The Terrible Two’s vs the Nice Restaurant

I need earplugs

Terrible Two’s at 18 months

Baby Girl is now a year and a half. The last 6-9 months have been pretty awesome. Apart from her being a total sicko for half of it when she went into daycare and I went back to work, this was the glory time. She was still a baby but was waddling her way into toddlerhood. We had a grand time watching her learn to climb (eek!), talk and grow out of every piece of clothing she owns. She was finally fun!

Obviously, I have heard of the Terrible Two’s. I’m not living under a rock. But what I did not realize is that, unlike the name suggests, the TT’s are not, in fact, limited to two-year olds. I have now been made aware.

It started a couple of months ago. BG was 16 months and I could see her impatience and frustration growing when she did not get exactly what she wanted right NOW. But the episodes were nicely spaced out. She usually only ever had a tantrum at home with Fiancee and I. Even if we had company she was so distracted that she rarely showed any signs of tantrum. But we have turned a corner, my friends.

Baby Girl now has no problem going completely nuclear in public. COMPLETELY. FUCKING. NUCLEAR.

This past weekend my parents asked us to dinner on short notice. With a child, you can imagine how convenient this is. However, Fiancee and I were feeling pretty lazy that night and hadn’t started dinner yet so I threw my bra back on, we hopped in the car and went to meet them.

My parents like to eat at nice restaurants. The one in question was nice but not like “dress up” nice so I thought that if BG was distracted by her grandparents, she would act nicely and we would all get along fine. WRONG.

As soon as our water arrived (BG had her own zippy cup provided) the kid started begging for ice. This is her new thing. She touches it and says “hat”. Obviously, she gets it confused with cold but whatever. The begging is more like full on whining. And the gaze of the lovely table next to us, who had previously been eyeing up Stella like she was their long-lost grandchild, turned sour. I could sense their judgemental whispers about how this wasn’t Denny’s were not forgiven by her former adorableness.

So we gave in and gave BG the ice from our cups, having to replenish it every couple of minutes when she chews or drops the cubes on the floor. The girl has not yet learned to ask nicely. She can say please and thank you, but only after whining for ice in a tone that rivals nails on a chalkboard. Finally, dinner comes. We cut up her flatbread into toddler pieces hoping that she was just hungry and the mood will shift once she has a little food in her system. WRONG.

About 5 minutes into dinner, BG is ” ah dun”. Then she is “AH DUN! AH DUUUN! AHHHHHH DUUUUUUUN!” So it is decided Fiancee and I will eat in shifts and I will take BG for a walk. Thankfully, the restaurant is not very busy on a Sunday night so not too many people are disturbed when she rips off like banshee through the restaurant. She was not noisy, I’ll give her that, just incredibly curious. And she wanted into the kitchen. After a near meltdown, I haul her tiny butt into the lobby of the hotel attached since it was equally dead and had more room to roam. After about 5-10 minutes of telling BG not to climb on the furniture and windowsills, I was relived by Fiancee. The Grandparents do not seem fazed by this episode because they are still seeing the world through Baby-Girl-coloured glasses but I can tell they knew it was not a success. From now on, it’s Denny’s.

I want to say one thing for the haters; I don’t believe that kids should be segregated to “Kid Places” all the time. Mostly, they prefer the cheaper establishments with kid menus and playhouses and all that but sometimes, I think it’s important for kids to know how to behave in nice places. Mainly, so they have the opportunity to see nice places. If they grow up in fast food playhouses, and cheap food restaurants, they will never appreciate the culture of fine dining. And not even just fine dining, but actual different cultures. I have never seen a kids menu or playhouse at an Indian restaurant or Sushi house, so I think they need to know how to act accordingly. But maybe we ventured out too soon.

Tell me your horror stories! Have you taken your kids to a nice place only to have them tear it up? Or have you been on the other side, trying to ignore the expectant pleas of someone else’s kid?


4 thoughts on “The Terrible Two’s vs the Nice Restaurant

  1. Oh, that picture just slays me. My friend’s daughter is right at this age, and there was definitely some kind of shift that happened in the last few months where baby wants what she wants when she wants it. From an outside perspective, I am impressed with how she is asserting her independence, likes & dislikes, and how many words she knows now. But it is a kind of minefield – you don’t know when the screams are going to strike. It sounds like you two are handling everything with grace & humor, which is awesome.

    • Thanks! Minefield is exactly the right word for it. It’s like being held hostage emotionally by an 18 month old child. I definitely agree that it is equally impressive as it is oppressive and we are handling the best we can. We just hope that it’s a short period and that she learns something from this. Thanks for reading!

    • I so get where you’re at. Our local Red Robbins seems to be the family venue of choice due to their kids menu, loud atmosphere and other kids, just as dirty as mine, running around screaming. It’s much harder to feel like a bad parent at the “kid-friendly” restaurants!

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