Thursday, November 8, 2012

Adventures in Restaurant Land

I truly LOVE going out to eat.  Who doesn't?!?  A wonderful menu of delicious options, drinks brought to you, no cooking, no clean up and a menu of adult drinks at my beckon call.  I do not like going out with my kids to eat.  They are **just** beginning to get to the age that we can eat out peacefully, but we are not quite there yet.  Tomorrow is Abigail's 7th birthday.  Since Daddy is working late, she has requested to go out to eat at his restaurant.  I am only partly looking forward to it. 
Did you know that I'm physic??
I can tell you exactly what will happen tomorrow when we are "eating" supper out tomorrow evening:
We will arrive at the Olive Garden ridiculously early, probably at like 4:15, yea for DINNER.  We have to go early for two reasons: 1. my husband gets very busy very quickly so the earlier we go, the more likely the chance that Daddy can sit with us for a few minutes but more importantly, 2. My kids are part were wolf and literally turn into animals when the sun sets.  It's not a pretty sight.  The earlier we go, the better. 
So now here we are, getting ready to eat dinner with all the Grandpa's and Grandma's.  We wait to be seated.  Jacob runs off no less than 3 times.  He climbs on at least 4 different benches.  I am already stressed at this point. We go to our table, Daddy comes to say hi.  I assign all the kids a seat and while I'm fumbling with the high chair for Hannah (because she would surly bolt out of the restaurant if she wasn't buckled), both Abby and Jake are asking me repeatedly for chocolate milk and to open their crayons.  I open the crayons; both request a different color that isn't in the pack.  I pull out my extra pack of restaurant crayons from my bag and give them their requested color.  I finally sit and begin to ask them what they want.  Abby says "spaghetti", Jacob says "salad with crunchies (croutons)"and Hannah says "olives".  Yes, for real.  That's her favorite. We are finalizing our choices when the server comes up. I haven't even had time to look at the menu but I can't send them away because the peas are little ticking time werewolf bombs and we need to get that food cooking.  I'll order my standby, eggplant parm with a side of soup, and the kids food.  He/she will leave and one kid will request the potty.  "Do you REALLY have to go??"  "Yes" they reply.  So we get ready to go.  By this point, Hannah has taken off her shoes so I have to put them on and we go to the potty.  I hope the server realizes we'll be back and we didn't leave.  We make the potty trip and we are back.  I longingly glance at the drink menu...whaaaaa...too bad I'm with the kids AND driving :(  Oh well.  Salad comes; I dish it out.  Everyone begins to eat. Hannah only eats the olives and the tomatoes.  Everyone even enjoys a bread stick.  I manage to eat a few bites of my delicious soup while deflecting Hannah from dumping all the sugars out on the table.  My kids are USUALLY fairly quiet when we eat, so that's a good thing.  Kids are done with their salads in approximately 4 minutes, entrees probably won't be out for another 5-6 minutes, which is equivalent to 30 minutes in kid time.  Mind you, I've probably eaten 6 bites of my soup.  I entertain, we color, we count sugars, we make the salad tongs talk.  Abby finishes her milk.  Hannah spills something. Everyone complains they are starving.  Entrees come- hooray!  I automatically ask the server for 2 to-go containers.  I order two kids meals and share some with Hannah.  She requests more olives.  I dish out every one's food, cut it, place the ketchup in the correct place on the plate so it doesn't touch any one's food.  I eat some more soup.  At this time, someone may or may not request the potty again...I'll probably just give them a look.  I finish my soup.  I'll take 2 bites of my entree.  The kids will be done.  Normally we won't "do" desserts, but since it's Abby's birthday, they will be allowed to choose something small.  We will order those.  Hannah will knock over all the sugars on the floor and possibly spill her olives.  The nice staff will come to sing "Happy Birthday" the Olive Garden way.  Hannah will probably cry.  The peas will eat their treats quickly.  I will pack up their leftovers and my entire entree.  I'll use 1/2 my package of wipes to clean them up, the table and attempt to clean up the disaster on the floor.  We will pay our check, say bye to Daddy and go home just as their fur is starting to grow.  I will finally eat my entree, with that well-deserved glass of wine, a few hours later when the kiddies are in bed.

Happy early birthday Abby.  I hope someday you truly realize what a gift it was for me to take you out to eat on your birthday :)


Anabelle said...

I'm feeling a great deal of anxiety just reading that! I HATE going to eat at restaurant with servers with my kids. We must stick to Chipotle or Panda Express.
Happy birthday to Abby! Have fun tomorrow!

Allison Showers-Chlup said...

I have to admit, I couldn't stop laughing while reading this post. You have described eating out with kids to a tee . . .and our kids are relatively well behaved. :) With the birth of the twins, I figure that my days of eating out are over. Good luck tonight and Happy, happy birthday, Abby. It is hard to believe it has been 7 years.

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