Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Our secret weapon

The waitress leads us to the table and we all find our seats.

One boy on one side of the table, one on the other.  Divide and conquer, that's our motto.

We spend a few minutes choosing our meals and ordering, and then settle in for "the wait".  I admit I am a little anxious about taking my kids to restaurants.  I don't want them bothering others, and if I'm being honest, I also don't want people to judge me for having loud, unruly kids. 

Usually I can engage them in calm conversation, at least for a while.  Then, inevitably, we move on to questions.  The boys love being quizzed, and whether it's math questions, movie trivia, rhyming words, or a spelling bee, they will wait their turn quietly, as long as I can keep the questions coming. Sooner or later, the food comes and we're in the clear.  At least, until they are finished eating...

But there is another, easier alternative.  It keeps them still and quiet, and leaves me free to chat with my husband instead of wracking my brain for one more question.  They're having fun.  We're happy.  It's bliss.  Except for a few little worries I just can't shake.

They get so absorbed that sometimes it's like they're in another world.

And they don't always want to put it down when the meal comes.

And it's definitely no substitute for learning patience, manners, and how to interact with people.

Yes. 



Books.

Haha, right?  Totally tongue-in-cheek, obviously better than handing them an iPhone... right?

I don't know.  I'm so happy and proud that my kids love reading. But all the things people don't like about kids and phones in restaurants... Could they apply to kids and books?

I know for sure that I wouldn't worry about my kids' books in restaurants if it wasn't for the phone issue.  But if we don't like kids on phones/tablets at restaurants for the reasons we say we don't like it (no interaction with others, immediate gratification, kids becoming 'addicted')... They're all true with my kids and books.  Especially M.

Last Sunday, we weren't in a hurry, so I didn't say anything when the food arrived.  He kept reading. Until we had all finished eating. Who knows how long he would have kept going if I hadn't broken the trance.

Is letting them read while they wait for their food enforcing bad manners?  Or maybe I'm being too hard on the phone...?

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