Dining With a Toddler When You Forget the Straitjacket

April Peveteaux

dining with a toddlerAfter coming home from another dinner party, beaten down, beyond exhausted, and still hungry -- my husband and I wondered out loud how much longer we have before our toddler could at least pretend to be civilized.

We try to be prepared when we go over to other people's homes with kids in tow. But sometimes (most of the time) our best defense buys us about five minutes. Tonight our boy hoovered his snacks, sniffed at his toys, and headed straight for the objects most likely to topple over -- that also happened to be farthest away from a couch or dining table, where mom and dad could maybe eat with one hand while saving his life with the other.

So now we've decided to throw our healthy parenting tricks out the window. Here are our new, bad, bad, bad parenting tips to keep your toddler at bay when you hang with your friends.

Before you dismiss them as "corrupting" or "abusive," try them and see if you don't eat all three courses and finish an entire glass of wine. You'll thank me.

1. Stuff Them With Sugar

Bust out the chocolate cake and ice cream and forget about getting any kind of nutrition in the kids tonight. Give them seconds, thirds, and hell, fourths as long as it keeps 'em away from your scintillating conversation. A sugar coma will soon follow.

2. Sacrifice Your Friend's Stuff

They're going to need to tear sh** up after they have all that cake. Decide that your friends didn't really need that CD player anyway -- isn't everyone going digital? Remote controls can be re-programmed and jewelry can be welded back together.

3. Three Hours of TV

What kid can resist television? You may think your toddler may only have one Yo Gabba Gabba in him, but after he comes down from that sugar high, he's got to drool and stare at something. Why not the boob tube?

4. Let the Pre-Schoolers Babysit the Toddlers

Four years is old enough to know right from wrong. Why not see if the big kids can discipline the toddlers while you enjoy dessert? What's the worst thing that could happen?


Image via ryochiji

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