Thursday, June 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Grandma H.

Grandma H had a birthday this week. To celebrate, we took her out to dinner at trattoria cinque. The big surprise was that we brought the kids along.

I think she was surprised. We don't normally drag the kids out to Manhattan on a school night, particularly since they go to bed by 8:00 in general. Plus, I have to say, we're still of the school of thought that limits our kids exposure to fine dining establishments. We certainly take them out to eat - at kid friendly places like diners, chain restaurants, and pizza joints. And I think thats important. How are they going to learn how to behave in restaurants unless you take them there? But, at the same time, I don't want to pay fine dining costs to feed pre-schoolers when their idea of haute cuisine is a side of fries with their meal.

But, this place was a nice compromise. Italian food - which guarantees there will be something there for the kids to eat, seating in the bar area - which guarantees the other patrons, arriving for happy hour are louder than your kids, and early dining - which means the main restaurant is pretty empty anyway, and hopefully they'll just be happy for the business.

Best part of bringing kids to dinner with Grandma? She babysits them. Check out the seating arrangements. Priceless.

Miss Mina was really looking forward to dinner at "a fancy restaurant." Just like Fancy Nancy! Her outfit stopped people in the street. Literally. The bum hanging out on Greenwich with his 40 in a bag, stopped us specifically to point out how cute she was. Err.. thanks.

Jeff and I were both coming from work, so it's a miracle we're even standing at this point. When you get up at 5:00 am, you only hope you're breathing by 7:00 pm. As attested to by the bags under my eyes.

When I was a kid, we went out to eat fairly often. Things were more laid back then. We lived in a small town, and my parents never hesitated to tell us to go take a walk around the restaurant if we started feeling fidgety. I distinctly remember ordering Shirley Temples at restaurants. That to me was the coolest thing ever. For kicks, I ordered two for Jordan and Mina.

This was their first taste of soda ever. While the pictures look cute, their initial reaction was anything but. They were not expecting the fizziness of the ginger ale. Mina actually shuddered a few times. But she did not hesitate to wolf down that maraschino cherry. No, sir.

Needless to say, boredom set in after an hour or so. Thankfully, they made friends with another little soul whose parents apparently shared my parents' philosophy. This kid wandered away for a solo walk and made his way to our table. He introduced himself as "Harvey Keitel" and informed us he'd like to set up a playdate with the kids. Only in NY. We informed him we were bridge and tunnel people and his parents would probably not approve.

Then dessert showed up.

And that was all the incentive the kids needed to sit still.

Eventually, it was time to say good-bye.

After many hugs and kisses, we ventured back into the night.

Wow it was dark out there! To paraphrase Jordan, as we arrived home:

"Mommy! Why am I still awake!??"
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