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Toddler behaviour and food on floor in cafe... AIBU?

(421 Posts)
NettleCake Wed 01-Feb-17 13:36:42

DD is 18months and won't sit in a highchair for more than 5-10 mins (screams, stands up and tries to climb out!)

We have lunch out most days. Mainly cafes and coffee shops. DD runs off constantly to explore, so I end up chasing her, apologising as she gets in people's way. If the cafe has toys she'll play with them for about 5 mins then loses interest.

What do other mums do? We have things on in town most mornings and afternoons, so too far to go home for lunch.

Also she's very messy, throws food on floor, shakes juice etc. I pick up as much as possible but I'm busy chasing her or holding onto her so often leave some of the mess.
I've had a few cross looks from staff. Am I supposed to ask for a dustpan and brush? If I restrain her in buggy/highchair while I clean the floor she'll scream. DH says not to worry about the floor.

How do we eat out without upsetting people... and how long does this stage last?

specialsubject Wed 01-Feb-17 13:39:05

Yes, I think you are supposed to ask for clean up kit. Some places will then say ' don't worry about it'.

This sounds a whole bunch of expensive no fun. Picnics or rearrange schedule until she is older?

Yukbuck Wed 01-Feb-17 13:39:32

As the weather gets warmer then I would start doing picnic lunches at the park etc... would she sit in the highchair and read some books? It is hard when they want to run off a lot but I guess we don't eat out most days so the novelty of toys in a cafe seems to work. It's hard because, like you say, you have groups in the afternoon.

Abraiid2 Wed 01-Feb-17 13:40:03

I would brings sandwiches if the weather is dry and feed her in a park or somewhere out of doors so she can run around.

She sounds as though she is making quite a lot of mess and stressing you out, too.

Yukbuck Wed 01-Feb-17 13:40:21

Does she not nap at all? Could you eat your lunch while she naps and feed her in the buggy on the go?

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Wed 01-Feb-17 13:40:39

Sounds like hard work.
For you, the staff and anyone else using the cafe

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 01-Feb-17 13:40:42

Take a packed lunch and eat in a park etc?

You can't have her running around inside a cafe, it's dangerous, and yes - you should be cleaning up her mess.

Sirzy Wed 01-Feb-17 13:41:09

Take packed lunch foods with you? Leave her fastened in her buggy?

A cafe is no place for a child to explore so unless you can keep her sat down and safe then I would avoid that as an option for a while and try again when she is a bit older.

witsender Wed 01-Feb-17 13:41:11

Sounds like hard work! Are you really out all.day every day? Anyway, I would tidy up for myself, I always just scrabbled around and found all the biggest bits etc. As weather gets warmer have picnics etc.

InTheKitchenAtParties Wed 01-Feb-17 13:41:42

I haven't dealt with this myself as my DD is only 14 months and not at that 'challenging' stage yet (although I'm sure its coming!). But I wouldn't let her run around in a cafe, purely for safety reasons. I work in a family restaurant.

DJBaggySmalls Wed 01-Feb-17 13:41:55

If you wont make an attempt to clean it up, then eat at home or in the park. Its not fair on cafe owners to leave a huge mess.

Sirzy Wed 01-Feb-17 13:42:18

Also do you insist on her sitting in the high chair when eating at home?

JohnLapsleyParlabane Wed 01-Feb-17 13:42:45

I have similar problems however DD goes into the buggy or stays strapped in the high chair while I clean up. If she screams she screams. We also only go to very child friendly places and I make sure she has time to burn off some energy before lunch.

CurlsLDN Wed 01-Feb-17 13:43:01

This sounds no fun for anyone!! Make your life easier by eating in the park so she can snack and play - this is fine in any weather with wellies and a coat! Or give her sandwiches to eat in the buggy as you go between places (you would have to eat on the run too though which is annoying)
Alternatively, are there any really child friendly cafes around? E.g. Our town library has a great cafe full of toddlers running around!

WheresTheEvidence Wed 01-Feb-17 13:43:02

Don't leave a message! Yes you ask for a dustpan and brush if your dc haso made a proper mess. Why wouldn't you? shock angry

BTW I am a nanny so I do know what it's like.

Tootsiepops Wed 01-Feb-17 13:43:12

I'd stop eating out until the phase has passed. If that means missing some morning or afternoon activities in the short term, so be it.

Braceybracegirl Wed 01-Feb-17 13:43:36

I always used to grab a napkin and pick up the food quickly with that. Not fair to leave it. Why are you eating out everyday if it's so stressful?

Ilovecaindingle Wed 01-Feb-17 13:43:48

As much help as fun days out are important so is learning to eat at the table properly and use cutlery etc. .

strawberrypenguin Wed 01-Feb-17 13:44:08

You do need to stop her running around as it's not safe. Leave her in the buggy maybe? What are your eating routines at home?

bumsexatthebingo Wed 01-Feb-17 13:44:08

If she dislikes sitting in a highchair and runs around getting in peoples way why are you taking her to cafes most days? I'd take sandwiches and find a quiet area with a bench and a bit of space for her to move around without risking getting scalded by hot drinks etc. Cafes really aren't an appropriate place for kids to be wandering around in if they're not happy to stay in the play area.

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Wed 01-Feb-17 13:44:29

she's going to get a tray of tea spilt on her...for god's sake stop her running about

why not try a shorter time span....cold drinks for everyone, a small cake, she has to stay in the high chair, avoid busy times, and be in and out in 15 minutes.

and yes...try and minimise the mess, ask for a dustpan and have a quick wipe down...what parent doesn't have a wet wipe to use?

Katy07 Wed 01-Feb-17 13:44:45

If you wont make an attempt to clean it up, then eat at home or in the park. Its not fair on cafe owners to leave a huge mess.
This ^^

PragmaticWench Wed 01-Feb-17 13:45:43

DS could be like this, his limit was about ten minutes. If he screamed or tried to climb out of the highchair I just bundled up our things and left, no arguments. It's not safe to let them run around or fall out of a highchair.

Don't worry, this phase passes and then you're into the phase where they are doing something worse!

user892 Wed 01-Feb-17 13:45:48

You stop eating out if her behaviour in a cafe is unsociable and dangerous. You clean up after yourselves if mess is made.

expatinscotland Wed 01-Feb-17 13:46:08

Sounds exhausting. She might benefit from staying home some days and may even nap. Otherwise, I'd eat in a park. Really not on to leave a mess on the floor or for a toddler to run around in a cafe.

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