what it is like to eat in a nice restaurant...illustrated with crappy pictures™
Every so often our extended family convinces us to eat in a nice restaurant. All of us. With the kids. Every time we say "Yes" and then give ourselves a reassuring pep talk that goes something like this:
"Hey, the kids are older now, it will be easier than last time. Nothing to worry about. This time it will be different!" And so we go.
Like last weekend.
So we get seated and the baby decides that he is NOT going in the highchair.
He decides this loudly.
Because of his reaction I'm unprepared and he manages to grab a fork and a plate.
I get out some crayons and paper and the menus arrive.
I don't actually get to open my menu because I'm playing the game of baby drop the crayon and mama will pick it up. I have to pick it up because if I don't he says, "UH OH! CRAYON!" repeatedly with a sad face and the whole restaurant looks at me expectantly.
So I open the menu when the waitress arrives and I order something quickly. I also order a glass of wine.
Until my four year old has decided he has had enough of crayons. Does he want a book? No. A toy? No. He shields everything I have in my mama bag arsenal. I'm out. I need backup.
We switch spots.
Until I see that he is folding a paper airplane.
And hits a lady on the back of her head.
Fortunately, the waitress is heading to our table with appetizers.
Now a good, career server understands the concept of the clear space on a table that is the baby zone. It is there for a reason, that reason being that the baby will grab everything within his reach. An experienced server knows not to put spillable, sharp, fragile or hot things directly within the parameters of a cleared baby zone.
Our waitress is not a career server.
Now these fries are seriously hot. Too hot for the kids. But they are hungry. Fries! Now!
So I blow on one. The speed of which I can cool these things down is not fast enough for the kids. Hungry! More fries! Now!
So my mother-in-law helps out with the cooling.
Meanwhile, all the men are doing this:
And soon the fries have cooled on their own so I stop blowing on them and can actually eat some.
But they are gone.
followed immediately by...
Fortunately, the rest of the family helps out and the baby is passed from lap to lap and the four year old circles the table chatting with everyone.
I feel bad though, knowing that their food is getting cold so I inhale the food as fast as I can.
Finally, it is over. Receipts have been signed and we are walking out the door. I wonder if the whole restaurant breathes a sigh of relief as we leave. I certainly do.
On the way to the car, someone suggests doing it again soon. They say they had a great time.
Because, you know, next time it will be different!