Fine Toddler Dining in 100 Easy Steps

People always talk about recovering their youth; I thought I’d help.  After careful observation I’ve discerned the following simple formula for releasing one’s inner child, at least in a very specific setting.  All you have to do is enter a restaurant with your parents, then begin:

  1. Survey the strange new playground you’ve entered.
  2. Try to grab passing decorations.
  3. Ask for decorations.
  4. Complain about not having decorations.
  5. Try to wriggle out of your parent’s grasp so that you can play.
  6. Notice strangers.
  7. Frantically demand that your parents carry you.
  8. Complain about being strapped into a chair.
  9. Notice that there is catsup on the table.
  10. Ask for catsup.
  11. Ask for your spill-proof cup of juice.
  12. Attempt to spill the cup of juice on your lap.
  13. Reach for whichever item on the table is nearest.
  14. Giggle when your parents prevent you from having that item.
  15. Attempt to cajole your parents into thinking it’s cute when you reach for that item again.
  16. Ask for catsup.
  17. Be shy when the waiter or waitress approaches.
  18. Attempt to reach for something forbidden while the waiter or waitress distracts your parents.
  19. Complain about being strapped to a chair.
  20. Begrudgingly accept crayons as a peace offering.
  21. Pound the crayon into the table.
  22. Investigate whether crayon drumming attracts sufficient attention.
  23. Try to eat the crayon.
  24. Fight your parents for the right to eat the crayon.
  25. Draw on your parents.
  26. Marvel at the coloring paper that your parents give you.
  27. Color on the table.
  28. Ask for a drink.
  29. Ask for more crayons.
  30. Check to see if you’re allowed to eat the crayon yet.
  31. Complain about being strapped to a chair.
  32. Lick the chair.
  33. Complain about not being allowed to lick the chair.
  34. Be shy when the waiter or waitress appears again.
  35. Be enthusiastic about the arrival of food.
  36. Ask for whatever food your parents have and you don’t.
  37. Stick the crayon in your food.
  38. Lick the food off of the crayon.
  39. Complain when your parents take your crayon away.
  40. Ask for catsup.
  41. Eat a few bites of food.
  42. Eat catsup.
  43. Carefully move some of the food from your plate to the table.
  44. Try to reach the food of whichever parent is closest.
  45. Complain about being strapped to a chair.
  46. Begrudgingly eat a few more bites.
  47. Ask for a drink.
  48. Clarify that you meant someone else’s drink, not your own.
  49. Ask for salt.
  50. Ask for napkins.
  51. Ask for crayons.
  52. Ask for a fresh diaper.
  53. Ask for your parents’ food.
  54. Eat a few more bites of food.
  55. Spread catsup around on your plate.
  56. Ask to be done eating.
  57. Complain about being strapped to a chair.
  58. Leverage parental frustration to secure a supply of crackers.
  59. Crush the crackers into a fine powder.
  60. Ask for more crackers.
  61. Ask to share someone else’s drink.
  62. Ask to be cuddled.
  63. Attempt to put your parents fingers into the catsup.
  64. Try to stuff food into your spill-proof cup.
  65. Complain about your parents taking your cup away.
  66. Complain about being strapped to a chair.
  67. Ask for a cookie.
  68. Begrudgingly eat a few more bites of food.
  69. Discover the a pile cracker crumbs.
  70. Grow distressed when the cracker crumbs stick to your hands and face.
  71. Discover that your parents laugh about cracker crumbs stuck to your hands and face.
  72. Attempt to rub cracker crumbs all over your body.
  73. Ask for catsup.
  74. Complain about being strapped to a chair.
  75. Notice your feet.
  76. Notice the food on the floor around your chair.
  77. Try to show your parents the food on the floor.
  78. Ask for more crackers.
  79. Ask to share your parents drink.
  80. Be shy while the waiter or waitress visits your table again.
  81. Complain when your parents try to make you eat more food.
  82. Complain when your parents take away your food.
  83. Complain when your parents try to make you eat more food.
  84. Ask for more crackers.
  85. Resist being cleaned.
  86. Resist all attempts to clean the area around you.
  87. Try to grab the wallet of whichever parent pays for dinner.
  88. Complain about being strapped to a chair.
  89. Observe how your parents unbuckle the straps on your chair.
  90. Carefully try to figure out how to buckle the seatbelt on your chair again.
  91. Complain about being strapped to a chair.
  92. Observe how your parents unbuckle the straps on your chair.
  93. Complain that your parents won’t let your buckle yourself into the chair again.
  94. Notice the food and crayons in your chair.
  95. Complain that your parents won’t let you have the treasure from your chair.
  96. Complain that your parents are picking you up.
  97. Lunge for the catsup.
  98. Ask for crackers one more time.
  99. Try to grab decorations as they pass.
  100. Fall asleep.

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