There are lots of things I love about Greece.
One thing is the food. There is only one word to describe it, delicious.
Another is how child friendly it is. Greeks absolutely love children, and children that receive their love and adoration are happy little campers. My cherubs suck up the attention like a sponge does water.
Before moving to Greece, eating out would be a stressful initiative (for me mostly). Sensing my anxiety, my cherubs would turn ‘Chucky’ throwing food and morphing cutlery, glasses and plates into deadly weapons.
In Greece it’s a more relaxed affair. Staff and patrons are used to children wondering around restaurants and tavernas. A broken glass is a problem only because staff worry that the bits of glass are dangerous, not because it was broken in the first place.
We recently were in Athens and dined at the Hotel Grande Bretagne’s GB Roof Garden Restaurant.
My old stress levels returned. I couldn't shake my old mantra ‘dining out and children don’t mix.’
The first twenty minutes went well. Cherub one and two sat quietly drawing and chomping on the bread. We ordered. Drinks came. Nothing broken, nothing spilt. I started to relax.
Little Miss announced she wanted to do a number two. In a nappy. Little Miss has been out of nappies for nearly a year.
Mr Lucky sagely advised to let her win this one. Child friendly restaurant aside, we didn't want an epic meltdown and one was brewing. Little Miss, The Baby (who views any toilet visit like a treat in a candy shop) and I wondered over to the toilet.
Thirty minutes later, Little Miss couldn't decide between toilet or a number two in a nappy. There were tears (mostly mine). There were sighs (mostly mine). There were low ‘I am serious stop this’ messages ( mine, all being ignored). The toilet was nice, clean and upmarket but I didn't want to be there anymore. I was close to a tantrum myself.
The upside was the Baby was happy playing with the toilet paper and in the 30 minutes we had been hiding in the toilet, Mr Lucky ate his meal in peace – a first since we had the children.
No dirty nappy and no number two to flush away, we returned to the restaurant hungry and exhausted. The chef, not wanting us to eat a cold meal prepared three fresh ones (no, there was no reheating!)
The Baby, Little Miss and I had lovely meals. We had all worked up an appetite for this one and it was worth the wait.
After thanking the chef (profusely) for an absolutely lovely meal, he came out with the saying commonly heard in Greece. ‘They are children, you need strength, but enjoy them.’
Have I mentioned how much I love living in Greece?
Image: "Dining Table" by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net