my kid’s favorite snack is a condiment tray.

23 Feb

Something really awesome about being a Restaurant Family is that you get to be those people who bring their baby out to dinner at an inappropriately late time. Harry left work early tonight (9:15) and he called on his way home to tell me to get Riley ready so he could take us out to dinner (we shipped Austin up to visit his grandparents in Lake George for the week so stop worrying that we just left the kid home). He said to choose anyplace I wanted, because we were getting to eat so early tonight more than two options (Cheesecake Factory or diner) were available to us. We briefly discussed going to Italian or Mexican or Sushi, but by the time we made a decision (we’ve got issues…) we were already in the parking lot to Cheesecake so that’s where we went. All I brought with me was nothing, so I was really counting on the banana slices and sourdough bread and iPhone apps to occupy Riley’s time while we noshed. She was perfect, as expected, because she’s grown quite accustomed to our fancy schmancy lifestyle.

Here are key qualities of being a Restaurant Kid:

  1. They keep late hours. Riley’s bedtime varies between 8:45 and 11pm, depending on whether it’s a weekend or not. Tonight she napped from 5-7, which I hear is when many babies go to sleep for the night. Not this party animal. Every now and then she hits the sack at 8. Like maybe every Monday so I can watch Pretty Little Liars.
  2. Bar condiments make excellent meals. Riley’s favorite food right now is olives. Specifically the kind that come in martinis. We make sure to shake them off really good, so don’t get all freaked out. She also enjoys lemon slices and oranges. Austin’s favorite is maraschino cherries. He’s allowed to eat them because I have to do cool things like let him rot his insides in order to be an acceptable stepmother. I’m not going to be that nice to Riley, she has to love me unconditionally.
  3. They sleep in. My kid wakes up at 10am. The other day she woke up at 7 and Harry and I got in a fist fight trying to decide who would wake up with her. He accused me of keeping him up all night with my snoring (I’m a lady, I obviously don’t snore) so I had to let him get more beauty rest. I spend 3 hours glaring at Riley while she climbed on the ottoman and dove off into a pile of Yo Gabba Gabba stuffed animals.
  4. They speak Spanish. Riley says “Hola” and “Adios” to all of her Central American amigos in the kitchen. They, in turn, give her papayas and mango slices. I will insist that she learn fluent Spanish, because when I was growing up in the back of the restaurant, all I knew is that they were talking about me (“Ella” in a room full of dudes and me pretty much narrows it down) but I never actually knew what they were saying. By having her learn a second language just after birth, I’m saving her years of therapy, or at least one less thing to talk about.
  5. They greet EVERYONE.A table of 5 sat down next to us towards the end of our meal and Riley said “Hiya” to each of them, and asked them what they wanted to drink while she dropped a cocktail napkin in front of each of them. I’m obviously exaggerating, she’s 1 and a half, her pockets are too small to keep cocktail napkins in. She also said “Bye” to EVERY SINGLE PERSON WHO PASSED US and blew each of them a kiss. What a charmer, just like her mama. The only difference is that when I blow all these people kisses they look way more confused.

As you can see, being a restaurant kid is really really stressful. Luckily I have years of expertise to help Riley along with the many obstacles she’ll face down the road, such as how to get your homework done while you’re flirting with the waiters, and stuff like that.


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