You CAN do this.
All it takes is some light reconnaissance, a little mission planning, and some tactical gear. Follow these steps and you, too, can enjoy a dinner out with your baby.
Step 1: Get in the Zone
No professional enters a mission like this without mentally prepping. You’ve got to bring your A-game, so get ready. Think about what could go wrong (that doesn’t mean it will), and be ready for it. Tantrum? Diaper blow out? Have a plan. Get psyched.
Step 2: Plot Your Course
The key to a successful mission is choosing the right location. Choose a restaurant where you can walk around with your baby if he or she gets cranky, or to prevent the fussies by walking around while you’re waiting for your food. No time for reconnaissance? Call ahead. No high chairs or boosters? Scout another venue.
Step 3: Nail the Timing
Don’t go when your baby is hungry or tired. Don’t go when your baby is hungry or tired. Don’t go when your baby is hungry or tired. ‘Nuff said.
Step 4: The Art of Distraction
Be sure to load your bag with the right tactical gear. Put a few new or “restaurant only” toys in your bag to help keep your baby entertained. Don’t blow all your ammo at once, though. Bring out one toy at a time, and only when you need them. THAT’S the key to success, my friends.
Step 5: Clear the Field
Once you’re seated, take a moment to move anything that could harm your baby - or that your baby could harm - out of arm’s reach. Silverware, salt and pepper shakers, glassware, etc. If you think it could be trouble, move it.
Step 6: Roll with It
No matter how well you prepare, what’s going to happen will happen. Just be prepared, relax, and enjoy your family time together. If it all goes sideways and you have to abort the mission, that’s OK, too. Every parent has been there. Eventually, it will all work out.