New Year's Eve with Tots in Tow

Dear Hubby and I have never really fully embraced New Year’s Eve as a bona fide holiday.  To us, it’s always been a night to stay up late – and then cram in some sleep before the big day of football.  But, we do have our own New Year’s Eve custom we started a few years before we had kids. 

We get dressed up and go out to a fancy restaurant for dinner.  It’s not much, but since it’s not even a real holiday, we thought it was something.  When The Big Cheese arrived on the scene, we toyed with how to keep up our little custom without a babysitter.  Honestly, we found that it was really easy.  We still go to really nice restaurants (think linen tablecloths, romantic ambience, classical music piped in. oceanfront), we just go at the very beginning of the dinner hour when we won’t interfere with super romantic dates and annoy other diners. 

Her first New Year’s Eve, we went to a wonderful oceanfront seafood restaurant with a good friend from out of town.  Our waitress, a full-time teacher who waits tables on holidays for the tip money, absolutely fawned over The Big Cheese.  She brought the seven-month-old diner her own New Year’s tiara and introduced her to all of the neighboring tables.  Needless to say, she knew how to earn a good holiday tip from us! 

We certainly haven’t always had such success.  Last year was Bugster’s first New Year’s Eve, and we went to a different oceanfront restaurant.  We had family in from out of state, and we had our customary early reservation (5:30).  We were seated in a corner, surrounded by windows.  It was majestic.  Until the grouchy elderly couple was about to be seated next to us.  They took one look at our well-behaved and fashionably dressed darlings and demanded a new table.  Every time either girl eeked out a single noise that evening, they glared in our direction.  Oh, well.  All I can say is karma, baby.

This year, we waited too long to make our reservation.  In fact, we made it two days ago.  So, we are dining at the ripe late hour of 4:45.  We decided to mix things up a bit.  We’re going to take the girls to Rainforest Café, a super kid-friendly restaurant (floor-to-ceiling aquariums, gigantic gorillas, faux thunderstorms) with a tasty menu for grownups.   We almost never go, so it will keep the special occasion vibe going. 

It may not be much, but it’s our little way of maintain a piece of our pre-parenthood life.

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