I remember the look this couple gave us when I first went out to eat with a toddler. Eva and I were in Toronto, visiting Nathan and Susie. Hudson was probably around three years old. We walked about 5mins to this local joint called Sweet Lulu. It was probably around 8 pm. In my opinion, the best part about living downtown would definitely be how close everything is. So many options. So we walk in, and this couple (I would say early 40s, obviously don't have kids) gives us this disgusted look and rolls their eyes in our direction. I instantly knew it was because Hudson was with us. I mean, it could have been because they thought he should be in bed, or maybe because they assumed he was gonna be loud and ruin their night, but they were definitely judging. Thinking back now. I must have kinda got what they were thinking. Like, who takes a toddler to eat at 8 pm. And yeah, he probably should have been in bed. So, Nathan finds us a table right at the front of the restaurant. Big window, looking out onto Queen St West. Having a child now, I understand why that table was so important. So many fun things to look at. Cars, trucks, transit, police on horses, riffraff, etc. I say to Nathan, "you see the look those people gave us when we came in?" his response "Meh, I'm not gonna change the way I live just because I have a kid."
So as a parent I've always taken that philosophy. We're gonna live our lives, and Cru's coming along for the ride. Eva and I have found a few key essentials for a successful restaurant outing. Other than making sure the restaurant has wifi. lol
First the "Guzzie and Gus". We got this as a baby shower gift from Brett and Anna. This is probably the best thing we got as a gift for Cru. No offence to anyone else, but we take this everywhere. It's amazing. It's a collapsible, portable highchair that hooks onto practically every kind of table. People are probably thinking. Well, we use the restaurant's high chair and it works just great. I'd say to them "Get off your wallet and get one." We've literally been using it from when Cru could hold his head up, and I think the weight restriction goes to 37lbs. The classic highchair restricts where you can sit. The "Guzzie and Guss", you can sit anywhere. Booths and tall tables, picnic tables, counter islands at family or friends places, you name it. We don't leave home without it.
The second thing has to be his "Make my Day Baby Bib". It's great. We had Cru in it since he's been eating solid foods. It's a reusable, silicone bib that's got a little trough at the bottom. Catches everything. It's excellent at home, and at restaurants for cleanup. We have two. One at home and one in Cru's Diaper bag. We have more cloth bibs than Cru has clothes. It's crazy. I think people think "I'll get them a bib, kids always need bibs." You're definitely right. However, you really only need one bib. The Make my Day Baby Bib. Plus, it's environmentally friendly. That's gotta count for something. lol
Next is the "Think Baby" baby bottle. We tried tons of different bottles and sippy cups. Whats beauty about the "Think baby", is that it grows with your little one. from a nipple to a sippy, and then to a straw. It's got an awesome top/lid. We throw it in the bag and don't have to worry about it spilling. We originally had only one. Of course, I forgot it at a restaurant. Three days later, guess what arrived on the porch from amazon.ca. That's right, four brand new ones. Eva says sarcastically "try not to lose these ones."
We were out recently at a restaurant and we had Cru distracted by something we had on our iPhone. I looked over and saw an older couple a few tables over watching us. I said to them "What did you guys do to keep your kids occupied when you took them out?" The husband replied, "We never took them out."
Maybe this is our generation, but just know we're bringing our kids, we're gonna do the best to keep them behaved. Judge us if you want. We don't care.