In the Philippines, where I grew up, parents usually celebrate the baby’s monthly birthday during his/her first year of life. They would usually prepare a few entrees and a cake (and, sometimes, other desserts) that they will share with the whole family.
When my daughter was born, it was just my husband and me, so I opted to just dine out every month instead of cooking. We decided to do the same thing with my son’s monthly birthday, even though my dad was staying with us during the first 6 months since he was born. I guess it’s just easier to dine out than cook especially if you have a day job. We usually go to a different restaurant every month, eat whatever we like, and finish the night off with a slice of cake that we will each share (my daughter loves this part).
My son just recently turned 11 months; since my daughter was sick the weekend before, we decided to go somewhere near. We went to Singh Thai, a Thai restaurant located in Lake Anne (in Reston). We really like the food here. It tastes more authentic than the other Thai restaurants we’ve been to. We really love their Mummy Shrimp, Crab Meat Fried Rice, Crispy Noodles, and Panang Curry (and this is what we usually get). We’ve tried a few other entrees and they were good too. It kinda reminds me of Som’s (a Thai restaurant located in Rockwell, Makati that we used to frequent).
It was a breezy afternoon so we decided to sit outside. Dining outside, especially with 2 kids, has always been challenging. Keeping them entertained while waiting for the food to arrive is always a struggle (my daughter would probably ask for food every other 5 seconds even if she just ate her snack); and tonight wasn’t any different.
My son’s last nap was around 2:30 PM so we know he’ll be sleepy earlier than usual; the dinner had to be quick. As soon as the food arrived, my husband prepared the kids’ food while I kept an eye on them and made sure they don’t grab anything hot. My food-loving (she’ll eat ANYTHING, even veggies; heck she’ll even eat an onion) daughter didn’t like her food (I guess her appetite isn’t back to normal yet) so I had to try to get her to eat something; but she ate the pineapple that I packed as her dessert. Yay!
For some reason, my daughter wanted to be carried as soon as she was done. (She probably thought Mommy has already mastered her eating skills so I’ll keep it challenging for her.) I was still working on my food so I finished my plate standing up while carrying her. (Challenge accepted!) On the other side of the table was my husband trying to get our son to eat dinner (it’s a hit-or-miss with this one; sometimes he’ll eat, sometimes he just won’t). Tonight, he doesn’t want to (he’ll ignore you, close his mouth, and look the other way) so my husband stopped trying.
I took my daughter for a walk while my husband enjoyed his dinner. We got back just in time for the cake – we put a candle on it, greeted my son “Happy Birthday” (the people in the nearby tables clapped), my daughter blew the candle, and then she enjoyed the cake.
It wasn’t the easiest (but also not the most challenging one) dinner we’ve had but as long as there are no meltdowns, no screaming, and no one losing their cool, I’d still consider it a success!
What’s your experience when dining out with your kids? I’d love to hear about it.