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.   

I have a Wife and a Girl Friend

First off I want everyone to know that I'm committed to my wife and we're totally in love.
But I have a girl friend.   

Eva

Eva

We recently moved from Bowmanville to the north west side of Brampton.  Originally we planned to move when Cru started school in 3 years. However, things quickly changed when Eva went back to work. The 240km daily round trip to Mississauga wasn't gonna work anymore with a toddler. Eva was missing Cru way too much. The next 40days were a bit of a whirlwind. we bought a house,  sold our first home, and moved. And just like that, everything we knew was gone. The main reason for the move was obviously to shorten Eva's commute. She went from 120km to 18km. Which has been amazing.

We met our neighbors Helen, Scott, and Elena when we first arrived. Right away they said to us they had bought a house in Georgetown, and they were moving. Like they were telling us this so we wounldnt get too attached to them. LOL. I told them we had too many friends and weren't interested into them anyway. Classic Damian.  From there we started hanging out practically every day.  Walks after dinner, late night drinks with baby monitors. Turns out Elena and Cru are only 3 days apart, which has been great for comparing every aspect of their development. Like everybody does. We all do it. "Oh, Cru's walking now," I'd say. Helen would reply "Elena's saying two words together now."  "Cru say your ABCs" Eva would say.  Helen "Elena, say your ABCs in Cantonese". Constant banter back and forth between the two families. It's been great. I think Eva and Helen have already discussed an arranged marriage for our kids. 

Cru & Elena

Cru & Elena

Helen and I started hanging out a little more when the school year ended. Helen is a teacher and of course has summers off.  At the beginning, we would bring the kids outside to play and socialize. On really hot days when the weather was too nasty for the kids to be outside we would play inside. Which was actually a pleasant surprise to see how other people live with a toddler. Disaster zone. Just like us. We would laugh about how at night when the kids go to sleep we would tidy up, then at first light, it was like a tornado had gone through the house. When Helen's sister would visit them, she would bring slippers. Helen would say "whats with the slippers?" Sisters response "there's crumbs everywhere" 

Elena, Helen, Cru, Damian

Elena, Helen, Cru, Damian

Our daily hangouts turned into grocery shopping and little adventures with the toddlers.  Our spouses seemed pretty cool with the hangouts and encouraged it. Midsummer we took the kids to Canada's wonderland. Which was surprisingly super fun for the toddlers. Lots of rides for them to go on. And they had a pretty cool park with slides and swings. We decided to take one vehicle. It just seemed to make more sense. when Cru and I picked up the girls, Helen's mom was there to see us off. As we were driving away I said to Helen "does your mom think it's weird that we're going together?" Helen says "you're the only one that thinks its weird, stop making it a big deal." Apparently, I brought this topic up way too much.  I was always asking her if her friends thought it was weird, or if Scott was cool with us hanging out. Because Eva was. In the past, I would have thought this behavior was borderline inappropriate. Especially for two married people hanging out without each other's spouses.  And I'm sure some people do think that. I think our spouses know how much the kids love just being around each other, and the importance of interaction between toddlers. I believe the reason our dynamic works is because Eva and I met Helen and Scott at the same time and became friends together.   Plus our kids love each others company.  It's not like this is some random woman I met at the park, and is some mystery to my wife. Or maybe it works because we're older now, and a little more mature, and get it. I guess whatever works right. I mean we're hanging out, our spouses are cool with it, our kids love it. 

Helen & Elena

Helen & Elena

One of our highlights from the summer was an outing to the Bramalea City Center. At this point, we're practically BFFs. We're at the food court, Cru projectile vomits Jimmy the Greek all over the floor, and me. Puke everywhere. Helen hands me a few wipes, and like it was nothing, kept filling her face with some vegan salad. I say to Helen "Eva and I break up,  who do you choose to stay friends with?" Helen while still shoveling salad in her mouth - "Eva, she's my girl."