I've heard it time and time again since even before Ava was born --
"You'd better kiss those family restaurant trips goodbye!"
Okay guys, calm down. We're still going to live our lives even with Ava. We're going to go out to eat when we want to and we will have her sit there nicely in a high chair as we eat.
And then she learned how to walk... Okay, okay. I get it now. Ava was always great at restaurants but she's finally getting to that point when going out to eat isn't as fun as it used to be for us. We can keep her entertained for about half an hour or so and she's pleasant as can be. And then when she finally gets bored of straws and lemons and has no interest in eating, it's GAME OVER. She wants to get down and explore, of course! She hasn't quite gotten to the tantrum stage but she will yell and cry and the only thing that will calm her down is letting her get down to walk around. It's literally the ONLY thing that works.
Ava doesn't have an ounce of shy in her. She will roam around in public so that she has a chance to meet everyone in sight. It's actually pretty cute -- She will walk on up to a table, stand there a couple feet away, look up and just smile. She smiles the cutest little grin until she's noticed and there's no getting her to leave after that. Once you befriend her, she's your friend for life and you aren't losing her.
But all of this gets me thinking about the fine line between parenting and letting it go. Ava's doing no one any harm by walking around and making friends at dinner, but at some point we need to take a step back and teach her that at restaurants we sit down and eat. If she's screaming for ten minutes because I won't give her my phone, at what point do I let it go and give her the phone for my own sake (and sanity) and when do I make it a parenting experience?
Believe me, I've realized that it's much easier in life to just let it go but I know that this isn't doing me (or her) and good. It teaches her that she gets
what she wants when she wants it and although it may be a quick fix for me right then and there in that moment, but in the long run we all know where this leads.
So today, I've got no answers for you. I've got no advice -- just all questions. How do you determine when to parent and when to let it go?