Thursday, October 22, 2009

Eating Out

Last night the whole family went to dinner and a movie. I had been building excitement all day. We were to pick daddy up from work, go to a 'dinner store' and then a 'movie store'. I had been quoting lines from the book Where the Wild Things Are so that they would put the live action images together with the written word. The book has been a popular bed time story for almost their entire lives (3yrs and counting).

My husband and I decided on a restaurant that was in the same complex as the theatre. To save time we thought it would be best to park in one place rather than do the baby shuffle. Unfortunately it was more of a grown-up place, meaning that they did not have a special menu nor supplied crayons. They were very accommodating and not the least put out as my children pawed and licked the glass between our booth and the kitchen. I had also prepared and brought along various toys, that would cause little disruption to fellow patrons. Some may say that this restaurant experience was a success, the babies sat at the table, did not terrorize staff or other diners and kept the noise to a minimum. Great right? No. They ate nothing!

We had ordered too much food in hopes that they would consume even a fraction. I didn't mind that there wasn't a children's menu; as most are usually abominable; fried & processed foods- foods that children may eat but are not even close to healthy or what I would choose for them (this topic deserves it's own post, so more on that later). They split a simple pasta with cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives (not from a tin) and shaved parmesan (obviously not kraft milk-products). This, we thought is is something that they would eat. It had all the elements that make a good meal- Noodles, they are fun to slurp and twist, Cheese, its yummy, Olives and Tomato for salt, colour and veg.

So why didn't they eat? We often ask what they want to eat off of the menu but this one was too large and we thought we would be efficient by preempt the humming and hawing as we were on a bit of time crunch. So, to answer my own question; I would say it is because we didn't give them any choices. We told them what to eat, how much and when, they were not a part of the process. As time neared to go to the movie we even tried bribery but to no avail, each just slurped a noodle and looked at us triumphantly- they knew we would go to the movie any way. It was also no surprise that they asked for popcorn- which we obliged.

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