Can we have this to go please?

We recently discovered that an hour wait, a missed nap, and noisy, unfamiliar surroundings can quickly cause an 8 month old to go from happy and curious to agitated and restless to crying and pissed off in just a matter of minutes. OK, so we already knew that, but we’ve been smart and/or lucky enough so far to avoid such a situation…until recently, when Hannah made her first restaurant visit. We had a feeling that the long wait could be the first ingredient in a recipe for disaster, but the night started out just fine. The waiting area was packed and this lovely March weather pre photo IMAG0846-1_zpsb7b15e6f.jpgvented us from waiting outside, so we all (mom, Josh, Jill, Mariah, Monica and us) managed to carve out our own little section right in the path of the nice employees attempting to seat and serve tables. Hannah actually made it through the wait just fine, but we could tell she was getting a tired and hungry. The cute little squirt is a timebomb, and while Sam and I can usually cut the red wire before the timer hits zero, sometimes there’s stopping it. This was one of those times.

We had our bottle warmer plugged in behind the hostess station and it was ready about the time we were seated. Success. Then started my scavenger hunt. (Listen to this while reading the next few sentences) Head to the table with baby and baggage to help get Hannah seated in her high chair. Over to the bathroom to wet a washcloth. Back to the table to drop it off. Down to the hostess station to grab the bottle and bottle warmer. Return to the table to drop off the bottle. Go to the bathroom to wash of the pacifier that fell under our neighbor’s chair. Finally, I got back to the table and sat down to order with everyone. Hannah reluctantly took a few bites and sipped a little milk, but she was starting to get a little restless and wasn’t all that interested in refreshments. She didn’t finish the food or bottle, but she definitely wasn’t full. The fuse was lit and it was a quick burner. While to us it actually felt like hours, as I’m sure it did for our neighbors at surrounding tables, it was probably only 20-30 minutes of actual discomfort. Sam did her best to keep Hannah entertained, walking her around the restaurant in an attempt to distract and calm her. Meanwhile, I ate, cause that’s what I do best. In hindsight, we probably should have left the restaurant a little earlier and took our food with us. I finished mine, but Sam felt so bad for our neighboring tables that she barely ate…so hers came home in a container and she got to eat it cold a little later. Moms are the bomb. At the time, it was so loud in there that we could barely hear Hannah, so it didn’t seem like it could be bothering anyone. Sam begs to differ. We packed up and headed out. It was a delightful ride home, a screaming baby in the backseat and two flustered, frustrated parents in the front. All ended well though, we got her in her jammies and she took a bottle and passed out like nothing even happened. Short memory that one.

Lesson learned: baby’s first visit or visits to a restaurant should be when he/she is well-rested and during non-peak hours. There is a lot for them to process, all 5 senses are being stimulated at the same time. We had been avoiding doing too much in public for months with the flu being so nasty this year and Hannah only being half-vaccinated, so it’s something we needed to ease into. Well, that night was the equivalent of taking a high school freshman to a nightclub on spring break – too much to see, taste, hear, touch and smell for the first time. Luckily, Hannah didn’t get alcohol poisoning or fall off a balcony, she just shed a few tears and exercised her vocal cords a bit. No harm done!

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March 31, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Observations and musings.

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