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Toddler Adventures: Going Out to Dinner

After work, the baby and I had dinner plans. I left work a little late intending to rush to pick her up and off to dinner. However, I couldn’t rush without gas. So, I stopped for gas. It hadn’t gotten any warmer since I had gone to that meeting. So, I had to pump gas in the cold. I also had to endure the lecherous gaze of a guy in an old El Camino who waved at me like we were friends. I’m not sure what his goal was, but the gaze was creepy not sexy. I was glad that others were at the gas station as well reducing the likelihood that he would approach me. Thankfully, after ignoring him he drove away.

When I got home, the baby was a vision of toddler cuteness! The nanny had dressed her for dinner in my favorite dress with matching tights. She also managed to get her hair to form perfect curls and topped it with a bow. As they say, she “should have been in pictures!”

Running: The Secret to Restaurant Success With a Toddler

We made it to dinner at the Original Fish Market at the Westing hotel safe and sound, albeit a little late. All were glad to see us. And Miss Cutie was glad to be there. So glad that after she played with her spoon and ate her weight in mashed potatoes and chicken she decided to explore every inch of the restaurant. She was a toddler on a mission and would not sit down. Any attempt to stop her resulted in cries. So, I followed her back and forth, back and forth. I did it so many times that we drew the attention of other patrons who commented that she was “doing laps” and was giving me a “work out”. All were true.  I wondered whether other children were as active and friendly. I also understood why I’ve lost my baby weight.  I chase this little girl a lot. 

One patron told me to enjoy her because it goes so fast.  I wondered whether he meant that I should really enjoy the chasing time because it was wasn’t seeming like that much fun. Also, it was embarrassing when she kept squirming and squealing when I tried to stop her. Then, I had an “aha moment”. I realized that I have to enjoy it all because I don’t get the wonderful cuddle on the couch time and the shrieks of laughter without the chasing time. Thanks stranger for teaching me that lesson!

Finally, I had to pack up our stuff and leave my friends. I hadn’t gotten a chance to chat that much with them anyway. Also, the baby was about to turn into a pumpkin. I was feeling pleased with myself as I left the hotel restaurant. I was proud that I had survived dinner without a meltdown and Miss Cutie seemed to have a great time.

Wouldn’t you know, when the valet brought the car around, Cutie didn’t want to get in.  She held onto the outside of the car doors for dear life, like she was being kidnapped. When I finally got her into the car she refused to bend her legs and sit in the car seat. She just looked at me like, “I’m really not ready to go yet.” She didn’t cry. However, she demonstrated a fierce will and refused to bend her legs. I could see the lights of cars lining up behind me. The valet kept asking me if everything was OK. I was proud that I didn’t get completely overwhelmed. Finally, through singing, toy bribery and patience she gladly bent her legs blithely unaware of the consequences of her resistance.

I thanked the valet and reached to get him a tip and had no cash.

And that was my Monday! Here’s hoping for a great Tuesday!

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