“Remind me of how stupid of an idea this is if I suggest it again.” — Me, after yet another ignorant attempt at eating out with young children.
Why do I continue to do this to myself? (And why isn’t there a law enforcing restaurants to clean high chairs and booster seats more often – like after each use, perhaps? Is that asking too much?)
Dining out will never be like it was before kids. Not even when they’re not with me. Why, oh why does this cold hard fact continue to elude me when the idea of eating out pops up? I have gotten used to the fact that it will be years before I will again be able to jump in the car at a moment’s notice but I can not accept the fact that enjoying a meal out again won’t likely happen again until I am old enough to think that Golden Corral sounds delicious. Ugh.
Yesterday, just after Little Lady awoke from her morning nap, we decided to hit a salad bar for lunch. We had been feeling kind of sluggish for the last few days – The Husb especially, with his work schedule flip-flopping between days and nights. We were hoping that a fill up of some wholesome greens would give us a boost. I was starving when my husband asked if we could stop at a fish store before going to eat. No problem, I thought. Everyone was in a cheerful mood (at that moment).
He picked up some fish that we then had to run back to the house. Great. Let’s make this quick.
After a surprisingly quick dash to the house, we were on our way to eat. Praise Allah. I felt like my stomach was beginning to turn inside out. I was huuuungry.
So we got to the restaurant and took our place in line.
Then trouble started.
As The Husb held Little Dude a few feet away, I could see some obvious signs of a fatigue-induced meltdown brewing. Restlessness. Grouchy facial expression. Then I saw Little Dude smack his dad in the face.
After quickly making eye contact with me, My husband whisked Little Dude out the door. I eagerly tried to find sight of them outside but I couldn’t. Little Lady and I inched closer and closer to the register but still no sight of The Husb and son. We’ve never left a restaurant before eating so I wasn’t sure what to make of the whole deal.
Finally I reached the register … just as I missed a call from The Husb. Damn! I tried dialing him back while pulling out my credit card in slow motion, wondering if he had tried to call to tell me to bag our lunch plans and meet him at the car.
He didn’t answer. (Ain’t that the way it goes?)
So I slowly gave the lady my card and, literally, the moment she swiped it My husband popped his head in the door and gave me the sign to leave. Doh! The woman behind me asked, “You’re not staying?” I promptly ignored her – was she writing a book? What business was it of hers, and if she was patient she would have her question answered without even wasting her breath.
Me? Crabby? Why yes. Yes I was. And don’t forget hungry, too.
So we crammed back into the car and listened to Arden scream at the top of his lungs that he didn’t want to leave. “Stop! Stop! I hungry! I stop cwying! Go back!” His screaming inevitably scared Addy so she too began crying. Aaaahhh…. The joys of parenthood.
On our way home the car returned to a quiet peaceful place. So Neil and I debated whether or not to make another attempt to eat out at another salad place nearby. The decision was made to make another go of it and so we headed toward our new destination.
This time we were able to find a seat and make our plates with only the usual amount of ruckus. But it wasn’t long until Addy was throwing shit on the floor and turning her nose up at everything we had chosen for her. And soon it became necessary to pull her out of the high chair and try to keep her occupied long enough for us to gulp down as much food as we could before we lost her all together … Which didn’t take but a couple more minutes when I had to abandon my plate to walk around with her so that at least ONE of us (a.k.a. Neil) could eat.
On the bright side, though, Arden was an angel.
Am I rambling?
Yes. I believe I am.
The point is that eating out is just as enjoyable as eating cold, leftover spaghetti. Therefor, I think next time that is what I will choose to do – save myself the money, hope, and agony.