Couples with children will be able to relate to my descriptions of going out for a meal with your partner pre-having a child, i.e. you two lovebirds only. And then a description of when you go out for a meal as a family with an 11-month-old baby in tow.
Remember the former? You know the meals I mean. Let me refresh those bleary eyes. The meals where you would spend an unlimited amount of time getting ready for. You both would choose an elegant outfit for the evening; share a bottle of White Zinfandel whilst listening to her choice of music in the background. A taxi would be pre-booked as would your table at the restaurant.
You get there all eager for a good evening. And yes, you do have a good evening, it does not let you down. You slowly glance at the drinks menu and order a bottle of £14.95 wine. You have a brief look at the food menu in between delightful conversation about how you can’t wait for your trip to Dubai. You request the waiter/waitress to come back in a few minutes before your food decision has been made.
You are ready to order: “Shall we have a starter?” “Yes, why not”. You order a starter to share; you proceed to order your main course, and deep-down you know a pudding could also be on the evening’s agenda.
You ensue to begin your starter, immediately satisfying those eager taste buds. Conversation continues to develop. “Shall we go to a bar after here”? “Yes, why not”. Second bottle of wine is brought to the table, shortly after your main course arrives on cue. Conversation is now immense, laughter in abundance.
Pudding arrives. You have now been in the restaurant two hours. Taking your time with everything is the order of the day here; it is so relaxing. You order your third bottle of wine to just chill-out with at the table. You don’t quite finish the third bottle but you somehow manage to remain in the restaurant a further 2 hours, lost in deep conversation. Deep in luuurve.
You proceed to go on that bar for a few cocktails to wash it all down with.
You arrive back home at 1.30am after setting out at 7.
Remember them meals out? Thought so. I do. Let me now give you a rundown of your new-age meals when you have an extra guest at the table with you – namely your 11-month-old.
One of you arrives home from work at 5.30. “Did you remember to get the meat out of the freezer”? “No” “Let’s go to Frankie And Benny’s” “OK”. You walk out the door 7 minutes later in your coffee stained work clothes.
You get to Frankie And Benny’s and ask for a high-chair for little’un; you order your drinks; order your food; eat your food; drink your drinks; feed baby; continuously look at baby and not at each other; you pay the bill; and return home 53 minutes later. The end.