Rediscovering the 'Me' in 'Mumeeeeeee'

'I have always thought that there is no more fruitful source of family discontent than a housewife’s badly-cooked dinners and untidy ways'. (Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, 1861)

September 28, 2010

La Maison du Maman


An interesting social experiment took place in our house today. It didn't start out as that, but it sort of turned into one. It started out as a disagreement over where and what we were going to have for tea (rolls eyes heavenwards).

"Can we go to a restaurant?" piped up the bigger boy as we strolled home from the library.

"No."

"Why?"

Hmmm - let me think about that one. "Well, we only go to restaurants on special occasions and when Daddy is here."

"Oohhhhhh muuuuuuuuum."

Much huffing and puffing and rolling of eyes heavenwards later, I relented a little and suggested setting up a restaurant of our own at home. This turned out to be a very popular idea so I set to with a blanket/tablecloth, kitchen towel napkins, Ikea's finest plastic tableware and a menu from the local Indian takeaway; all resulting in something quite posh looking to a 3 and 5 year old. With Florence and the Machine as background music and mood lighting provided by the huge rain cloud outside, I declared 'La Maison du Maman' open for business.

Seats were taken. Napkins were placed gently on the laps. The menu was carefully perused and the chef special of 'Ouefs avec fromage et frites du fourneau avec legumes (cheese omelette, oven chips, baby sweetcorn and peas to you and I) was eaten peacefully and with minimal fuss.

"We have to talk quietly when we're in a restaurant," the elder customer reminded his younger brother. As I served the required extra chips, I even got a, "Thank you for your honesty lady." I presume he meant hospitality.

"Yes, thank you lady," piped up the other customer.

A kitchen with a frazzled mummy in it generally isn't very appealing and leads to all manner of mealtime messing. However, a 'restaurant' with a 'chef' it would seem brings out the best in my kids. La Maison du Maman may be extending its opening hours.

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19 comments:

  1. What a great idea - I shall have to try this one out! My 5yo is also seemingly obsessed with eating out (children these days - tsk).

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  2. I think I'll give it a go. It'll be much cheaper than Pizza Express.

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  3. We do this sometimes, and it always amazes me the difference it makes. Glad to hear that your restaurant also uses the finest quality kitchen roll napkins, they are truly wonderful. 'Thank you for your honesty Lady' - I love that!

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  4. Perfect, wish I'd tried that when mine was that age. I wonder if he'll be thanking you for your honesty (lady) when he's a teenager?!

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  5. Great idea! I might have to try it out chez Pants soon. x

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  6. love it. how gorgeous! totally going to do that.

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  7. This is making me giggle. I worked in hospitality for a long time before children. I am quoted as telling my children "Kids, this particular restuarant is now closed" or "The running buffet is OVER for the day....."

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  8. That's a great idea. Even just to brighten up a normal evening! X

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  9. Brilliant - even gets kids involved in & enjoying the "staying in is the new going out" habit that we've all adopted!

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  10. Oh lovely, entertaining post as usual, Hazel. Eh... can you send me over your opening hours and... em... maybe a menu? I have four little customers I could send your way! Maria x

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  11. What a fantastic idea. I love the honesty shown at this restaurant, a lesson for the caterinf industry I think!

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  12. "Thank you for your honesty lady" Love it! What a brilliant idea. I'm going to copy it too!

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  13. "Chez Nana" may be in competition some days of the week. Anything for a quiet life I say. Better not milk it too much or the novelty will wear off. What a pair!! Can just imagine it.

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  14. Think I might ask if Papa fancies running a restaurant this weekend. I could be the waitress for a change instead of the cook.

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  15. Genius! That's a great idea - wondering if my 7 and 6 yr old would buy it. Will try!!

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  16. We've done this before and my boys love it. It's also a good way to teach and reinforce their table manners.

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