How do you deal with broken highchairs?

Filed under: Babies, Toddlers Preschoolers, Places To Go, Health & Safety: Babies, Baby Essentials, Mealtime

Ever get tired of eating at home or suffering through take out? Ever fantasize about going out to a nice meal that someone else cooks, someone else serves you and someone else cleans up? Ever figure out how to turn that fantasy into a reality and actually get you, your spouse and your kids out the door at a reasonable hour before things get too crowded and miraculously find yourselves seated at a table at--oh!--a restaurant?

You've finally managed to sit down and rest your aching feet, your aching back, your aching everything. You've got the kid's food and his toys and his diaper changer and your spouse has managed to put down the stroller and find a safe place for it out of the way. The server has brought the high chair. And, as you're sliding the baby down into it, you realize it's broken. The latches don't work or don't exist or whatever. You kindly ask for another one, explaining this one is broken.

The server obliges and brings you another one, which is, alas, also broken. Not only is it not safe, but it simply won't hold your son, who is more excited than ever to be in a new place with new faces and smells and ever so much excitement. He can't sit still. In fact, he won't sit at all and you have to hold him down to keep him from standing in the high chair.

All you wanted was dinner. Perhaps an appetizer too. What you want now, though, as the restaurant fills with cacophony and servers too busy to help you anymore and other diners annoyed that you had the audacity to bring a child into an eating establishment, is a hard drink and to blink your eyes and magically be back home waiting for takeout.

This happens to me at least once a week. It's not that eat out all the time. Lately, though, with holidays, etc., we've been trying to get out more. Also, we have another baby on the way and once that on arrives are unsure how we'll ever be able to leave the house again. Also, in my quest to prove that, yes, we can all eat dinner out as a family and have a nice, (safe) if not quiet time, I keep eating out trying to live out that fantasy.

Surely I am not the only one with such bad luck. I would say of all the times we've eaten out at least half of them we've had to deal with broken high chairs. The staff don't seem to understand or care about this. They should, as it would make my dining experience and that of the surrounding patrons a lot better. My son is a ball of energy and he is not going to simply sit on my lap while we eat. He needs to be seated in a high chair with working straps and latches.

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? Oh, sages of the Internet, I turn to you again as I always do when I am thus perplexed. Please advise me what is to be done! And--thank you!

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.