I was just tweeting with Annie of Annie's Supper Club in Kent about managing children and a supper club. I've got two under the age of 6. Anyone had any funny experiences with children interfering with their supper club plans? Any hints and tips on kid wrangling?
Tonight went pretty much as usual for us and how we work it. By the way, my kids are 15, 13, 8 and 3 (13 year old has Aspergers and 8 year old is diagnosed Autistic Spectrum Disorder).
At 3pm hubby took the 4 over to my Mum's (10 minutes away by car). When he got back he could then set the table with all the glassware etc whilst I got on with the cooking.
I usually find I have served the pudding by 9pm so I leave then and go and collect the children. They come back in and depending on their mood and the mix of guests, sometimes the older ones say hello sometimes they all say hello. If we have any friends at the table, then the kids may specifically go in to see them.
Otherwise I put the younger two to bed, then come back downstairs. My older two will then often join us chatting to guests until the y leave and then - bless them - help to clear the last of the glasses etc from the table.
Occasionally, if Mum can't have them, we have a friend over to babysit. She stays in the front room with the kids (the older ones go up to their rooms on their computers) and we sneak spare bits of food in to her (LOL). Again, once the last course is served, we tend to say to guests that if they have no objection, the kids are then allowed to come in/come through to the kitchen (if they want a drink they would have to walk through the dining room to get to the kitchen).
Interested to hear how others manage it!
Sounds like you've really got your hands full there. It's comforting to hear that you can manage to have the supper club and have four children in the house. I think our two will stay in bed (hopefully!). I'll just have to see how it goes. Hubby might bring them to a friends for the night if we find that things are getting noisy.
It's all so exciting. I can't wait 'til my first one.
I have two children who were 10 and 7 when I started. I do my clubs on a Friday night so they impact the least on the children. In other words I don't mind if they have a late night. I allow them in the kitchen just until the guests arrive and then disappear upstairs to watch television in bed or do whatever they want. They know that it is not appropriate for them to be around when we have supper club guests. I make sure they have a good dinner before everyone arrives and take them little bits of food they might want to try up to their rooms which they see as a great treat.
It's hard juggling it all especially as I like them to get their homework done on a Friday too! Good luck
I have a funny story.
My 9 year old became very very ill with a 24 hour stomach bug the very night before our soft opening. But I didn't know this until 2am when my nerves had finally settled and I had thankfully drifted off to sleep. My phone rang at 2am and it was the mother of her friend who she was spending the night with. I had to get out of bed and get her, bring her home, and then stay up with her all night as she barfed.
The poor little thing was more upset about me telling her that she could no longer serve water the next night than she was about the pain in her gut. She begged and begged to at least be allowed to stand outside and watch through the window. I resigned to her wishes and all through the night, as her father stood with her, I saw her little face (like a sad puppy dog) peering through the windows at our dinner party as it happened.
She felt 100% by the night of, as it was just a 24 hour flu, but I didn't want to take any chances. My heart went out to her and imagined the memories she would have of that night for the rest of her life being banned from her mom's first supper club. What a trooper.
Megan at Polly's Paladar
Aw! I used to love it when my parents had dinner parties. I'd steal down in the morning and see if there were any After Eights left in the box.
I have to say, running the supper club as a single parent with a young child is not something I'm sure I could have tackled. She was 14 when I started and has now become an integral part of The Underground Restaurant. In fact I am stopping her from having any kind of social life at the weekends as she has to help me. Still...I reckon that'll keep her out of trouble. But she may die a 40 year old virgin. Tant pis! As long as I've got a waitress eh?
I'm doing afternoon tea at 2pm on a Sunday afternoon and how it seems to work is: the 15 and 12YO disappear upstairs to "do homework" and my other half takes the 6YO somewhere out of our hair. Everyone miraculously appears again at 4.30 for clearing up and a huge leftovers tea. My mum's even taken to turning up at chucking out time, partly to nosy at the guests, partly to help clear up and partly to snaffle butties and cake. I have had the 6YO and his friend playing upstairs and in the back garden and it's been fine, no one's raised an eyebrow. My 15YO helps waitress if I'm desperate but I seem to have a long list of friends all keen to join in the fun so she's not always needed.
Sounds familiar people turning up for leftovers...I leave mine out for the neighbours...
I have three children aged 11, 6 and 9 months. I find they tend to fit round whatever i'm doing. My very lovely new husband is on babysitting duty so I can cook :)