As we say in Yiddish, "People make plans and God laughs." I'd like to append that idiom to read, "People caring for small children make plans and God grabs a jumbo tub of popcorn."
Small children suck at dining in restaurants. But if the restaurant deities are whispering to you and you simply must heed their call, here's some advice to help you navigate the experience with your spirit and dignity (mostly) intact.
The season of giving is upon us, for certain, but the spirit of generosity is alive and well year-round. As parents and caregivers, we can help our children as they experience all kinds of feelings, among them the joy that comes from authentic generosity. When we strengthen their hearts and souls, we strengthen our own in turn.