After YEARS of absolutely HATING when my fine dining experience was RUINED by the piercing, spine-crawling wailing of someone else’s infant, we braved being the culprits tonight. For the first time since Sam was born, we went out to eat. Not only that, we went out with the in-laws. We went to “Yang Ming” in Bryn Mawr — one of the finer Chinese restaurants in the Philadelphia area.

In the past, we’ve had a good experience there. While crowded, and a little pricey, we’ve had good service and exceptional food. Our experience there this time was sub-par. We’d made reservations specifically for their little private room in case fussin’ came around — to the point of not caring about the day or time so long as we got that room. We didn’t get that room. We ordered directly from the menu, without special orders, yet it was over an hour and a half after we arrived that our dinner did.

I spent too much of the meal in a state of semi-panic, glancing down at the ticking time bomb sleeping peacefully in car seat in the corner between my chair and Carolyn’s. We made it through drinks. We made it through long-delayed appetizers. We made it through dinner. They have a nice selection of desserts and after-dinner drinks. We received the menus for them when the first snorts of wakefulness arrived. We decided to skip the dessert so that we could call dinner an unqualified success. Carolyn and I left immediately, the rest of the family following shortly after. And so, we did, in fact have a successful dining out experience with our almost-three-month-old.

Our strategy of “tanking her up” before we left turned out to be a good one. Carolyn nursed her for about half an hour, after which I gave her as much as she would take from the bottle. I then suggested a little more from the bottle. She gave me an “oh, no. I really couldn’t” look, and then took a little bit more. I changed her (wet), and gave her a little bit more. Finally, it got to the point where I put the bottle to her lips and she got pouty-faced, and I figured it was as much as she could take. She fell asleep on the way there, and lasted for almost the entire meal.

Then, we got back to the house and played video games. An exceptional night all around!