When Mateo was 8 or 9 months old my husband and I thought it would be a fabulous idea to go out to breakfast at a family friendly restaurant. We figured there would be other families there, so if he started acting out, it wouldn't be too horrible.
We brought him in his stroller, which we realized wasn't the best idea once we got to the seating area in the back of the restaurant. I figured the place would be busy, but not packed. They put us in a booth in the back with Mateo in his stroller (we figured if we put him in a highchair, he would have tried to dive over the side), which was fine until a large party was seated to the side of us, with some one's chair practically hitting the stroller. I asked if we could move to a tiny corner booth, partly because the way it was situated there was more room for Mateo's now seemingly ginormous stroller, and partly because having some one's chair right up against a very grabby baby's stroller was just not the best dining experience for anyone.
You just don't realize how big a stroller is until you're stuck in a confined space.
Mateo began acting up as soon as we were moved. He's normally a loud child, but in a restaurant with only quiet murmurs emitting from each table, he sounded like he had a megaphone strapped to his face. He didn't want to play with the toys we brought, look at books, eat snacks. He wasn't happy being held. He just wanted to be free to do as he pleased. He wanted to touch EVERYTHING. And he felt it was his duty to let everyone there know this.
This was the most stressful meal my husband and I had ever had, and we realized dinners out were not in our near future. We basically scarfed down our food while bickering back and forth about the whole situation - trying to not lay blame about whose wonderful idea this was and how stupid that person was for even thinking it could work out, but really doing so with everything we said to each other.
It took us 7 months to try eating out again. Luckily, that was a success. So much so, we may do it again some day.
This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by Burger King Corp.