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Jan 28, 2014 08:33 AM

Valentine's Day (or everyday) restaurant that offers babysitting

Yes, I know, weird request. And please don't try to convince me to get a babysitter, because the wife won't allow it... However, it's been 6 years since my wife and I have gone out for dinner alone, basically since my first son was born. I'd love to find a restaurant that has a babysitting service on the side or something, so my wife can have the peace of mind she wants while enjoying a nice dinner for the first time in years without the kids. Any ideas?

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  1. It is probably a bit late, but you could get a room at a hotel in the city with a fine restaurant (heres a place to start looking :


    Most hotels offer babysitting service.
    It would make for an expensive night out, but if I hadn't had a quiet dinner with my wife in six years, I'd likely pop for the expense.

    1 Reply
    1. I am assuming there's no family you can rely on for babysitting? So, is your son in school yet? How about discussing this with his teacher?

      Restaurants don't have babysitting. They just don't.

      Mothers of 6yos should be ready to let their kids spend an evening with a babysitter that they have interviewed and instructed on the care of your child. Children who have normal health and development need to have experiences apart from their parents.

      If there's a question of greater health or developmental need then I'd discuss this with your pediatrician and specialists. There must be parents in similar circumstances who could co-op to have the same opportunity to spend time together.

      If it's a question of your wife setting rigid and unreasonable demands you both need to be discussing that with a professional.

      I know this isn't what you wanted to hear but I think you sound desperate enough to need to hear it.

      I apologize if it's off base or causes pain. I do. But I've weighed that against what you seem to be conveying and I genuinely feel it needs to be said.

      I wish you both and your son the best.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rainey

        Rainey, no apology needed. Yeah, it's funny because our son is totally normal. He's in K, teachers love him, kids love him, he loves the school. So that's not the issue. It's probably more inertia than anything, we've moved a number of times over the years so haven't had consistent babysitters and even for me, I wouldn't just leave my kids alone until I was very comfortable and had observed for awhile. I know, it sounds crazy, but its just the way we are!

        1. re: rainey

          Folks, we understand the helpful and generous desire to offer parenting advice in response to this question, but we're going to ask everyone to please just focus on suggesting dining options that might meet FattyDumplin's need rather than getting off track by discussing the criteria of this question. Thanks so much.

        2. Did you see this post about Hachi Ju Hachi in Saratoga?

          I'd suggest not wasting your pass on Valentine's Day when few restaurants are on top of their game, but use it another night out.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Actually, you're totally right... and we're actually moving to Saratoga that weekend, so in reality, this will have to be a pre / post Valentines event.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                Yes and no :) Didn't end up going to any restaurants by ourselves in the Bay Area because of the move. But we went to LA to see family shortly after and managed to do a nice dinner out there. So, the kick in the butt from some of the posters worked!

                We still haven't tried Hachi Ju Hachi and its on our list.

                1. re: FattyDumplin

                  Family members as babysitters sounds like a comfortable first step. Good for you, and keep us posted on your dining out.

          2. Not a very fancy dinner, but you could check him into the Ikea childcare and grab a bite in the restaurant. Just make sure he's not too tall for their height limit. I think my son outgrew it at around 7-8. In Emeryville you can see into the play area from some of the restaurant seats.