Twin Outings

Carrie On: Dining Out with Twins

Written by Carrie


To say that I am passionate about managing children properly in a restaurant is an understatement. You see, I have been on both sides of the table—I've been the patron who arrives with young twins as well as the server who takes the order. So I know what works, what doesn't work, and what is sure to turn a nice meal out into a complete fiasco.

Prior to motherhood, I had managed, bartended at, and waited tables in restaurants off and on since I was 15 years old. My first job as a sophomore in high school was at a local McDonald's. I later worked in beach seafood restaurants, college bars, and the best steakhouse in town. And I will tell you that, for a server, there is no greater fear than that of the unknown quantity of a child—more specifically, a toddler or infant who is the "plus a highchair" at the table. (Except maybe the unknown quantity of two children.) You truly never know what you are going to get.

Over the years, I have witnessed it all. On one end of the spectrum, you have borderline neglectful parents who bring their 3-year-old child into a top-rated steakhouse at 9:00 p.m. in his pajamas, completely overtired and therefore bouncing off the walls while they enjoy a nice cabernet. On the other end of the spectrum, there are moms and dads who are apologetic from the moment they arrive, gracious to the point that no matter what happens you shrug your shoulders and hope their kindness translates into the tip (sorry, but verbal tips do not pay the bills).

Because of my experience in the restaurant industry, I am adamant that my twins always act appropriately when we are eating out. I will literally leave mid-meal if I feel that things are about to reach "meltdown" status. I refuse to be That Mom. Absolutely refuse. And furthermore, I want my children to, in restaurant industry speak, "have respect for the house" and always respect the environment that is feeding them. Eating out is a privilege people often take for granted.

So, here are my tips on how to successfully take your twins out to eat and live to tell the tale:



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