Dining out

Why Dining Out With Kids Is An Extreme Sport


Reckon you’re the epitome of calm and zen?

Pretty sure you have the ability to control and contain any situation?

I thought I did.

Then out popped my 2-year-old and 1-year-old, and they brought the notion of competitive eating to a whoooooole new level. I’ve never had to skill up so quickly!

So here’s fair warning for the day you have your own kids, and step out all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in anticipation of a leisurely lunch.

If you would like to experience what it’s like to eat out with toddlers, why not follow the steps below?

When you first walk in:
Ask your waiter for a high chair. Leave it empty.
Set a chicken (a live one) down on the floor and shut your eyes for half-a-second.
Go chase the chicken.
When you find your chicken, place it in the high chair.
Ensure chicken sits appropriately and does not exit high chair for the next hour.
Congratulations. You are now ready to enter a restaurant with toddlers.

When you want to order food:
Hold your menu and look at it for one second.
Turn it upside down.
Flip it over.
Bang it on the table. If you have two menus, bang them together like cymbals.
Smack yourself in the head with it.
Throw it on the ground.
Pick it back up and colour on it with some crayons, or simply tear it.
Hold it as far away as you can and read only the first 3 items on the menu.
Congratulations. You are now ready to order from the menu with toddlers.

When you’re waiting for your food:
Put on your earphones and blast Justin Beiber’s “Baby” at top volume. On repeat.
Take out your bag containing 10 different toys. Make sure you do this calmly.
Place one toy on the table.
Smear your fingers in butter, and pick it up.
Throw it on the floor.
Repeat this with the other 9 toys.
Pack all 10 toys back into your bag. They are nowhere near as fascinating as the salt and pepper shakers.
Congratulations. You are now ready to wait for your food with toddlers.

When you want to feed a toddler:
Place a bowl on the lazy susan. Spin it.
Get a dozen eggs.
Place eggs, one by one, into the spinning bowl.
Go to the bathroom between each egg. Spend 5 mins in there coaxing yourself to do a wee.
Pick the bowl up and throw it on the ground. The eggs weren’t good anyway.
Find some cooked spaghetti strands, and repeat the process.
Throw all the food away.
Congratulations. You are now ready to feed toddlers.

When you want to enjoy your meal:
Admire how good your dish looks and smells when it arrives.
Let it cool down for 30 mins.
When sufficiently stone cold, proceed to eat. Set your timer for 2 minutes.
Congratulations. You are now ready to eat your meal with toddlers.

When you need to clean up after eating:
Place some jelly and biscuits in a blender. Leave the lid off.
Put blender under table and turn it on.
Use the restaurant’s allocated 1 napkin to clean it all up, your hands included.
Ask for your bill, pretending nothing ever happened.
Congratulations. You are now ready to clean up after toddlers.

Now you’re ready to walk out of the restaurant … leaving you feathery eggs and jelly works of art behind. Plaster on your most winning smile, blurt out “sorry for the mess!”, grab your chicken, and JUST LEG IT OUTTA THERE.

And if you’re already a parent? Take the easy way out, and visit a child-friendly restaurant in Singapore. Your toddler may not make it any easier for you, but hey, at least you’ll have company to commiserate with!


This article was originally written for Material World.

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