July 30, 2014

Take-Out In the Park


We may never go out to eat again. Since baby Roo was born, restaurants have become our guilty pleasure. I used to be so good about cooking every single thing at home and staying in budget, and then the polar vortex hit and I had a baby and toddler to entertain in sub-zero temperatures. Getting out of the house for a meal once or twice a week just felt like a splurge worth making. Then that splurge became a habit.


The truth is, having good restaurants within reach is one of the big perks of living in a city. It's really fun to meet daddy in town on a Friday for dinner, and not having to make a meal (or clean up after it!) is big. For a while I felt guilty, yet justified with our habitual dining out. 

But things are starting to go south, and the last few restaurant experiences have been epically bad. Baby Roo is cutting her top two teeth, and they seem to interfere most dramatically with her eating and temperament when we are out in public. She is such a dream baby that she usually just sits there, munching scraps of our food for the entire meal... but now we are getting treated to screaming, back-bend fits that draw nasty looks from fellow diners and leave me in a flop sweat, desperately trying everything (including a few topless attempts) to calm her.


Little Smith senses our weakness, and seizes the opportunity to free himself from the confines of his chair and crawl under the table or press his face against the windows... all behaviors we would never tolerate if we weren't so busy trying to quiet a baby, scarf down our food, and chug our beers.

By the time our meal is over, I can barely remember what I ate and feel total remorse at having wasted fifty precious bucks... until amnesia sets in and I want to do it all over again a few days later. 


And then I had a brilliant idea, isn't there a way to enjoy all of the perks of eating out without the hassle and embarrassment of a crowded restaurant? And wouldn't you know there is, it's this miracle called take out! Of course that still means wiping down tables, floors and high chairs, and washing dishes, unless of course you bring that take-out to a beautiful park with a view of the Boston skyline and plenty of space for the kids to 'get lost' (or pummel daddy) while you finish your meal in peace. Victory!


Fun little footnote, James proposed to me in this very park, July 13, 2007. He was so nervous that he missed his target sunset and kept doing cartwheels (a skill he has never displayed before or after that day). All his tumbling knocked the ring loose, and when he finally cartwheeled into a kneeling pose and whipped open the box, the ring flew out into the dimly lit grass... we had to search for it on our hands and knees before I could actually say yes ;)

*take-out from Zaftigs enjoyed at Corey Hill Park, if you are local give both a try!

10 comments:

  1. I love the proposal story! I think those funny spontaneous moments make the best stories. And brilliant idea on the park "restaurant," so clever. Where were you when my kids were younger lol!

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    1. I hadn't thought about the proposal in so long, it made me laugh just typing it out :)

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  2. Ha, ha! I love that proposal story! So great, I'm laughing at the image of that.

    We found a happy medium to eating out. There are only two places we go regularly -- one for breakfast, one for dinner. One is a family-friendly pizza place where we can all be noisy and still come nowhere close to the noise level. The other is a breakfast place where we know the owners and staff really well. If our boys ever act up, we tip extra and apologize, but they assure us that it's worse for us than it is for them. Ha, ha, I hope so!

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    1. We have a few favorite spots too, and I used to feel okay about eating out but man it's been rough lately. Fingers are crossed that it's just a stage, because sometimes getting out of the house for a meal is really a needed treat!

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  3. Looks like a lot of fun! :)

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  4. What a fun proposal story! And yes, I feel your pain about eating out with kids. Now that mine is almost two were attempting it more, but its still hard and most of the time just not worth the hassle. I like the picnic idea though. We will have to try that.

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one who struggles with restaurants I am hoping we will be able to get back into it as the baby works through her antsy stage! Thanks Summer.

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  5. I laughed when you said Little Smith senses your weakness. That is so true of kids. When you are ready to break down and you need them to conform the most, that's when they really let you have it! ;) Love the proposal story. :)

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    1. How do they always know when our reserves are low and they can act out, those tricky kids!

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