Dining with kids

I don't have children, but yesterday I had a 'birthday lunch' (today is my birthday!) with a good friend of mine and two of her children. The lunch was great and my friend's kids are great--very polite and bright but I did notice that her daughter, age 9, was very adamant about ordering plain, buttered pasta NO SAUCE (gasp) and the boy (who ordered raw clams and ate them) spent a good portion of the meal with his head on the table, the better to see his Gameboy.

Just wondering--for those of you with kids or who see kids on a daily basis, when do they outgrow the 'buttered pasta/mozzarella stick/chicken fingers' only phase and when did you kids acquire the manners to eat at a 'fine dining restaurant'?


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