The Anxiety of “Out to Eat”

“Can we go out to eat?”

Anyone who has ever been a parent knows the wild storm of emotion that this question can instantly erupt.

Whether it is your spouse asking or the young spawn you created, your heart and mind can be jerked  into all sorts of directions at the sound of these six simple words.

Sure! You would LOVE to eat a meal that you didn’t have to give a second thought to how it was prepared. . . that was exactly what you wanted. . . and just walk away from the atomic bomb of a mess your kids leave behind.

BUT. . . could you stand it?

Vivid memories come to mind of dirty looks you get from other patrons as your child chucks something out of the booth. . .

. . .of continual bickering and hard feelings that turn into passive aggression between your kids when they don’t get to sit where they want. . .

. . . of Each. Painful. Minute. that it takes to distract your kids from eating out of the salt and pepper shakers as you wait for your food.

Last year sometime, the feeling of anxiety began to well up in my gut again. Just as Jackson reached for the hot sauce bottle, I had an idea.

“Let’s play a game…”

That day, we started what would be a regular family tradition of playing this game almost every time we went out.

The game is called “Who Am I?

Each person takes a turn and thinks of what living creature they are. When they have something in mind, they ask everyone, “Who Am I?” We each take a turn asking a “Yes” or “No” question, trying to figure out what they are. The person who discovers it gets to be next.

This game has been a lot of fun for our family. We pull it out now when we have extra time wherever we go.

How about you? Any fun games you played as a family to pass the time? Any tips on how to handle the kids when out in public?

Please share in the comments below.