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Table for Two and a Half, Please

While eating out can be a fun and relaxing experience, dining with a toddler can make it anything but.

As the parents of a toddler, we don’t eat out much.

This tends to be a courtesy to all other patrons. My son does not like to sit still for an extended period of time, and rather than play rodeo wrangler with him in the highchair we just eat at home where the dogs can eat up the food that he throws on the floor.

However, this past Friday after I got home from my photography session in Sheboygan and my husband was home and cleaned up from work, we were in no mood to cook. We were going to hit up our usual local favorites, or , but we decided to go for something new, so we rode over to Saukville to try the new .

We seated immediately, so that was a huge bonus. It was nearing 7 p.m. when we pulled up — so if there was any kind of wait dinner would have been out.

We ordered and waited. Not two minutes after the waitress walked away, Declan was attempting to break out of highchair prison. I pulled out every toy in the diaper bag in an effort to amuse him. We colored and pretended to call one another on his toy phone. The minutes crawled by.

I am not one of those parents who think it is OK for their kid to wander around while waiting for the meal to arrive. No sir, you will sit in that highchair or we are out of here. I love kids — love, honestly. But when I am out, I expect all little people to stay in their assigned area.

We ate, Declan ate (victory! ...). We ventured over to the park across the street to burn off the last bit of energy my son had left before we packed up. 

We got even more adventurous when we got home. We grabbed our bikes and rode down to for some ice cream. Declan had his first cone — it was perfectly sized for his little mitt. It was warm but not hot and there was an awesome breeze coming off the lake.

There were so many families out and about, soaking in the last bit of daylight left. That moment is one of the things I love about Port, everyone is so nice. Lots of people commented on Declan’s treat and how cute he was (of course!) and he had a great time watching all of the cars and motorcycles go by.

Eating out with a toddler can be a challenge, but I feel like if we completely avoid it — it will be harder when he gets older. Maybe next we will go to , every time we drive by Declan screams, "Bah!" (which means ball, for those who don’t speak kid) so I am sure he would love to see it up close.

Lauren Petrovic July 08, 2011 at 03:06 AM
"...I expect all little people to stay in their assigned area." - love it, Maggie!
Maggie Wright July 08, 2011 at 12:40 PM
Seriously! I can't stand that! LOL
Katie February 17, 2012 at 06:17 AM
Yay! Pasta Shoppe!

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