I Don't Care what you Think ... My Kid's Coming with Me!

Eva and Cru selfie out for lunch

Eva and Cru selfie out for lunch

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

Cru and the Guzzie and Guss

Cru and the Guzzie and Guss

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.

Staying clean in his Make my Day bib

Staying clean in his Make my Day bib

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

Papa and Cru - Think baby bottle with straw

Papa and Cru - Think baby bottle with straw

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.   

Surviving on Goldfish...

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Recently, everything I put in front of Cru to eat, he pushes away, except for "Fishy Crackers". I've always been somewhat of a picky eater, so maybe he gets it from me.  Like some days, I'll pour him a bowl of homemade chicken and dumpling soup and he'll scarf down the whole thing. Other days, same exact soup and he will look at me like I'm a crazy person, who's trying to poison him.  Actually, getting him to eat food I make from scratch is probably one of the most satisfying things as a parent.  Seeing him gobble down a meal, really puts a smile on my face. I say to Eva "look at him, he likes it". I feel like one of those cooks on Chopped, and Cru's Geoffrey Zakarian.  I'm constantly being judged.  I could put a beautiful meal in front of him and he either loves it or tosses it. 

When we first started giving Cru solid foods, like potatoes or chicken, I would give him some sort of sauce to dip it in. I would say "dip dip" and make the action of dipping the food in the sauce. I just figured I like sauce, he's gotta like it too. Originally, we gave him a little ketchup with some homemade fries. He hated it. I put a little bbq sauce in front of him. He loved it. For the next couple months, everything had to be dipped in bbq sauce. Bullseye Bold, to be precise.  From there we went to mustard. I'm talking everything had to have mustard on it. We're dipping chicken, cheese, crackers, veggies etc...  Then, up until yesterday, tzatziki was his dip of choice.  I'm actually making it from scratch now because most of those ingredients we normally have in our fridge at all times. Plus, it's super easy.  So guess what sauce we're back to now.  You got it. Good Ol' Bullseye Bold. Dipping cucumbers last night with our dinner. 

Eva and I have a few go to's that no matter what, Cru will eat. Chicken souvlaki, bacon, and beef. Any kind of beef.  Everything else on the plate, he really has very little interest in. Ok, we have a meat eater.  The two of us should have known that was coming. All Eva craved while she was pregnant was meat. 

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One meal we make pretty regularly for Cru is pasta with a meat sauce. The noodles are always a hit or miss. I've tried truck and animal shaped noodles, but at the end of the day, they always look way better before you boil them and of course, that's when he wants to eat them.  Big old freak out because I won't let him eat an uncooked hard noodle. Before Cru was born, I would make a pretty chunky sauce. Big chunks of mushrooms, onions, peppers, and tomatoes. That's how we had it growing up, that's what I'm used to. Not anymore. I still put all that stuff in there, but I blend it so he doesn't know its in there. lol. I'm sure everyone knows what I'm talking about. I remember the first time I tried blending. I said to Eva. "you see what I did, blended all the veggies" like I was the first person who ever thought of that. Apparently, she's been doing it too.

Some days I look back and think "what did he eat today?" 3 bites of pancakes for breakfast, no lunch, 200 goldfish crackers, a liter of watered down apple juice and half an ounce of chicken for dinner.   And today, 10 Doritos. Not even enough for a bird to survive. I was telling our neighbor Helen who also has a toddler, how Cru really is not eating much. Her response: "Let him live his life."