I recently posted a picture of an empty restaurant and joked that either my husband had rented the whole restaurant for me or Germans eat really, really late. Going out for dinner every Saturday has become a family tradition of ours. A couple of weeks ago, we were headed out for Italian, so we thought. However, we failed to make a reservation and couldn’t get a table. We had to be quick on our feet to avoid being hangry and decided on trying the restaurant just a few doors down. Restaurant Kronprinz in downtown Stuttgart is a German and Croatian restaurant, serving traditional dishes from both cultures. When we walked in, it literally was empty. Normally, that is our cue to walk out, as that typically means the food is not good. However, we remembered that Germans tend to eat dinner later than this family with a toddler and an infant. This was also not your typical kid-friendly restaurant, so we expected that it would likely get crowded much later, once we were gone.
After watching the Sesame Street episode on make believe, with Makenzie, I decided to continue pretending that my husband had rented out the whole place. We enjoyed our family time alone, while we watched out the picture window as the the snow fell. I had a traditional Croatian plate consisting of my fries, onions, rice, and my new fav, Ćevapčići, a European skinless sausage. The other piece of meat is a grilled pork kebab. The red sauce is called Ajvar, which is a roasted red pepper sauce. I shared my food with Makenzie and she killed every bit! It makes me so happy to enjoy different cultural experiences with her.
Our family has adopted the slogan, “Never Stop Exploring”. Despite having two young children, we stand by this slogan. Our life, in terms of exploring is very similar to our life pre-kids. We still shop. We still travel. We still go out to eat, regularly. We just take the kids with us. In another Facebook post I stated how we force the kids to adjust to our life and not the other way around. We mean that thing! We refuse to let our kids stop us from exploring, because "it's hard taking them places". Yes, we sometimes have to deal with strollers, tears and attitudes, but we make it through. I believe kids will only learn how to act in public if you continue to take them in public ; and we do just that. I even do it alone, quite often. People look at me crazy when I say I take Brayden and Makenzie to the mall with me. I even try on clothes! Since, I have done it so much, our mall adventures are basically sans-shenanigans these days! Makenzie knows the routine for when the 6th pair of jeans still doesn't fit right, haha!
If you have kids and have become hesitant to taking your kids out, I encourage you to change that. Make a commitment to getting your family out of the house once a week. Whether it is going to lunch or visiting a museum, give it a go! Speaking of museums, we recently took our kids with us on a 3-hour Vatican City tour in Rome. Believe it or not, but these kids were perfect and we made it through the full tour, without incident! I was totally in shock, but I attribute their behavior to having had tons of practice learning how to operate out and about. We have had MANY tears, through this practice, but it has all been worth it! I hope you feel encouraged to get out. Where will you and your family head next?!