Sometime since Aubrey turned one, I've been avoiding restaurants like they are the plague. Believe it or not, a toddler really doesn't get the concept of why they need to sit in a chair for a half an hour before any food arrives. Nibble at their food. And then continue to sit there for at least another half an hour while the adults chat. It's not something you can reason with a toddler.
Aubrey has always been notorious bad with restaurant highchairs and the few times I've taken her to a restaurant since she's been able to walk she's spent the majority of the time in the restaurant trying to sneak out of the high chair while I've spent the majority of the time trying to keep her corralled in the chair. I don't even remember whom I had the pleasure of dining with on these occasions because I was that distracted. And then I basically just gave up on the whole meeting people in public places thing and chalked restaurants up to the type of place I would visit in another 5 to 20 years, depending on how quickly Aubrey/baby girl mature.
I really hadn't even attempted a restaurant in at least a few months when Aubrey and I went to visit Caton in Boston. When we arrived on Tuesday night Caton was beyond giddy about going to an amazing tapas restaurant because she had a coupon that made all tapas only $5. Although I had a lot of fears about the event, I love tapas and so pushed them aside and joined in on the excitement.
Turns out, with a blank piece of paper, four crayons and a booth where she is shoved in the corner, Aubrey is a pretty good dinner companion. I mean, sure, she's constantly crawling down below the table and hiding, and anything on the table within arms reach is fair game - but considering she's not disturbing anyone at tables surrounding and the people I'm dining with are fully aware I have a toddler and still invited me to dinner, I'll chalk it up as a win.
In light of this successful evening, I was eager to try Aubrey's skills again and so when our friends Matt and Judy came over on Saturday night I suggested we go out for dinner. (This was also partly because we hadn't purchased any groceries since Thanksgiving and our refrigerator/pantry was getting scarce.)
I thought the trip was pretty successful. Not quite as successful as the tapas trip, mostly because our booth was the end booth by the wall on the tapas trip so there was no one for Aubrey to ogle behind her as there was on this trip, but all in all, pretty successful. Matt (who I should point out is notorious for getting embarassed way to easily), however, was a little uneasy with the whole situation. Towards the end when Aubrey was starting to grow impatient and had taken to dismantling the beer list (which I could easily put back together in under a minute) I suggested that we head for home. Matt, who was apparently dying of embarrassment, jumped up from the table and ran to the door forgetting both his leftovers and his hat. He did, however, remember Aubrey's sippy cup.
...Because I thought this post needed a picture