Saturday, March 8, 2008

Table for Eight? Hai!

It's been a rough two weeks at the Meyer household, which would account for the lack of blog posts recently. In addition to our normal hectic lives, we're had to deal with some minor flooding as well as scrambling to get all our tax information together. In addition to that, David brought home a nasty little virus (in addition to a cold) and was good enough to share with the rest of the family. Thankfully, with the exception of coughing, runny noses and a couple of flatter tummies, we appear to be out of the woods. (Unfortunately, we had to postpone David's birthday party.)

We did manage to take the kids out to eat this month, despite the events from our last experience and our mutual agreement to wait a while before trying again. The last time we took the kids out, not including our bimonthly visits to Donna's Pizzeria was last November to Dinousaur Barbeque. Regardless of the fact that this child-friendly restaurant had yummy food, the kids didn't want to sit in their chairs and caused quite a fuss. So instead, we found a babysitter and have been enjoying "fine dining" which we hadn't done since late 2004

Time has a way of softening ones memory, and you go down the same path which has led you towards the inevitable. It took us almost 3 months to get over (or forget) our fear of eating out with our kids in public. We decided that despite our reservations, the kids should be exposed to eating out in public -- otherwise, they may never know the joy of eating in a restaurant.

A friend mentioned how well her daughter behaved at a Japanese Hibachi restaurant because there are other kids there and they're all entertained by the chef. Despite our opinion that hibachi-style restaurants are rarely very good, the idea intrigued us. Could a knife-juggling chef keep our children calm through a meal?

On our way to the Kiku, a local Japanese-style hibachi restaurant, Nataliya was nervously sweating, running the possible scenarios through her head. It's bad enough having the kids sit at a table in a regular restaurant, but this restaurant would offer new challenges. Utensils that David would equate to drumsticks, uncovered dishes containing sauces that could easily be knocked over, and a large grill a mere 18 inches from him that generally doesn't react well to human skin. Were we crazy for even entertaining this idea?

To our shock, David started off with a bowl of soup. We couldn't believe our eyes as he fed himself the miso soup. He then proceeded to eat some noodles and rice. The night was starting out in the right direction. Naturally, I whipped out the camera to capture these unbelievable moments.

Imagine David and Julia's surprise, after being told for months NOT to play with their food, for them to watch someone else not only doing this offense, but being applauded for it. David was so busy eating his food that he only intermittently stopped to watch the chef cooking.

Julia was the picky eater this time. I guess she hasn't developed a taste for asian cuisine yet. She played safe and chose to eat only plain white rice, but enjoyed the show just the same.

The kids were very well behaved throughout the dinner. By the end, they got a little bit restless, but considering they sat still for an hour, it was a huge improvement from our last dining experience.

No comments: