Eating Out

As a mother, eating out has become a double-edged sword. It is easier to have someone else do the dishes, however I have to deal with the constant threat of my children taking over the restaurant.

Patrons at nearby tables might be struck by a flying saltshaker or assaulted by a shoe thrown in a fit of rage because the aggrieved party didn’t get a straw.

Worse yet is the adjoining bar playing audience to my daughter singing the theme song to Barney while they unwind with a cold beer. 

My children, ignoring me, speak directly to the waitress and start ordering juices, sodas and milk.

“We are all having water.” I tell the waitress.

They plead, “I will behave” in their attempt to whittle down my resolve.

I’ve eaten with these people before. I know they won’t behave even if given a two-liter bottle of Coke with their own straw. The water arrives and there are the usual demands for a “real glass” instead of the kiddy cups.  I am soon vindicated when the first kiddy cup is knocked over on the table.

The waitress takes our order. I know that ordering and eating are not connected to my kids. They love to tell the waitress all the things they want in the same way that children love telling Santa what they want for Christmas.

“I’d like fruit salad, onion rings and olives,” says my son.
“I would like macaroni, salad and meatballs,” says my daughter.
“I want the chicken, but not the kids meal, the big one.” says the oldest
“I want nuffin,” says the last kid.

“Honey aren’t you gonna eat? You want to grow up big and strong don’t ya?” says the waitress
How about a big juicy hotdog?” My son nods yes.
I never heard of anyone growing up big and strong from eating a hotdog but I am too busy picking up the packets of sweet n low from under the booth to protest.
The food arrives one meal at a time and while one child greedily plunges into their food, the others cry that they didn’t get theirs. I threaten them through clenched teeth.
“Sit quietly or we’re leaving.”

Two more meals arrive. I comfort the last meal-less child who has hurled all the cardboard Samuel Adams coasters at the booth behind me.
I apologize to the humorless couple and gather the coasters off their Chicken Caesar salads.
The hotdog arrives with my meal and I begin to eat. I take one bite. Someone needs to go “pee pee”.

“Can you hold it in?” I ask. The answer is always the same. No.

“That’s the girls room,” protests my five-year-old son.

I cover the first two letters of WOMAN with my hand.

“See, I tell him, it’s for MAN too.” He heads for the first open booth, pees with the seat down, the door open and leaves without flushing. For ten minutes he washes his hands as though he is preparing for surgery.

I return to the table. Anarchy has ensued. My oldest son is supervising and the others have revolted by throwing pieces of corn at him.

The great corn revolt ends. I get the check and have the entire contents of our meal wrapped to go.

At least I don’t have to do the dishes.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *