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When I was pregnant with Brooks, I can remember John and I going out to eat and watching other couples with small children and saying to each other ” we will NEVER let our kids make a mess like that in a restaurant. EVER!” Famous last words.

When Brooks was old enough to start eating grown people food, John got the bright idea to go to Hobby Lobby and get a giant square of clear plastic to put underneath the highchair at restaurants so that all the little crumbs would land on it and we would just fold it up when we left and shake it out in the parking lot. No mess for our little waitress and we would look like the caring parents that we were. Again…famous last words.

That lasted all of one time.

After trying to figure out a way to fit the stupid giant square of plastic in my diaper bag, and then looking like dorks while we were trying to put it down underneath his seat, we both decided that we should just tip the poor girl more and chalk it up to having a messy child.

Fast forward 5 years and 4 more kids later.

I have said “this is the VERY LAST time I am EVER taking these kids out to a restaurant” more times than I can count and I have apologized profusely to every waiter that we have had because of our kids messes. The only downside to this is that I now have the exact same messes as before..just in my own kitchen.

But then it hit me.

Dinner in the bathtub.

Y’all. Dinner. In. The. Bathtub.

It’s genius. I only have to fix one plate of food and I can make sure my kids eat everything on that plate. I line them up while they are splashing around and just spoon feed them. Now granted this isn’t an all the time thing, but it sure helps me out when John has a meeting during dinnertime or we are just getting home from a ballgame and its already past bedtime. We have had a few instances of John Bridge eating what’s fallen into the tub and the kids freaking out about floating macaroni, but all in all this is a system that works great for me.

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