After attempting to cook on Thursday I have a new level of respect for my wife and what she does day in and day out, week after week, month after month, year after year. I was so stressed out that whole week just thinking about making one meal, and it still turned out disastrous.
My wife was surprised (but pleased) when she sighed and said she was in the mood to go out to eat Sunday and I quickly said, “Where do you want to go?”
We are not usually spontaneous people, but I just had this feeling in my gut that it would be very nice if she didn’t have to cook that afternoon. After all, she had just worked very hard the day before cooking her very first Ethiopian dish for our church’s international dinner, which doubled as an exercise as part of our pre-adoption education, to experience the food.
So that afternoon we decided on Friendly’s, and we’d take the kids. This was only the second time we have gone out to eat with the whole gang. The only other time was almost a year ago, Pax was three months old and we went to Olive Garden.
As soon as we were seated, I knew it was going to be a challenging meal. We made a rookie mistake and forgot snacks for the kids to munch on (a.k.a. keep them quiet) while we browsed the menu. Thankfully they let us have some crackers, but these were immediately crushed up and getting thrown every which way by a wild one year old.
Ella did very well. I’m not sure if it is related to her hearing loss, or just the fact that we don’t get out much, but she would talk really loud. And lately she has been reverting to this “fat Albert’ voice when she says stuff like, “Look at this!” It took us a while but we finally got through to her to use her indoor voice.
Pax, on the other hand, was a handful! His boyish squeals at the top of his lungs are usually cute when done in the confines of our four walls at home. But when he flexes those pipes in a restaurant we were immediately flushed. Of course, there’s nothing you can actually do to prevent it, just look red in the face so that everyone else in the restaurant knows you are sorry for the disruption.
Then there was the other mistake we made. We forgot a sippy cup for him. He’s been doing so well with the straw lately, I figured it’d be no big deal. Man was I ever wrong! He was drinking through the straw, and then doing this disgusting thing where he would just open his lips slightly and let all the water just run out of his mouth. I can’t stand watching a baby eat and be messy, so this was horrifying to me…finally I had to just take the cup away from him. By the way, did I mention that when we take things away from Pax that he really wants, he has been throwing these mini temper tantrums? No? Well, that’s exactly what he did when I took the cup. Erica jumped in and saved the day by giving him just the straw back. This seemed to placate him for a few more moments.
When the food arrived he was throwing it all on the floor. When he was done with his food…we forgot to bring any toys for him to play with, so he decided to start eating the crayons. I took the crayons away. Mini temper tantrum. Then I gave him my KEYS! He dropped them on the floor. “Uh-oh!” he said. I picked them up and gave them back. He dropped them on the floor again. “Uh-oh.” we repeated this about fifty times. then I took the keys away from him. Mini temper tantrum.
Finally dessert was here. Pax wanted out of the high chair so I let him get down to stand by me. He crawled over to the next table and started grunting. “He’s pooping!” Ella said, in her most non-indoor fat Albert voice. Cue flushed faces once again.
“We gotta get outta here” I told Erica. “Eat fast.”
As we were packing up the kids, Erica quipped, “That ought to last us about another year!” We laughed so hard!
We made it to the car, buckled them in and started to drive away.
“Where’s his shoe?!” she sounded alarmed.
“I don’t know, is it on the floor behind my seat?”
It wasn’t. I put the car in reverse and drove back to the restaurant parking lot. Erica was hopping out of the car to go back inside the restaurant when we saw this.