Thursday, April 8, 2010

Check, please?!

Life isn't alway a fairy tale here in Happily Ever Johnson Land. Two nights ago, for instance.

I always appreciate the way that my variable working schedule gives me glimpses into both full-time home motherhood and full-time working motherhood. T and I have noted before that when we are both working, the pressure to eat out is far greater (despite our limited budget and delight in home-cooked meals). No matter how good the intentions, it is just too hard to get dinner on the table all 7 days in a week when both parents are running late, tummies are hungry and kiddos need hugs and attention the moment mom and dad walk through the door.

So on Tuesday it was no surprise that when I got home 45 minutes late from work T thought eating-out sounded like a good idea. We settled on our favorite local Indian restaurant, because if we were going to eat out, we were going to splurge on our favorite. E-Bear was in a nasty mood, but surely food would help that, right? We should have known we were doomed as we put the kids in the car and G-Bear announced: "We're going to dinner? I want mac 'n cheese!"

So there we are, being seated in the restaurant, suddenly aware how small and quiet it is because E-Bear is already screaming and his highchair clogs up so much of the floor it is almost touching the adjacent table. T is holding his head in his hands already because he has a headache from not eating all day. Surely, if we just get some naan...

"Mommy, I want mac 'n cheese...."
Me: "Um, G-Bear, I don't about some yummy rice?"
E-Bear: "uh, uh, uh! Ma, MA, WAAAAAAAAA!"
Waiter: "Can I bring you something to drink?"
Me: "Do you have chocolate milk?"
Waiter: "No I am sorry."
G-Bear: "Chocolate milk!"
Waiter: "I am very sorry---"
Me: "--Don't worry, regular milk is fine. We will have 2 orders of naan, the saag and the paneer. And for the kids..."
G-Bear "I want a MEAL!" (**Editors note: I think this is G-Bear's new way of requesting a Happy Meal--and given that we don't do McDonalds on our own as a family, I don't know why she would be requesting this...unless I have uncovered a little GrandMo babysitting secret. Confessions, GrandMo?!**)
Waiter: (mercifully) "I will bring some rice and chicken for the children right away."

You have never seen cuter Indian chicken fingers--curried chicken fried in tempura batter--or ones brought to a table faster. That placated E-Bear for about 2 minutes, the naan helped for another 90 seconds. T was almost feeling well enough to take a bite of naan when E-Bear lost it again. By this time, 5 of the 8 other tables are looking up from their plates to catch a glimpse of the action.

G-Bear: "Mommy, where is my meal? Can I have some more rice?"
Me: "Sweetie, your chicken finger is right here. Do you want some Ketchup? E-Bear, do you want some milk?"
E-Bear (throwing spoon and rice to the ground): "Nah! Nah! WAAAAAAA!"
T's head is now back in his hands.
Me: "E-Bear, do you need a time out?"
E-Bear: "Nah."
Me: "ok, then let's finish our rice and chicken..."

So, after 6 E-Bear meltdowns, 1 time-out on the front steps, 2 baskets of naan, 4 plates of rice for G-Bear and 2 tylenol for T , the whole restaurant knew my kids names and the waiters looked exhausted from checking on us. But, they still hadn't brought our main dishes. Queen B was desperate.

T: "Let's get our food to go. We can put the kids to bed and eat it at home."
Brilliant. Why had eating out sounded like a good idea again?

We tipped well.

Happily Ever,
Queen B


Luke and Jen said...

haha... that sounds familiar... yet still makes me so tired to just read it!

B-Mama said...

You know this scene is a familiar one in Gasperini-Ville! You all were so smart to get it to go--next time you'll be smarter and just order carry out from the beginning! :) Blessings!!

Queen B said...

So glad we are not alone! Thanks B-Mama and Jen!