Quite a simple activity really – or so you would think? Not so!
Why do simple when you can get really involved.
Now before you scrabble in your bag for a pen thinking that you are about to take part in a Jackie questionnaire, stop. This is no ordinary question in my household. Maybe not in yours either?
Let me explain.
The type of sitting down I am describing is only successful with children when dining out and it usually works best with the coming together of families for a social meal.
Greetings have been exchanged and you are shown to your table. The children will dive in first, intent on sitting next to each other and bagging the plum seats.
This is generally in a line down one side of the table posing the question of whether the adults have to follow suit. If you choose this path, your best attempts to engage in conversation will depend on how practised you are at Chinese Whispers.
At some point one of the kids will declare that they want to sit next to their mum which prompts a whole reshuffle in order to make this possible. This could involve everyone standing up and shuffling round or perhaps for the sportier among us, a quick dive under the table. This is all carried out whilst the Waitress is waiting to give out menus and take drink orders.
Once shuffling has completed its first phase, you will receive a look from the Waitress that says “you are getting on my nerves already”. It dawns on you that no one has actually spoken yet and your heart sinks because you know that today is not the day to ask for a different side with the chicken supreme. Any attempts at going off menu in this scenario will be met with resistance. Besides which, two kids now want to go to the toilet so it’s shuffle time again as they ask “Can someone come with me?”!!
The trick here is to say “I’ll go”, others will also offer but you need to be insistent. The seasoned among us will know that there will be plenty of opportunities for the others during this fine dining experience.
So off to the toilet we all go. I say all because by the time you get up, every child in the party will also wish to join the toilet group and you all conga through the restaurant to the loo. You will probably get back to the table 15 minutes later, depending on the amount of children.
With any luck the food that your partner ordered for you will be sitting on the table now and he will be tucking into his nicely, telling you how good the food is. No shit Sherlock!
Children will duly shuffle back to seats and noshing will commence.
You can now tuck in to yours, slightly lukewarm, but he was right, it is nice. Even nicer because you are now able to extol the virtues of having done the earlier toilet run because bless the little buggers bladders, someone needs to go again.
You may of course be one of the lucky (or unlucky) diners who happen to be with stimulating adult company sitting in our immediate vicinity. You may have had the privilege of watching this travelling circus spectacle unfold. My advice to you is to do as I would do if ever I find myself in this fortunate position. Run for the bloody hills!!!!!
We’re coming soon to a restaurant near you ……………