Saturday, January 18, 2014

It's just never simple

Why OH WHY can we not just go eat out as a family quietly and unobtrusively? It is literally impossible. First off, the kids come galloping into the restaurant (one of their local favourites) yelling "DAD'S HERE!" Daddy is on nights and they knew he would be there but had to announce it to the world and launch themselves at him. That part is fine, people think it's cute. Then there is the shoving match of who will sit with who in the booth. They already know what they want so they try to order as the waitress pours our water. Loudly. (The boys, not the waitress) And of course being a small town we were sitting right beside people we know so there is chatter going back and forth across the aisle and the boys want to know "Who is that? Whose Dad is that? They are in my class! I know them! What's their name again?" And so on and so forth. This is all within 15 minutes of sitting down and at a level of noise one generally reserves for being heard over the music at a rock concert.  The food comes and a lengthy discussion about vinegar ensues. What is it? What is it made of? Is it acid? Does it taste good? Why do we eat it? Again, none of this is quiet but people are still smiling around us, so I think all is well. Silly me. After being told no less than 912 times to stop flailing his arms, the 5 year old spills his entire glass of water and I am reduced to wiping the floor, the table, the bench, jackets, my keys and most of said 5 year old. So sorry. I am SO sorry. A few jokes from other patrons that I can come do their floors next. Yeah, ok. Chuckle, chuckle. Finally, we settle back down to eat. The 5 year then announces he is full after 2 chicken fingers which is really weird but he is being fairly good so I let it go. More chatter across the aisle. A few minutes later I am getting poked in the back. Mum. Mum. MUMMY! I NEED TO PUKE! You want to see a mama jump? Have a kid yell something about vomit. Up we went, flying to the back and thankfully it's a small restaurant with a very accessible bathroom. I am not generally squeamish but it was like the exorcist, people. Good grief. All I can say is I am so thankful this child rarely misses the toilet. And then matter of factly: "Ok, I am better now. I need to wash my hands. With soap." Well, I should think so. Then we do the walk of shame back to the table and he promptly announces to everyone within earshot (which is, of course, every single person in the place except maybe the cook but who knows, she could have heard too) that he had to puke but don't worry, he is better now and he got it all in the toilet. Sigh.  {Insert awkward, embarrassed head shake here.} And I had to tell the owner that the bathroom is now out of paper towel. Fantastic. At that point several tables got up to leave. I am truly hoping they were done their meals and not just fleeing the scene. We finished up and turned the wet jackets inside out for the trip home which caused some loud comments from the boys as well. At that point you just want to quietly pay your bill and slink out...but no. You can't. Another table recognized Hubs so he went over to shake hands quickly followed by the 9 year old who snuck past me as I was at the debit machine. I caught the 5 year old before he could follow, apologizing to the owner the whole time. She is a mama too and was not concerned, thank goodness. Still wanting to slink out without being seen by anyone else, we gathered everything and everyone up, heading for the door when the town greeter had to say bye to every single table. Fabulous. "BYE EVERYONE! We will see you next time!" I am certain most of them wanted a warning of when "next time" would be. Either to come for the entertainment or stay away from the chaos. Far, FAR away.
The thing is, they aren't bad kids. They sit nicely and don't fling their food. They are respectful and they don't {often} beat each other in public. It's not a behaviour thing, they are just curious. And busy. And loud. And friendly. And trouble follows them absolutely everywhere. I always feel like I need to wear a shirt that says "I apologize in advance for what is about to happen." and then just leave blank cheques in my wake, either to cover the damage or the emotional distress. Because some people just can't handle it at all. But...they are kids. No, no, they are boys. I guess it's a mum thing that I am hoping and praying will pass. Soon. Very soon. And until then, I just pour another cup of coffee and shrug. C'est la vie. A little embarrassment never killed anyone, did it?


Ken said...

I had two brothers. This is normal.

MJ said...

Very funny post! Public vomiting is never fun but I'll have to leave my stories to tell privately some other time -- just remind me!