Going Out to Eat with a Three Year Old

Recently I went out to eat with my sister, mom and little 3 year old nephew. It reminded me of when my son was 3 and my mom and I would take him out for lunch once a month. I enjoyed the time with my mom, but Connor drove me nuts. He would not sit still and color like most young children. He did everything but color. My mom would bring a gift bag full of little trinkets and toys for Connor to check out. This would entertain him for a bit. When he got bored he would crawl on the floor, make noises…basically anything but sit still. I remember looking at my mom each time we went and asking, “Why are we doing this?” She would always respond, “He has to learn somehow.” We went through this ritual over several years. Eventually there came a time when Connor was six years old that I didn’t want to take him. His dad, we were married at this time, was home. My son looked at me and said, “Why can’t I go?” I told him, “I don’t want to deal with your misbehavior!” He was so surprised! He emphatically said, ” I want the good food too!” I was very reluctant, but I told him I will take you, but if you act up I’m not doing it again. My son was an absolute angel that day and every time after. In my mom’s words…He somehow learned what was expected of him. It took three years but it clicked in his brain in that moment. I seriously didn’t think it would ever happen! Have patience and persist with your children! They will get there!