There are certain benefits to raising an only child.
1) Once the diaper days are gone, they stay gone!
2) You don't need to worry about calling your kid by another one of your kid's names.
3) If something in the house ends up broken, you can usually figure out who broke it.
4) If they start behaving badly you can threaten them with an unborn sibling!
The list goes on and on.
I have one child, a daughter. I come from a family that had three boys. Raising a single daughter is far different then growing up in a house with 3 boys.
For one thing, I'm out numbered. No matter what, it's two against one. There is no debate or compromise. When I was a kid I was often the 'swing' vote. My word was worth a stick of gum or even a matchbox car now and then. These days, my word is worth less then what I scoop out of the cat box.
All those cool 'boy' toys I played with as a kid? Well, we have some but my daughter is one of those 'club' kids. Everything is a club, complete with club cards and memberships. More often then not the cats get higher level memberships then I do.
We do own hot Wheels cars, but they do not get out much. We have a ton of Pokemon figures, and they get a lot of play, but so many of the 'boy' games I remember have no place in my household.
I mean, who can forget such perennial favorites as; uncle, beatings for the slow kid, soft punch contest and first one to the parents gets to lay blame on the other kid. Yeah, those were some good times!
The games we play are along the lines of; so, what do you want to do? Another favorite game is; what do you want to eat? Which is often followed up with the "I don't know" game?
In my house we have taken to creating a special menu of "I don't know" foods. The way it works is very simple. If the question is, "what do you want to eat?" and the answer is "I don't know" then the asker gets to pick. This has turned the "I don't know" answer into "what do we have?" Which is a far more interactive answer.
We don't have this problem at restaurants, they have menus pre-printed! My wife and I do have a game we play at restaurants; we try to guess which of the food items our daughter will actually eat. If the menu looks as follows:
Macaroni and cheese
I feel pretty safe betting on macaroni and cheese, unless the pizza is of the "make your own" variety, then I bet on that. Betting on anything else is a losing bet, though grilled cheese does sometimes get her vote.
Another important aspect of restaurant eating, when you have kid(s), is wait time and the 'occupation' factor. I'm not talking about jobs at the restaurant; I'm talking about what is there to occupy my child's attention until the food arrives?
I'll let her bring a few things with her to the table to fool around with but each item has a set amount of time it will work for and an 'interactive' factor.
Crayons and paper - works OK, but devolves into tic-tac-toe which has a very high interactive factor. Especially when the place only gives you three colors and they are not all primary colors.
Toys - your mileage may vary if you bring in an 'already-owned' toy. I suggest stopping off somewhere along the way to the restaurant to buy a *new* toy. New toys last longer and, if you plan correctly, you can limit the interactive factor.
Nothing - well, if you brought nothing then you can expect your little one to jump around, run through the aisles and do other things to cause you great indigestion while waiting for your meal. Hey, you came unprepared; you should have just stayed home!
Before I had kids, I would actively avoid restaurants that had a high kid to adult ratio. It wasn't that I did not like children, I just didn't want them staring at me while I ate. Now, bring 'em on. The worse those other kids are, the better mine look!
Like a friend of mine once told me about why he liked to hang around with some very neurotic friends, "Hey, I come here, spend an hour or so and go home. Once I get home I can sit back, relax and truly appreciate how good my life is!