We had just mastered the art of eating out before Drew arrived. It was almost like watching a choreographed ballet. I'd whip out the restaurant trifecta -- books, stickers, and crayons. He'd order appetizers so once she tired of them, we'd be able to shove mozzarella sticks down her gullet. And when our food arrived, she'd be coloring with one greasy hand and covering the table in stickers with the other. We saved the sugar packet train tracks and creamer blocks for dessert. And if the restaurant actually provided some type of crayon/placemat combination, we might even have enjoyed an after dinner drink.
That was until we became a family of four and cornered the market on every cliche, stereotype, and stigma of a family eating out.
Let's face it. Crayons are great so long as your three-year-old colors on actual paper and doesn't hand them off to the baby as an appetizer. And sugar packets are only mildly entertaining until they are used weapons.
Have you ever been hit in the head with a splenda packet? What the fuck do they make that stuff out of?
But when your toddler turns into Veruca Salt without the accent (and the penchant for geese that lay golden eggs but rather knives, forks, and salt/pepper shakers) and your son is the living version of the Hungry Hippo game, you have become that family.
The one that has to take their kid out of the restaurant for a "time out" after not so quietly threatening them with leaving if "they-don't-behave-because-this-is-a-public-place-and-this-is-not-how-mommy-taught-you-how-to-behave-and-you-want-to-go-to-the-pool-don't-you-so-you-better-eat-your-dinner."
The one who is handing their baby anything and everything that they can to occupy them long enough to shove one morsel of food in their mouth except then they grab a steak knife and you curse out loud.
Yeah. That curse.
And the one who tries to sneak quickly out of the restaurant with their heads down while holding screaming child so as not to call attention to the table that looks like a national disaster area.
Yep. That's us.
It hit us this afternoon when we met the huz at a restaurant near the airport during a long layover. Quinlan had just used her ice cream spoon as a stamper on his arm after throwing a tantrum-ette, and Drew was attempting to eat an entire series of paper napkins. And the tiny bit of food we had actually eaten we had swallowed whole.
"We're that family, aren't we?" he said, sort of laughing, sort of not.
"Totally," I sighed, swiping the 14th tiny piece of paper out of Drew's mouth with my finger.
"Let's not eat out again for a really long time..." he replied. "At least not with the kids."
"Okay" I agreed. Plus it's not like I'm eating anything anyway which for the the "Last of the 20 Pregnancy Pounds" isn't so bad...
"But *gulp* what the hell are we going to do when we have to fly?"
What makes your family that family?