Eating Out with Kids is Absolute Madness

It's after church on Saturday evening. Aimee and I are tired and hungry, thus indecisive. This leads to an epic mistake: We ask the kids where they want to eat.

We get two answers.


Both restaurants serve chicken. 

However, Grady insists on Chick-fil-A and Dylan on PDQ. Carter, in Carter fashion, says nothing.

What do we decide? Cue the eye rolls: We go to both restaurants.

Yup, we give in. We restaurant hop.

First, we go to Chic-fil-A. Grady orders chicken nuggets.

Next, we go to PDQ. Dylan orders chicken nuggets.

"You're the parent. Just tell them where you want to go," shames the Internet.

To that I answer, "The kids are happy and we aren't cooking."

It's a short-term victory.

Will we pay for this in the future? Absolutely! Is it good parenting? Not at all.

But on this Saturday night, all is peaceful in the Shields household.


When I was a kid, I remember going out to eat on Friday night. It was a treat to try different food, change the scenery, and inhale second-hand smoke — even though we were in the non-smoking section.

Now, the kids don't like to go out, we can't decide where to go, and we have picky eaters.

Will the kids' menu have what we need? Maybe I'll pack a peanut butter sandwich. Do they allow that?

Do they have cheese pizza? They do, but is it normal cheese pizza or the fancy kind? Because they won't try anything that looks different.

Should we give them our phone? They can watch something. It'll keep them occupied. The kids at the table next to us have a device, and our kids want one too.

If we give them our phone, are we going to get looks from people? We should talk and enjoy our time together, just like a Publix commercial.

Do they have a 2 for 1 margarita special? We could use that right about now.


An older couple kept looking at us during dinner. At first, I thought it was because I'm on TV. I'm super famous — in my head. Then I presumed it was because our kids were downing Coke and tortilla chips like there was no tomorrow. It wasn't our healthiest moment. The lady kept eyeing us with what appeared to be resting-I-hate-your-parenting-style-face.

I didn't like her at all.

To my surprise, the couple approached the table. Was I about to get a talking-to?

The lady bent down and whispered in my ear. "If it is okay with you, I'd like to buy your boys dessert."

I knew I liked her from the second I saw her!

We chatted. The lady, Maria, is a mother, grandmother, and understander of humanity. She presumed we had a long day, which we had.

Nothing bad happened to us that day, but we were parenting and tired, and Maria recognized that. She's been there.

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  1. "Maria's" have a knack for seeing stuff, no one else does.

  2. The only thing I find questionable about this whole post is the pic of one of your boys with a slice of pizza that's almost as big as he is. Everything else is just life with kids. As long as the kids aren't in danger, they're OK. Unless they're about to be smothered by a huge slice of pizza. 😁

    1. Hahahaha! Valid point! The pizza may have been eating him!


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