When my son first became a “toddler,” I was unaware of how drastically my social life would change. He went from being a sweet baby who sat happily in a high chair to a ferocious 14 month old who screamed at the very thought of sitting. More, he wanted to run, and run free around the restaurant and beyond! I thought I did everything right- snacks, my phone, nothing could contain him or make him happy. As I shamefully left the restaurant that day, I was nearly in tears. My visions of spending the summer on a patio among friends and family casually sipping a margarita seemed to be slipping away.
Maybe you’ve been in the same boat, or maybe you’re just reading this to prepare yourself, but active toddlers in restaurants are no joke. If you have a strong-willed child, you might have thought to yourself the same thing I thought: Maybe toddlers just aren’t meant to be in public. Maybe for the next year or two, my life just won’t include restaurants and stores.
Well, I’m here to tell you some tips and tricks that helped my wild child become a joy to be around (80% of the time, hey- I’m not a miracle worker!) at restaurants, coffee shops, and breweries.