Dear Waco: Please open a restaurant with a playscape. Love, every mom with a toddler.
In bigger cities, playscapes are everywhere. If I lived in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, etc. , I would be writing “Top 50 restaurants with playscapes” because they have SO MANY. But Waco, poor poor “little” Waco, doesn’t have them.
Moms are all strong and incredible at what we do. We are responsible for raising little babies to become functioning members of society. But are you (or do you remember being) a mom of a toddler? It’s exhausting. Keeping up with their little growing minds is even harder than keeping up with their newfound ability to run EVERY. WHERE.
My twins are 14 months old (ah, how did that happen?!) and their most effective mode of communication is screeching. That high-pitched, oh-my-gosh-is-he-dying, ear piercing screech. It doesn’t matter whether they are happy or mad. It’s a constant game of “Marco Polo”, but with deafening screeches. Then, when they finally find each other, it becomes a game of who can be the loudest. My house isn’t huge, so I have two screeching children in my ears all day long. Can anyone relate?
I need a playscape, y’all. A way to eat, at a restaurant, with my children, and enjoy it. Yes, you heard me, it’s possible! Highchairs are great. Crayons and coloring pages are great. But my kids want to move at all times. To them, a highchair is a small, off-the-ground jail where they get food and consume it as fast as possible so they can get back to playing.
Here’s the problem. When you go to TripAdvisor and search for “Waco restaurants”, then click the filter “good for families with children”, it is all indoor places, usually pretty small, that are filled with tables; there’s barely enough room for adults, much less a hyperactive toddler (or two). We have so many places with delicious food, don’t get me wrong, but I have to get it to go…or not at all…if there isn’t somewhere designated for children.
Here is my fantasy: My husband, twins and I calmly stroll into a wide-open restaurant with a gated playscape area outside, surrounded by picnic tables. We order and pick up our food, then my husband and I sit at the table and enjoy our food (I know, it’s a life-changing concept) while our little ones happily chase each other about on the playground. They’ll run up to us every now and then to grab another bite of food and tell us how much they love us, then happily go play and take turns and share willingly.
Okay, I know it’s not likely, but it’s at least POSSIBLE if there was a playscape in the area! For now, we’ll just stay at home where they whine at my feet while I cook, only want to eat what is on their brothers’ plate (it’s the same food, why is his any better?) and then run around in my equipment-less backyard.
Waco, it’s time. We may be second on the list of Top U.S. Destinations on the Rise, but our city is more about the people who live here than the people who visit. Make the people who live here (read: moms with toddlers) happy by building a restaurant with a playscape. Fellow mamas, I’ll see you at the grand opening!