Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Our big mistake (and how we survived)

Somehow Trey talked me into going out to eat tonight... with the kids. We had a Chili's gift card and a coupon for a free dessert, and I was feeling pretty burned out on cooking anyway, so it really didn't take much convincing. 

Never again.

We've always avoided dinner out with the kids, but I reasoned with myself that it would be fine--Perrin's old enough now to know how to behave, and Brielle's young enough that she hasn't hit the terrible twos. Perfect, right?

The restaurant was PACKED. Thankfully, we got seated quickly and I began digging through the diaper bag to pull out the dinner I'd packed for Bri. Only... it wasn't there. No peanut butter sandwich anywhere to be found. I remembered sticking it in the bag before we left the house. Where was it?? After I dug through the bag several times and sent Trey out to the car to look for it, Perrin found it on the floor. Apparently in the shuffle to get seated, half the diaper bag had dumped out. 

Oh, well. Time to order. I busied Brielle with some crayons (which she tried to eat) while attempting to convince Perrin to order something other than macaroni and cheese. (C'mon... if I'm gonna spend $5 on a kid's meal, it ought to be a tiny bit more awesome than macaroni and cheese.) We finally settled on chicken strips and cinnamon apples. (Believe me, this is pertinent to the story. In case you're wondering.)

Brielle threw all the napkins on the floor. ("More napkins, please.") Then she threw all the crayons, the menu, her fork, her fruit cup. A rather sizable pile of crap had accumulated under our table.

Food finally arrived! Perrin decided he liked the chicken strips and ate three within about 20 seconds. I told him he should try the apples too. He said he didn't like them. I told him to try just one. He said it would make him gag. I insisted. So he ate an apple and threw up all over himself and the table. Literally. Vomit everywhere. ("More napkins, please.")

Trey took Perrin to the bathroom to get him cleaned up. He came back and told me his tummy wanted cookies. Too bad, tummy. I was finally getting ready to eat my own food when Brielle's face went red and she started grunting. Sigh. I knew what that meant. I hauled her off to the bathroom to change her diaper and realized when we got there that she had lost a shoe at some point. I changed her and then needed to wash my hands, so she toddled around the bathroom with one shoe on while I lathered up. I scooped her up and we hunted around the restaurant. No shoe. We hunted around the table. No shoe. Finally we spotted it wedged between her booster seat and the booth seat. While I was getting readjusted, Brielle grabbed Perrin's cup of cinnamon apples and dug her hands in, then began smearing the apples across her face and the table. While I dug out the wipes from the diaper bag, she grabbed my shirt with her slimy fingers and wiped apple bits from my shoulder to my elbow. ("More napkins, please.")

I asked for a to go box. Trey ordered the free dessert (still trying to salvage what had thus far been a trip to hell). Did I mention the restaurant was packed? Our server was trying his hardest running from table to table, but he just couldn't keep up. We waited about 15 minutes for our dessert, then another 15 minutes for a check. Maybe that doesn't sound like much, but it was possibly the longest 30 minutes of my life. 
Finally it was time to get the heck out of there. I picked up Brielle's mess from under the table and took her out of her chair to put her coat on. I set her down and turned around to grab my purse, diaper bag, and coat. I turned back around and Brielle was gone. She was speeding as fast as her little legs could carry her down the aisle and around the corner. I chased after her, but there were people everywhere (did I mention the restaurant was packed?) I dodged a server with a tray and nearly bumped into an old man. Brielle navigated the crowds with ease and was making herself at home with a booth of strangers when I finally caught up to her. 

I was pretty quiet on the way home. Trey tried to cheer me up. "Look at the bright side--it couldn't possibly have been any worse than that." Um, that's the bright side? "And we survived!" he said. I think he was just praying I wouldn't kill him for having the most boneheaded idea in the universe. 

But yes, we survived. And we learned an important lesson. I think it's safe to say that we won't be taking our kids out to eat again until they're 40.

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