waiting an hour to sit in Dolce Vita and enjoy the sirloin. I suppose they just like to keep me on my toes.
I've been told that I missed a big part of this story. In addition to having a lovely meal in the North End, our dining experience was enhanced by a visit from my drunken sister. Apparently, the
|Scary how much we look alike!|