Wednesday, May 30, 2012

eating out

I love to eat out. Someone else cooks, serves and cleans up.  Bliss, right? Not always, when you have three kids.

Ordering is easy because the twins eat macaroni and cheese and french fries or pancakes and bacon.  And that's about it. Oh, and bananas. And barbeque sauce. On everything. Lack of barbeque sauce equals trauma and actual tears. Bring the barbeque sauce.
Their little sister eats almost anything, so that's easy too.  If you are dining with us, you have approximately 41 seconds to scan your menu and decide what you want because we WILL be placing our order as soon as we see our server. None of that "let me take your drink order and I'll be right back". Nope, be ready people. Ordering is easy, let's not complicate matters when they will surely complicate themselves soon enough.

What's not easy is the wait for the food.
Most of the time, I spend the first 15 minutes doing word searches and refereeing arguments about whose blue crayon it is. And speaking of crayons, they should all be triangular because I am so tired of picking them up off the floor under the table. But my kids aren't. They love to get under the table...and not come back out. And when I finally coax them out, one will inevitably bang his or her head climbing back into the seat. And then yell really loudly. Like we haven't been through this 72 times before and didn't see it coming.

Sometimes they offer to bring the kids' food out as soon as it is ready, which seems like a fabulous idea until you realize that your children, who were STARVING, have eaten 3 bites and are now "all done" and you just got your food. 
Oh wait, what's that? My food just came, and it's hot, so someone has to go to the bathroom? Of course you do! Oh, and you want to go with us, because you're "all done" eating and now you're bored? Oh, and you want to go too, because the other two are going?  Well, ok we go.  Field trip.

And have you noticed that it is impossible to be little and not touch the toilet? I mean physically impossible, because the toilet is as big as the munchkins are.  And it is FUN to flush the potty, even though it is loud. So loud, in fact, that a little person must immediately cover his or her ears with the hands that were just all over the toilet. 

Wash wash wash, and back to the table.  On the way, at least one little one will yell across the dining room "Daddy, I pooped/peed in the potty".  Some patrons will laugh, some will be horrified.  It is what it is, people.  Kids pee and poop a lot, and they do it in public restrooms, and they are proud.

The food is lukewarm at best, and the kids are already bored.  This is when I order the scoops of ice cream or pudding.  It usually comes out pretty quickly, but not quickly enough to avert at least one child dancing beside the table, one asking for my phone, and one dunking his or her hand into my drink and announcing "I want the ice".

I'm a quick eater. Always have been, and I learned to eat at warp speed having twin babies. When the third came along, I could practically inhale anything without even chewing.  But my husband still tries to leisurely eat and enjoy his dinner. He even orders all you can eat dinners sometimes, like we have time for that. Just eat damnit, don't make a production of it.

The next time the server glides by, warily eyeing our table, I go ahead and ask for boxes and the check. Because at this point we need outta there, now. All three are either dancing around the table, or having a secret meeting in their clubhouse under the blasted table again. Probably trying to feed each other food off the floor, and cracking up.

We wrangle them all towards the door, and on the way we get looks which range from "awwwww" to "thanks for ruining my meal, chumps".

Load everyone up and head home. One will ask for nuggets when we pass a McDonalds.

Get home and stick leftovers in the fridge. Stand up and turn around to find a little face looking up at me. "Mommy, I'm hungry".



    1. Every time. You nailed it. The crayon/meeting under the floor is a must every time we go out. Oh and blowing milk bubbles.....straw flicking milk at each other...and the fight of ' I can pour my own ketchup on my plate..'. Check please!

    2. So true. Mine usually have to stagger the toilet trips because we just can't all go at once. Sometimes you just wonder if it is worth the "night off" from the kitchen.

    3. Hahahahha!!! Loved it! Yep been there. What I do now is make the older ones take the twins potty so I can eat! But yes if we are all out be ready to eat fast and go! No hanging out!

    4. OMG you hit the name on the head with that one! My three brats are the SAME way, we hardly ever go out to eat because of it!

    5. That is almost exactly how our "relaxing" dinners out go. Love it!

    6. Sooooo BTDT!! I have 5 kids. Even the teens can't manage a sit down restaurant not to mention the 2 little ones! SIGH.....

    7. Yep, pretty much! Does it help to know it does get easier one day?

    8. Love it! My oldest insists on giving the bathroom updates and I also frequently hear the "I'm hungry" on the car ride home or a few minutes after we get in the door. I now carry extra crayons in my purse in the hopes of avoiding crayon fights. (ie., "This is my crayon. Yours is the blue one that fell off the table." Because we all know the crayons come with their names on them.) Thanks for making me laugh tonight!

    9. It's uncanny how you nailed our dinners. We bought new phones that show youtube, i.e. thomas train, toy story, etc. We also gave each of our twins a leapster explorer. Now we can actually have a grown-up conversation at dinner while the kids learn something :)

    10. Loved this. So glad my are not little any more!

    11. Two words: pizza delivery. :)