baby

Every thought that goes through your head while feeding a toddler in public.

S-26 GOLD® TODDLER
Thanks to our brand partner, S-26 GOLD® TODDLER

Would you rather walk, very slowly, barefoot, across flaming hot coals, or go to a café with your toddler? By café, I don’t mean the kind where you get to enjoy your coffee while watching your small child risk their own life by licking the play area designed to give you five minutes. I mean, proper café. The kind you used to go to every Saturday morning, pre-children.

Yes, hot coals sound so much easier.

If you don’t have a toddler, you are probably wondering what’s the big deal about taking a toddler to a café? Either you are pre-kids (warning: this post will be about three months’ worth of contraception, so don’t continue if you are trying for a baby) or those lucky ones who are done with the baby and toddler years.

While you might not even notice the mum rocking back and forth in the corner of the café with her “terrible two-year-old”, this is what is going through her mind.

The struggle is real. Image: Getty.

1. Do not leave the house without…

Leaving the house with a toddler usually requires a suitcase full of items. An outing to a café requires even more. Comb through the many, many toys in the house and try to find a few that will provide at least five or more minutes of distraction.

Grab the lunch box and fill with snacks…yes, we are going to a café that supplies a menu full of food, but fussy eater may decide that plain rice crackers (which will not be on the menu) are the only edible food of the day.

Do not, I repeat, do not forget the only sippy cup fussy eater/drinker will drink out of.

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Make sure to bend your knees when lifting your heavy bag into the car.

2. Location, location, location.

You aren’t going to be at the café during peak hour (not everyone is up at 5am like you). Still, there are certain tick boxes for the perfect table.

Isolated (the further away from other customers means they won’t hear you bribing your small child with a pony if they behave).

Quick access to toilets (for those of us struggling through toilet training).

A big enough high chair to squeeze your toddler into. Not because they can’t sit in a regular chair, but because it is harder for them to escape and do a runner while strapped in.

Choose your table strategically. Image: Getty.

3. The menu.

Spend 10 seconds deciding on what you want (you’ve been thinking about the pleasure of not cooking for about a week, last night you drooled over the menu online, you know what you want). Spend five minutes trying to figure out what your small child will actually happily eat. Hope that they even look at the veggies. Cross every finger and toe.

4. Watch your toddler realise this place does not have the service mum’s kitchen has.

At home, the toddler hears their name being called and on arrival to the dining table is presented with their meal. Top service mum. In this place, toddler has to wait.

Toddler gives every waiter and waitress the nastiest death stare as they pass without their food. While you try to distract them with the toys, you know your food is going to be spat in before it is served thanks to Mr/Miss Patience.

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5. Hallelujah, the food has arrived.

Two minutes after toddler has thrown an epic “I’m starving” tantrum, the food arrives. Toddler scans their plate. Toddler scans your plate (the one you’ve been thinking about for at least 24 hours). Toddler decides to do swapsies and insists on eating your food… or else… You hand it over.

A moment of bliss! Image: Getty.

6. Whose job is it to clean up?

Half of your smashed avocado, with thinly sliced tomatoes, drizzled in organic, cold-pressed olive oil is on the floor. Do you (a) get out the baby wipes and clean it up while the toddler finds items (including more tomatoes) to throw on your head, or, (b) decide that for $25 for two pieces of bread smeared with avocado, the staff can clean it up.

7. Hitting the threshold.

You are only mid-way through your coffee and the toddler has decided that enough is enough. We must leave now. For the sake of a few more sips of caffeine, you hand over the phone.

People are either staring at you because they are amazed at how brilliant and smart your toddler is to know how to use your phone… or… they are totally judging you for giving your phone to a toddler AND not cleaning up the smeared avocado.

8. Pay as fast as humanly possible.

Tap and go may be the fastest payment method currently available. It is not fast enough for a toddler.

9. Vow to never, ever, leave the house until all children are 18 years old.

OK, you still love them anyway.

Can you relate? What's your top tip for feeding a toddler in public? Chime in with a comment below!

This content was created with thanks to our brand partner S-26 GOLD TODDLER.

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