I think this post is going to hit a lot of parents who have been in the same position as us when it comes to the topic of highchairs. Why is it that every time we go out to eat, Deeja manages to wriggle out of the highchair provided for us and cause unwanted attention? I think we all know I’m referring to those wooden highchairs that look like they have been made in the olden ages, and have no front tray. Why? Why do you have no front tray? I hate that! It’s one of the reasons Deeja can escape out of the chair and stand up with her arms stretched out as though she’s on the titanic boat feeling the cool breeze on her face. It’s also one of the reasons I dread eating out with the baby.
At first I didn’t mind eating out with Deeja, she would sit in her chair like a doll and admire her surroundings, whilst others “oohed” and “awwwed” at her. Now that she’s hit the age of adventure, the 11month mark, she won’t sit still. It’s as though she has ants in her pants, and has to wriggle out of everything, even our arms. We’ve realised that she is a very adventurous baby, and very much an explorer at heart.
Each time we go out to eat, my mind is not thinking about what food I might order, it’s thinking about the many ways I will have to entertain Deeja whilst she dines out with me, or what kind of highchair we will be given. I have actually got to the point that I hold the baby with one arm and eat with the other hand, this happens when times call for desperate measures… that means my food is cold, and I am starving, and a little annoyed. Does it work? No. But I have the willpower to continue wrestling her with one arm whilst I chow down my cold food. I do however wonder what I may look like to passers by. Do I look like I’m coping well and have everything under control at my table with a very well behaved child? Or do I look like I’m losing the plot and my child is nuts? If you ever see me dining out with Deeja, do let me know… after I have eaten. If you are going for the second option (that I look bonkers) then let me down gently, thanks.
It’s not often we dine out as a family because of this battle of the high chair matter that we can’t seem to avoid. We recently visited Pizza Hut whilst out for a stroll at the Trafford centre, and to our surprise Deeja stayed put for two thirds of the duration of our stay, concentrating on eating her fries and dipping them into an empty plate before eating them some more. We did get a lot of attention from other diners, especially because our little monkey decided to wave the menu at everyone, including the waiters, and to top it off, she decided to say “mam mam” whilst others put food in their mouths. It was then we decided to pay the bill before she started climbing out of the highchair, and I would start wrestling her back down to avoid further attention.
My question is, why do restaurants supply highchairs without a front tray? Just why? It’s difficult enough taking a young baby out with you, especially when you have to carry an extra bag with you filled with nappies, wet wipes, baby bottles, formula powder, snacks, and the list goes on. Not to mention my own handbag that now houses more baby stuff. The one thing we want is to be able to sit and eat in piece knowing our child is strapped in the highchair and unable to move an inch, that would be awesome! If I find a place that provides such highchairs I may just live there for the day, but until then, I’m suffering from “cold food anxiety” and “highchair trauma”. Sort it out people!
Deeja & Mum