Izzy (and Mama) Eat: The Gourmand Grows up...

Tales of Empty Nesting ...The Next Chapter

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Built-In Entertainment...Or Not?

Taking toddler or preschooler friends out to dinner is often a recipe for disaster. A child alone might be perfectly well-behaved or perhaps a tad mischievous but add a friend or two and the mayhem often triples, making the experience less than relaxing for the parents in question and downright unpleasant for fellow diners.

But it needn't always be that way. If you happen to have friends with kids who are slightly older, they can model appropriate behavior and also provide much needed entertainment.

Last night, S. and I. joined Izzy for dinner at Daddy O* (Long Beach Island). While the parents chatted and drank, I., who is the oldest (11.5) sat demurely piping into the adult conversation. S., on the other hand, who is 7.5, engaged Izzy in some play with her sack of stones. First they examined them and before long that had invented some type of table pinball, using markers to flick the stones back and forth. I thought it ingenious while S.'s dad seemed none too pleased. Not sure why since the only other nearby table was filled with kids too.

If you do decide to dine with friends and their kids, choose them carefully!

*Though certainly not a "family" restaurant, Daddy O is very kid-friendly although the food and atmosphere are very adult-friendly (they do offer a kids' menu if you must). The noise level is just loud enough to drown out any potentially bothersome kid outbursts.

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