Friday, May 31, 2019

"Dinner for Two" vs. "Dinner with Kids"

My wife and I went out to dinner the other night. Just the two of us. With no kids. (It was very strange.)

It didn't take long to see that going out to dinner as two adults is much, much different than going out to dinner as two adults with four kids. Here are some of those differences:

1. Get seated quicker--We entered the restaurant in the middle of prime dinner time. Usually when asked, "How many in your party?" we'll say we need a table for six (or something similar.) Often we'll be with my wife's sister and her family, so we have to ask for a table for ten. My mother-in-law and father-in-law frequently join us, too, making us request a table for 12. And then, if my wife's other sister is also there, it becomes a table for 17. (Not many restaurants have a table for 17.)

When we tell them how many of us there are, they almost always say, "It'll be a 40 minute wait." Sometimes the wait is longer, but it's hardly ever shorter.

We're so used to having to wait to be seated that as we approached the hostess, my wife asked, "How long of a wait is it for a table for two?" The hostess quickly replied, "We can seat you right now." We were flabbergasted and stunned. No waiting! You've got to be kidding me!!!

A man, a woman, and a waiter. (That is all.)

2. No high chairs--When we sat down we didn't have to worry about where to put the high chair(s). We didn't have to track down where they were and wonder if someone from the restaurant would get them for us. We didn't have to check to see if the buckles worked, or if we needed to wipe them down.

3. No crayons at the table--We didn't have to look at a kid menu to figure out if they call them chicken nuggets, chicken tenders, chicken fingers, or chicken chunkaroos. We didn't have to decide whether or not to let our kid beat us at tic-tac-toe. And we didn't have to take an extra 45 seconds to find that one hard-to-find word that they hide in the word search puzzle diagonally backwards.

4. No potty breaks--We didn't have to worry about leaving the table in order to take a kid to the restroom. We didn't care (as much) if the bathroom had a diaper changing table or not.

5. We could eat whatever we wanted--We didn't have to worry about the kid with the nut allergy. We didn't have to worry about sharing any of our dessert.

6. No guilt about the mess--We didn't feel the need to leave a bigger tip because we felt guilty for all of the stuff on the floor beneath the high chair.

7. Adult conversation--There was absolutely no talk of diapers, Pokemon, boogers, or Moana.

Yes, we had a wonderful dinner, just the two of us! But, next time we'll probably bring the kids with us (because sometimes I just feel the need to draw on the menu with a crayon.)

Edited from a post originally published on 6/2/2017.

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