I had no food in the house when Dan came home from work yesterday. Not a thing to feed him or the children. I sat on the front step and debated what to do. My options were to either run out to the store, buy something, race home, cook the dinner, clean up the mess, and then bathe the children, or we could take them out for dinner.
We try to avoid taking the children out for dinner. Restaurants don't really want children to come. They tolerate children, hoping the parents will spend a lot of money on liquor. Really, they prefer you leave your kids at home. I, also, prefer people to leave their kids at home. I go out for dinner to get away from my children, not to be disturbed by your children. But my children had been so good throughout the day, and they looked super cut in their identical dresses. Watching my little cherubs dancing on the grass, holding hands and laughing softened me. I was happy, they were sweet. So, I agreed to take them out for dinner.
By the time we walked into the restaurant, Katie had lost a lens for her glasses and Dan had gone on his hands and knees to search our entire property for it, both twins had wiggled so much while getting their ponytails that their hair looked like it had been brushed by a blind person, we had stopped for gas because Dan had left my vehicle damn near empty (Bethie told Dan, "It's okay to have no gas in your car, but this car belongs to Mummy. It needs gas"), and Sarah had moaned the entire way to the restaurant driving me absolutely crazy. I was annoyed.
As soon as we sat down, I ordered dinner for the three girls and requested that it be brought as soon as it was ready. The girls were behaving, and I was starting to get over my frustration. Dinner was presented, and the twins were delighted. Sarah showed no interest in her meal. She walked around our table like a young Helen Keller, reaching up blindly searching for something more appealing than her own meal. Katie became upset. She wondered why Sarah was allowed to roam and she was not. I said, "Do you remember what I told you at lunch time? We have no control over Sarah and have given up!". This satisfied Katie.
Unfortunately, the demands of other patrons distracted our server. She never came back. My girls became restless. They tried playing under the table, standing up on the bench of the booth and peering over at all the other people in the restaurant, and pleading for ice cream. Finally, Dan flagged down our waitress and asked for ice cream and the bill. The waitress took our order, and then took the order of five more tables. A long time went by, and still no ice cream. In an act of desperation, I begged the girls to forsake the ice cream. I would give them ice cream at home of we could just leave. Of course, they wanted the ice cream from the restaurant.
Eventually, the waitress showed up with the ice cream...but without spoons. The spoons were in the dishwasher, and she would get them as soon as they were ready. I'm not kidding! The girls looked at their ice cream for about 3 minutes and then ignored my demands to wait until they had utensils. They ate most of their ice cream with their fingers. The waitress did come back with spoons: a kiddie spoon, a regular spoon, and a soup spoon. Really!
Believe it or not, by this point I was super angry, but the best was yet to come! The twins announced that they had to use the washroom before leaving. There were two stalls in the tiny ladies washroom, one of which was empty. I ushered the twins into the empty one and told them to hurry up. Katie said quite loudly, "Do you hear that, Mummy? That's not me peeing. That's somebody else. Who is peeing? See, I'm standing up and I can still hear peeing!". I begged her to stop talking! We had to wait in line behind the other lady who was using the washroom in order to wash our hands. Katie went up to her and said, "You sure did a big pee!". Discretion is certainly not her middle name!
Driving home, I knew we were going to have to stop at the grocery store. My loving husband could tell from the look on my face that somebody (at this point, it didn't matter who) was going to get a beating. To make himself look good, and to try to protect the children from my wrath, he said, "When we are in the grocery store, there will be no running around, no yelling, no crying, no fighting, no acting like lunatics!". Bethie replied, "That's okay Daddy, we already did that at the restaurant!". Sure did, kiddo, and it will be a super, de-duper long time before you get the opportunity to do it again!