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  • Writer's pictureDani's Suite Life

Restaurant pour bébés...

Yep, channeled my inner Moira Rose for this post's title

But actually the inspiration for this #MomHack was originally inspired by Chrissy Teigen!

One of the things we love most about Chrissy is her honesty and openness. The fact that she is rich and a supermodel doesn’t stop her from having mommy woes like the rest of us. She had mentioned long ago that just like every other kid in the world, hers gave her trouble with eating even though she’s a chef! But she came up with a solution! ...

At our house we have had a long running joke that centered around table manners.

I’m a big stickler with manners the same way my mother was with me.

And sadly I think it’s becoming a thing of the past, to a certain extent. Everyone’s taught their please and thank you’s, but waiting to eat until everyone’s seated, not leaving the table until everyone has finished, asking to be excused, and sitting properly tend to be missed. This is not a judgement just an observation, because MY kids were having trouble with it too and some days they still do and I have to reiterate it!

On one occasion I asked them, “If we were at a nice restaurant would you be sitting like that or jumping up every two minutes?”

To which they replied “No but we’re not at a restaurant right now.”

Frustrated I replied “Yes you are! You’re at Mommy’s restaurant and we’re very fancy here!” - this being a reference to their favorite show “Fancy Nancy” which they love to emulate.

And so as an ode to Nancy and my oldest daughters love of “Paris, France” was the birth of “Château de Maman”.

That’s what we named it and everyone had a nice giggle.

It’s not even a correct translation because it technically is “Mom Castle”, but still it did the trick!

It is a very “fancy” restaurant that plays trendy music a la D.J. Google Home (a.k.a the brother of Alexa), and even has guest chefs! Like if you are lucky enough to be here on a Sunday, we have Guest Chef Daddy and it’s Château de Papa for the night!

Like I said it’s not always fool proof, they are children they forget and even sometimes the adults forget the rules; like no tech at the table, me included! But it has improved a great deal! The only thing that hadn’t improved much was everyone’s incessant need to pick apart their food choices! Which brings me back to Chrissy’s solution ... a menu!

Yep every restaurant has one!

A great menu of delicious items, artistically photographed to appetizing excellence!

With the help of resident photographer “iPhone 7+” (he’s an oldie but a goodie and gets the job done), we got to work! Every opportunity I had to cut and place their meals, I did until it made a little compilation of photos, then I threw them into Photoshop to enhance them a bit. I found a cute little binder in the Aqua color they loved and used Tiffany’s themed photos I found previously on Pinterest to use for my older ones Tiffany’s themed birthday party. I tried to come up with a little design inspired by the Blue Box Cafe. My older one has always wanted to go ever since seeing photos of it online and she just loves Manhattan; definitely on the Post-Covid to do list!

Here is a little preview some of the things inside.

After you'll hear my final verdict on how it worked!

I used page protectors because after all that work, I was not trying to have spilled water or sticky fingers smudging anything.

Yes I’m OCD but I consider it Obsessive Compulsive DESIGNING and it works for me and brings me joy Marie Kondo style!

What did the kids think?

When I first brought it out, my oldest said “So cool! Our restaurant is complete!”

... getting a “so cool” from any child let alone an almost 8 year old is the mom equivalent of winning an Emmy, so it was a good day!

They still love it and I find that it helps with less food waste which is another pet peeve of mine. There is no reason to waste food when you’re getting what you ordered!

And for those of you wondering, not every item on the menu is always ready available.

Just like any other kitchen sometimes things run out and they have to adjust. Funny enough I’ve found that the girls seem to be able to compromise because of the menu, which they didn’t necessarily do before. They’ll discuss between themselves when they both want different things, “How about we have pasta primavera tonight and then we have the hamburgers tomorrow?”

There are of course bad days, where even “the menu” can’t save the drama of having

indecisive children.

So, in the end was it helpful? Yes.

Is it foolproof? No.

(But what is with children)

Did it take some work? Yes.

Was it a bit “extra” ? Yes.

Am I a bit “extra” in general? Yes.

But just remember my Bébés...

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