Sunday, July 19, 2009

Steak and Fries

Today we did something crazy and new. On our way back from my husband's company summer party in Vienna, Virginia, we stopped in at an Outback Steakhouse and had dinner. That's right, the four of us actually went into a restaurant and had a meal together.

As you may know, we NEVER go out to eat as a family because of the babe's food allergies. We have always just thought it is easier to stay in. We like to feel in control.

But we threw caution to the wind and decided to pull in and give it a try. We explained the babe's food allergies to the waiter and asked for steak and fries from the children's menu. We managed to keep the little guy entertained with frequent feedings and lots of playing with the paper children's menu (which was more fun than any toys I had in my bag). The babe did some colouring and reading which helped pass the time. It also helped that we were surrounded by families with kids (it was just after 5:30 pm after all).

My husband and I were presented with our meals but the waiter explained that he had held back the babe's food when he found out the kitchen had put seasoning on her steak. A few minutes later, she was eating along with us. The manager came over to check in on everything as she had heard about the food allergies. We appreciated the concern and actually ended up having a good time (despite the fact we had the Epi pen ready and kept asking the babe to look at us and show us her mouth).

It was a big step forward for our little family, and I'm not saying it's going to become a regular thing, but it's nice to know we made it happen. Before the babe fell asleep tonight, she mumbled she wanted to go back to the restaurant again. After a life of never eating in restaurants, it was cool to see her chomping on down. Baby steps.

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