Last night we had the Best Ever Dinner Out and so obviously this must be documented since oddly enough the last time we had dinner out was the Worst Ever Dinner Out where within thirty seconds of food arriving we had to abort table and convert operations to become Fastest Takeaway Meal Ever.
Every parent of a toddler must play this game, this crazy Russian Roulette type pick a meal which starts like this:
ooh look at the time, what do you reckon about lobbing down to (inexpensive but delicious restaurant where children are tolerated) and having dinner out as a family, we can take a bib and a bowl and I'm sure there's something that s/he will eat...
And your spouse stares at you with wide eyes and indrawn breath, shocked at the outrageous thought of dining out with toddler, and completely turned on by the thought that someone else will cook and serve you food of your choice and then clean up after you've gone.
Then, flushed with excitement, one of you will say...hey, why don't we go to that other more delicious place, the one that doesn't have high-chairs but does have wide seating which should surely be safe enough for our beloved offspring and WHAT THE HELL LET'S GET A BOTTLE OF WINE!
And so down you go, the three of you, to the other restaurant, the one that's actually not child-friendly at all but has much better food and, tellingly, is the place you used to go to all the time Before Baby, so the look, smell and dim sexy lighting conspire to remind you of that time... when you had all the sleep and sex in the world and STOP THIS MADNESS AT ONCE YOU ARE DELUDING YOURSELF THOSE DAYS ARE GONE.
The toddler falls from the wide comfy seats and screams, takes exception to having the candle removed from his fingers and screams, hates all the food you've ordered and screams.
The only consolation is that the place is so damn noisy (was it always like that?) that no one is perturbed by the noise and anyway it's still only 7pm and nobody's having dinner anyway except pensioners and sadly disappointed parents like yourselves.
Aha, but fast forward to Last Night when the sting of previous efforts had faded to be renamed 'mere inconvenience' instead of 'abject humiliation'.
We went back to previously described restaurant and once again we bought wine (yes!) and once again we enquired about a high chair (no!) but this time, Tricky stayed sitting beautifully on the wide seats and ignored the candle and ate rice with curry sauce and roti and drank from his sippy cup and we ate our dinner and drank one glass of wine each and it was PURE BLISS.
He was so gorgeous, so utterly divine, we then took him out to see the stars (current obsession: tinkle tinkles) and then took him to the icecream parlour and he was in bed by 7.30 pm and we were watching 6 Feet Under (series 2) by 7.45 and that my friends is the story of Our Best Ever Dinner Out.
Moral of the story is...GO EARLY AND YOU CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN.
It may never happen like this again, I know.
But for one night, it was superb.
ooh! and as if that wasn't enough... we got leftovers!
(*closes eyes and squeezes self with joy at the thought*)
PS This post brought to you by italics.
The Creative Life Podcast – Kelly Gardiner
5 days ago