Eating out with toddlers. The Dream v The Reality.

"Let's go out for food!" you suggest to your other half. He looks scared. He frowns, brow furrowed showing concern and says in no uncertain terms "not a f*cking chance". But "this time" you say "this time it will be different!". Trying to convince both him, and yourself, that going out to somewhere vaguely nice to eat with toddlers is a good idea.

You're wrong. It isn't. It is one of life's most foolish endeavours that will end up in screaming (you and them), crying (potentially everyone including the waitress), shouting (standard) and of course a whole heap of money wasted, as food is thrown to the floor or shoved up noses. Here is your guide to eating out with toddlers. The dream V (shudder) the reality...

The dream: You enter a little country pub on a Sunday lunchtime for a nice roast, a glass of wine (not for the children before you call social services) and a chat about work, preschool and life in general.

The reality: The country pub is rammed. With couples. Who don't take too kindly to your girl needing a wee every three seconds and shoving past them and your boy doing 'the scream'. You know the one. The one that is so high pitched and so loud you jump and say "f*ck!" and then look like the worlds worst Mother. Again.

I would NEVER use my phone to placate my children said no mother ever

The Menu
The dream: A three course menu. Consisting of pate for starter. A succulent beef Sunday roast and then maybe a cheese board to end with. 

The reality: THEY DON'T SERVE CHIPS!!! Panic sets in! Who doesn't serve chips? WHO? You ask for the nearest thing to 'a chip'. The frazzled waitress bring out a single potato wedge the size of half a potato, covered in sea salt and only served with garlic mayonnaise in like a weird dead posh cup. Both children start 'the scream' but replacing the word scream with 'chiiiippppppsssssss!'. You pull a half eaten bag of Wotsits out of the baby bag and sigh.

The Waiting
The dream: Food will be served promptly. With starters arriving roughly five minutes after you order. 

The reality: "How long does it take to make bloody garlic bread?!" you angrily whisper to your other half 15 minutes after you have ordered. A 15 minute wait is reasonable but with two tots? It seems an eteeeeeeeernity. They wriggle. They talk loudly. They have broken all the free wax crayons. They start to eat said broken free wax crayons. You start to weep internally whilst considering complaining. But don't. As you're very, very British. You resort to your IPhone and that weird Kinder Egg lady.

The Food's Arrival
The dream: Yummy warm food served on kooky shabby chic plates you wish you owned. 

The reality: Your meal is brought out first. Your kids immediately begin to ask where their food is. Loudly. Manically. Their food arrives? And it is as hot as the sun. No hotter. Hotter than the sun. You say "be careful it's hot!". They ignore you and screech "hot hot hot hot!" whilst trying to consume their one over sized potato wedge. A shabby chic plate gets smashed. Then you remember why you don't own such things and eat off plastic Poundworld Frozen ones. 

The Pudding
The dream: The worlds biggest knickerbocker glory.

The reality: The worlds biggest knickerbocker glory. The dream meets the reality when you realise your toddler has only consumed a mere quarter of one over sized potato wedge and therefore is STARVING. So you fill them up with a giant ice cream. Well it's dairy right? That's good for you! 

Sometimes we go to Mc Donalds. These are happy, happy days
The Conclusion
Save the hassle, save the time, save your money and more importantly? Save your sanity. Go to the only food establishment on earth that kids love with all their hearts...McDONALDS!* See their smiley, happy faces. Aces.

*This post is in no way shape or form sponsored by McDonalds. If it was? I would dine on nuggets for A MONTH! 
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