There comes a time in every parent's life when they find themselves in that awful hellscape that is taking their toddler to a restaurant. It is mostly a humiliating affair for everyone involved (except your toddler, of course) as you become the pariahs of the moment. For some reason, your trip to a restaurant will inevitably coincide with your toddler's nap time, which means you will be likely facing a disaster of seismic proportions. In fact, expect your toddler to engage in deeply subversive behaviors when you're at a restaurant and you will not leave disappointed.
Years ago, when I had my first baby, a mom friend and I decided to make it our mission to bring our babies to as many restaurants in New York City as we possibly could. You know, to see how "baby friendly" they were. We created a website based on this idea where we reviewed the most kid-friendly spots in the city (and in Brooklyn) and rated them based on a variety of baby and kid-friendly factors. So I can say with a lot of confidence that I have a ton of experience taking a toddler to restaurants. However, that repeated exposure to restaurants does not necessarily breed a refined mini-foodie. Oh no. Each outing was nothing short of a near epic-disaster, complete with Cheerio explosions, spoons thrown in every damn direction, baby food launched across the table, tantrums, and quite a few nursing bloopers (milk spurting across the white table cloths, anyone?).
However, some toddler restaurant behaviors don't feel like they come from an authentic place of "toddler rage" against having to sit still in a public space and act all proper. Some of their restaurant behaviors are just plain creepy, and, let's face it, subversive. Let's take a closer look at some of them, shall we?