The How to Raise a Baby in Dallas Guide to Dallas Baby-Raising
Fire hoses. Bazookas. Carnival acts. These are the shooting-things-out-of-themselves experts. I know this now. Probably should have consulted them before attempting to blast a 9-pound-11-ounce boob destroyer out of my favorite part. Ah, well. Hindsight, much like a newborn baby person, is a total motherfucker.
Dan Zettwoch Click here to enlarge.
And once the baby's out of you, what the hell are you supposed to do with it, right? You're immediately hit with all these questions about how to provide the best for your newborn: Where are the hottest baby nightclubs? Are baby topsiders in or out? According to infant etiquette, when your baby pisses in your face, is it customary to say "thank you" or will a fist bump suffice?
When I had babies, there wasn't a sweet-ass guide to baby-ing in Dallas with all the baby feeding, baby clothing, baby hanging-out-with info. But I'm here for you, Dallas. As a freaking baby-rearing expert (based on four years as a mother of a girl person plus three weeks as the mother of a boy person plus a deep, serious relationship with Jack Daniel's), I give you The How to Raise a Baby in Dallas Guide to Dallas Baby-Raising.
Dallas is the land of baby opportunity. If you're sitting at home with your baby watching Netflix all day, you're doing it wrong. Netflix is for 4 a.m. feedings. If you watch Netflix 24 hours a day, you're going to blow your Netflix load way too early and run right through all the seasons of The Walking Dead in like three days. When you watch all the recent series that quickly, you're headed for disappointment, spelled with a capital "season finale of Pretty Wicked Moms and Elmo documentaries."
Instead, get out there and chug from the luxury-filled double-D boob that is the Dallas child-rearing scene.
"Where in the babydump hell are the kids' menus with options besides chicken fingers and fries?" you're maybe asking yourself if you're a parent who takes your kid to food places in Dallas. To you, I say, "If you're complaining about the items available on the kids' menu at a restaurant, you're more lame than that Charmin Bear skid-marks commercial. Who needs a kids' menu? When did the kid become so important that he needs his own menu? There's no Adult Female Bitch section of the menu, either. But if it existed, you'd complain about its contents, too." Here's where I blow your mind with science: Kid people can eat the same foods as adult people. It's true.
That said, I get it. Kids can be picky bastards. So for those days that your give-a-shitter is on empty and you need a break from trying to shove kale chips down your kid's throat, here are some tips for taking your kid to a no-food-fail restaurant meal in Dallas.
Any place that has legit margaritas: If the restaurant has good margaritas, they'll also have enchiladas and tacos that your kid will love. It's a proven fact, so think back to the last time you were so tequila-hammered you couldn't remember your face, and take your kid there for lunch. Unless, of course, your answer was your own front lawn. Everyone knows your front lawn has a history of providing terrible service and isn't super kid-friendly. If you can't remember where you were the last time you were that drunk, default to Pepe's & Mito's in Deep Ellum. Everyone wins.
Pepe's & Mito's offers kids all the cheese-filled tortilla options they could ever want, plus sopapillas. The added benefit of Pepe's & Mito's is that the food arrives at your table literally 30 seconds after you ordered it, so your kids don't even have time to complain about the "AAAAAAAAAAAAAH SALSA HERE IS TOO HOT, MOM" salsa. (The salsa isn't too hot. Your kid's just a wimp-ass wimp. Maybe it's time to stop co-sleeping with him now that he can legally vote and drive a car.)
Any place that offers froyo: Children are genetically wired to love frozen things that are sweet. For this reason, frozen-yogurtstaurants abound in Dallas.
Monster Yogurt (9540 Garland Road) is a kid-loved, locally owned froyo spot. Heed this warning, though: Only walk in here if you've had a full week's sleep. Walls inside are lined with serve-yourself toppings for frozen yogurt including M&M's and sprinkles. There's a McDonalds-y-indoor-playscape thing, which kids seem to scream on every second of every minute that this place is open. Only stay for four minutes if you'd like to keep your sanity at this sugarfest. The restaurant also doubles as the best birth control in Texas, should you need it.
Take your kid to Cane Rosso for Saturday brunch and order the pancakes with Nutella whipped cream and enjoy the resulting five full minutes of quiet time while your kid stuffs his face. While you're there, play Cane Rosso Seek 'N' Find: Can you find the mom chugging a beer while her kid dumps in the patioscape? Did you see the disgusted, hungover hipster who immediately vowed never to have children because "Holy IPA, I never knew kid shits were so adult-looking"? You win! Lesson: It's never too early to teach your child to judge other parents.
On Sunday, hit up The Grape. If your kid doesn't want freaking delicious bacon and eggs, he can order the burger and have his mind burger-blown on the spot. Bonus: A spot on the patio is an opportunity to teach your kid about the different smells of Greenville Avenue. Start with Granada Mosh Pit/Armpit Stank and work your way up. Or down. I'm not sure which it is.
Any place that makes a good chicken salad: Any restaurant that offers a delicious chicken salad will also have the kid-sized fruit cup you so desperately seek. The fruit cup is 2013's universal symbol of a last-minute attempt at good parenting. It's the "I'll have a double cheeseburger and a Diet Coke" of kid meals.
Dream Cafe has buttered pasta and hummus, and the one in Uptown (2800 Routh St.) has a playhouse for your little shit to run around in after he's lemonade-high. During lunch, put away the iPhones and the video games and have a real conversation with your kid. It's important. Teach him every single thing you know, starting with the stuff about boobs. And remember, it's OK if you're full of shit -- it's better for him, in fact, if you're wrong. This way, he understands how important it is to turn to Wikipedia when he wants to know the truth about things that aren't boobs.
Zoe's Kitchen and Central Market's Chef's Case offer tons of kid-friendly options for to-go meals if you've decided it's time to go all Super Mom and eat a picnic lunch with Mommy's Little Mouth Breather. Don't forget to Instagrammit. Gotta make sure the other moms see your kid eating a carrot. Document every single life moment before you experience it, people. That's what being a parent in 2013 is all about.