We have reached the stage in Girlio's life where we need to avoid restaurants for awhile. This happened with Boy-o, too, around the same stage. It is a bit of a shock to the old system, being so used to having a completely portable baby, who sits and happily plays with a spoon on your lap, flirting and wooing everyone who happens to pass by.
And then all of the sudden, your little adorable spoon player has learned to walk and grab and squack at the top of her lungs when her brother gets to drink a milkshake. She has developed her own opinions, but can't opine in anything other than, well, loudness. She also throws cutlery, salk and pepper shakers, and her food when displeased in some way. (Though she certainly does have a good arm. Hey, a mama's gotta take pride where she can). Oh, and playing in glasses of water with sticky, grubby, foody fingers is also super fun. But not quite as fun as knocking the water over on someone special. Take the water glass away? Yes, you guessed it. Loud opining again. And the opinions just keep on acomin'. Opinions about sitting in the highchair. Opinions about sitting in Mama's lap (though she does enjoy using said lap as her own personal napkin - but hey, dignity is totally overrated). Opinions about Mommy's lap. Opinions, opinions, opinions. (I think this child might be related to me ;-)
And lest it sound like Girlio is a total grump, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that running across the floor with her arms in the air and cackling like a drunken baby hooligan, nearly kneecapping every server in sight - is Girlio's recipe for some serious restaurant fun.
Yes, we've reached the time where, like her brother before her Girlio has become aware of a whole wide world out there for her to fearlessly, loudly and tactile-ly (yes, I believe this is another one of my made-up words) explore. The world is her oyster.
In a general sense, I love watching my kids develop their inner stormtrooper. It's mostly really lovely to witness, you know, except when we're in a restaurant, having become a personal human napkin; diving to catch the cutlery, sugar packs and bits of cheesy noodle that's been catapulted towards the next table over, whose inhabitants are nearly as charmed as me by my daughter's excellent throwing arm; and dodging the looks from other patrons as her rather loud thoughts on the state of the union reach the other side of the restaurant.
So instead of being a break from cooking, restaurant-ing now has the effect of, well, near total exhaustion. It seems that until we move a bit further into the 'able to be reasoned with' stage of Girlio's life, it's drive-through or bust.