16 May 2005

Dining out

When does it happen that your kid goes from seeing eating in a restaurant as a special kind of torture to seeing it as a special treat?

We made the mistake of taking Zoë out for dinner last night and it was another horrible experience. When will I learn??? Why can't I believe that she actually does not like to eat at a restaurant? She behaved abominably. Every 30 seconds I had to reprimand her for something. And you can forget her actually eating anything. She is back to her liquid diet. Juice and milk only.

I had lunch with my neighbor today and we were discussing awful restaurant experiences with the kids (I brought it up, of course) and from that conversation I think I know why it baffles me that Zoë doesn't like eating out -- and possibly where I have gone wrong. My parent's never took us anywhere. Getting to eat at the local diner once in a blue moon was a really, really big treat. It wasn't that they were cheap, I don't think. I think they just didn't want to deal with the kids out in public. So, any chance we did get was so amazing. It was an experience to revel and you did not dare misbehave for fear of never going out again.

Of course, here is the double-edged sword -- in order for me to instill the same feeling in Zoë I will have to stop taking her out which means I will have to stop going out. I really like to get out for dinner once or twice a week, but I guess I am going to have to give that up for awhile now. Darn. Sometimes it stinks to be the grown-up.

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