Making the Little Lies Count: Restaurant Tactics from the Campers

Making the Little Lies Count: Restaurant Tactics from the Campers


Restaurant Tactics from the Lively Little Campers
I have always been on the fence about the whole ‘lying to your kids’ thing.

I’ve read all the articles and I get all the arguments. I know the experts advise direct and simple truths in the face of all questions. It sounds all good until your 3 year old asks you exactly how the doctor is going to help get baby Wesley out. I figure by the time they are ready for that direct truth, it will be someone else telling it, and I’m just fine with that.

On the flip side, I’ve never been the type of parent to make up stories in order to bypass the daily challenges of toddlerdom. I’m not sure why this suddenly changed last weekend, but something came over me. Maybe it was just that I really wanted a wonderful seafood dinner, looking out over the bay as the sun went down, eating scallops and sipping a cold beer. My boys are not terrible in restaurants, but sometimes things can go haywire and someone can wind up under the table pulling everyones’ shoes off or something.

So we were sitting in the parking lot of the Harbor View Restaurant in Cape May, reading the boys the riot act about behaving well and having a nice dinner.


Then I did it. I told the boys that if boys misbehaved at this restaurant the workers brought out live crabs to pinch them. I was about to laugh when I realized they were buying it–hook, line, and sinker.

Theo started asking really specific questions about what kind of behavior might bring out the crabs. Jeremy and I looked at each other and started talking. We didn’t stop until the boys were scared straight. They tiptoed into the restaurant, sat calmly in their seats, and nervously looked around for any loose crustaceans.


We had a fabulous meal. The chowder was perfect…a little spicy and full of meaty clams. The boys chowed down on their fish, and Jeremy and I loved the crab cakes and the fra diablo. I’m pretty sure that Max and Theo did not budge from their seats the whole time. It was civilized and delicious.




When we got back in the truck, Jeremy and I were about to compliment the boys when Theo let out a big sigh. That was a close call, he said. We almost got bit by crabs.

But you didn’t, honey. Life is good and you didn’t get bit by crabs. Carry on.

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Watch out for the giant crabs!!!


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