Last week I took Mellow Little Person straight from pickup to a restaurant, thinking, in great error, that food and zen would arrive fast enough to soothe his ruffled feathers.

Amateur hour, kids.

Three things. Your toddler will want to sit “over there”. All that means, by the way, is “not where I am now so fix it”. French fries may provide up to 30 seconds of peaceful sitting at a time but beware, French fries can be sharp! Sharp, people! Sharp! You have got to watch out for the sharp fries. They can ruin (your whole afternoon) the whole bowl. If said toddler places a hunk of bread in his appropriately sized small glass of water, by all means LEAVE IT THERE. Things have their places. Do not mess with the natural order of the toddler restaurant table. What are you, insane? Do you wish for total chaos? Is this fun for you?

Let me put out there that MLP was not being a jerky kid. He was a 26 month old having a rough afternoon, and I, Lowdramamama, messed up. He needed to go home. When our kids are FREAKING OUT, they are telling us they need something. They might need to be in a different place, or need to sleep, or need to eat, or need different expectations. Whatever the needs, remembering that the littles are not doing things just to mess with us will always take the edge off the accompanying frustration. Godspeed, parents.