Eating out with a baby
As much as we avoid eating out so much for the simple reason that most places don’t work with the sort of healing ingredients that we love and are used to at home, as much do we love going out when we’ve found a place that meets our standards. Going out for lunch or dinner is a good way to entertain a baby/toddler, although I remember in the early days, until Rowan was around 9 months old, it was sometimes quite a stressful affair to eat out in a relaxed manner. He was fidgety like little children are, and did not particularly enjoy being still in one place for too long (except on some occasions when he was sleepy and hungry like in the photo above, which is taken in Huahine in the South Pacific). This was also before he could sit up properly in his own chair, so we always had him in our laps when we went out. As we have been traveling so much all over the place, and because we love carrying him close to our bodies with the Babybjörn front carrier at first, and now a Stokke carrier on the back, we opted to not get a stroller before he was 1 years old. We used to always say, “Can’t wait until he is a little older, so we can sit and relax during a meal for longer than 15 minutes”. It was always a bit hard to eat mindfully, or fully focus on a conversation. But we kept doing it, learning more each time, and I remember exactly when and where it changed. It was such a hallelujah moment.
It was March, earlier this year. We had just driven into Biarritz in France after a few weeks of driving (and surfing) through the north coast of Spain. We had checked in to the hotel, changed to our wetsuits, and walked down to the beach as we wanted to try the surf out. It proved to be a day and time of strong currents, so after a drifty attempt, we went back to the hotel, had a shower and then walked down to a seafood restaurant by the harbour. It was a ghostly dark evening, but we had our minds on fresh grilled fish. This place was the best in that category, according to google maps. Rowan got his own comfortable chair and quite some attention, and for the first time in history, we could sit down for a whole hour. Him being entertained by everyone and everything that went on around us. As well as the delicious food that we fed him off our plates. He has always loved fish. It was such a freeing feeling, stepping over that threshold. He was nine months old then. And we have enjoyed many hour-long lunches and dinners together since then.
We have a little ritual that we do before we eat our meals, and it is to hold each others hands and say thank you to each other, for being here and for sharing this wonderful meal together. Sometimes we express some other thoughts of gratitude, other times it’s simply a thank you. Rowan starts to get it now, even if it sometimes takes a few pleas. If he could choose, he’d begin eating even before the food is on the table. I am so grateful that we all share the same passion for food and eating. It is such a huge and meaningful part of our life.