Here is the scenario: A gorgeous mother of four darling children is celebrating her thirty-fourth birthday. Dad is a skilled short-order cook, but is currently unable to commit to the preparation and presentation of a proper birthday meal. The decision is made to dine at a restaurant to commemorate this historic event. It will happen something like this.
1. Mom will have a hella hard week. Probably she is exhausted because it's the second official week of summer and her kids are driving her absolutely bananas with their excitement, constant flutter of Summer Bucket List activity, and general non-stop bickering. She will be asked where she wants to eat eleventy billion times by a well-meaning husband, and finally realize that all she really wants is for someone else to make a decision and take the initiative so she doesn't have to. This lasts until she disagrees with the decisions and initiatives taken, and realizes that all along she really, really, really wanted to eat at her (formerly unbeknownst) favorite Italian place in the whole entire world.
|Interior of the actual restaurant, courtesy of|
3. Mom knows that this restaurant is very popular, and does not want to wait 45 minutes for a table with four children. She has several minor anxiety attacks about getting there at the exact right moment to avoid any kind of wait. In the parking lot she will sprint from the car (leaving hubby behind to get the kids inside alone)(because it's her birthday and she's allowed to) only to wind up behind another party of six who got the last indoor table available for at least twenty minutes. No biggie; sure, they can totally eat outside. (Total disclosure: maybe Mom accepts this change of plans with a touch of passive aggressive disappointment showing on her face.)(Because apparently the hostess has a magic power that will spontaneously open up a full restaurant if Mom looks a little upset with the seating arrangement.)
4. Outside the seating is fully shaded, but two round tables have been shoved "together" to make a table of six. This is awkward, but the five year old will both distract Mom from her disappointment at the seating and announce the families' presence to all the other patrons with her observation of the statuary. "MAMA! WHY IS THAT STATUE NAKED? I CAN SEE IT'S TUSH!"
5. Once settled, the two year old will take one look at those reading the menu and declare "chicken" four thousand times in a row. Mom doesn't mind the first two thousand, because with his speech problems, the word chicken is the result of
6. Everyone will choose salad as their starter (because it is hot and you are eating outside and soup just won't do today) and four out of five will choose the House Ranch which is apparently like the nectar of the gods. The kiddos will think nothing of dipping their fingers in the dressing and licking it off because why chance that some of that salad dressing might be tainted by the taste of lettuce?
The five year old cannot wait for the music to begin, and spends time wondering what songs this man might deliver. Will it be *she starts singing*
Here we go back, this is the moment
Tonight is the night, we’ll fight 'til it’s over
So we put our hands up like the ceiling can’t hold us
Like the ceiling can’t hold us
"Because that is totally mom's jam!" While hubby gives Mom the stank eye for exposing the children to great music, Mom argues
Raise those hands, this is
our my party
We came here to live life like nobody was watching.
8. It's a good thing nobody is watching because if they were they would see bizniss get real when the food is delivered. Hubby will regale the kids with his reenactment of the mouse chef from Ratatouille as he tastes his dish. The two year old will freak the heck out every.single.time. a breeze blows and the sunshade billows toward the table at which he is sitting. He is probably convinced the wall is moving and is going to kill his Mama. The eight year old food allergy kid will unwrap her foil covered hot dog and everyone will giggle when they see she wrapped it tighter than Fort Knox because apparently everyone at a classy Italian joint is going to be tempted to steal a Hebrew National fresh from the microwave and she is just protecting her property.
9. The real magic will happen when all the girlies have to use the facilities. One might think they have experienced all the trauma that can occur with taking little ones to a public restroom, and have taken precautions with the following rules:
1. Do not talk about Mom's underpants.
2. Do not ask if Mom is "doing a 1 or a 2".
3. Do not comment on the sounds or smells coming from other stalls.
4. Do not peak under the stall to "visit" our neighbor.
But having those rules in place will do nothing to prepare one for a comment from the child squished in a tiny stall with Mom who might have just discovered a new way to describe certain parental southern landscaping.
Oh, and Happy Birthday.