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Monday, February 14, 2011

The Sheilas and the Bloke go out to Dinner

So my mom offered to take us out to dinner tonight, as it's Valentine's Day and she didn't get around to getting us a gift card. We ah... converged on the Outback Steakhouse nearest us and settled into a booth one person too small (and none of the three adults is a small person). There was a bit of a wait - busy day of course - and Lizzy (3) was very excited. Abby (8) was full of chatter about their Valentine party at school, and her volume control was apparently busted tonight; perhaps it was the ambiance. All in all, it was your usual family meal out, assuming one of the participants is a very excited toddler. And it went like this:

Abby: Your turn in the dot game on the menu Mom.
Lizzy: I dwopped my Valentine pen! (ducks under the table)
Grandma: Get back up here and sit in this booster! (drags Lizzy up by both arms)
Mom: *facepalm*
Dad: (shuffles chair, reads menu)
L: I dwopped a cwayon! (dives under table again, is caught by Grandma before she gets far)
A: MO-om! It's your TURN
M: Let's find out what we want to eat first.
A: Read it
M: YOU read it; I'll help you with the special words
A: Grilled Cheese-a-roo, Something what-is-that Chicken Fingers... ewww - chickens don't have fingers! Oh right, they're like nuggets only longer, Mac-a-roo and CHeese... I want that - Mac-a-roo and Cheese.
L: (dives under table, is caught by G)
M: You always want the mac-a-roo and cheese, every time we come.
A: I have to use the bathroom (waits for D to move his chair so M can slide out, takes off for the bathroom (which is in sight of the table))
M: *more facepalm*
L: (drops her cup of orange juice on the floor. Top pops off and there is OJ everywhere. G grabs her an instant before she dives after it)
A: (reappearing at table, dancing the have-to-go-NOW dance) I can't read the signs on the bathrooms - I think they're too fancy
M: Oh, you want the one that says "Sheilas".
D: (gets up to help her read the signs)
G: (still holding L by one arm so she won't - I don't know - lap up the OJ off the floor or something) What does the men's room say?
D: "Blokes"
All Adults: (nodding) Oh right, Blokes, of course
Lizzy: I dwopped my juuuiiiiiice!
Waitress: Can I help? Oh, I see. I'll call a busser
Busser: (appears with a pile of rags, dives under table)
M: (head in hands at this point)
A: (squirming back into her seat) Here, look at this cool light-up pen I got for Valentine's Day (bounces it on underside of table so it lights up) Is that better light for you?
Busser: (muffled voice, slightly surprised sounding) Yeah, actually it is (crawls out from under table)
D: (scoots his chair back in, sighs)
W: (Brings cup of water for L, smiles, plunks bread down on table) Anything else I can do while your food is cooking?
Adults: No thanks
A: NOW can it be your turn?
M: I don't want to play, okay?
G: Abby, it's too chaotic for you mom to play with you right now
W: (brings food) Here you go!
A: Yay!
L: Oh, it's my food! My food my food my food!
Everyone: Nom nom nom
Dr: Hi! Can I take your order?
(It's the kids' backup pediatrician; our regular doc is at branch of Pacific Medical Centers a few miles away, but this guy works at the one nearer us and we go to him for urgent care)
M: Hi, Doctor C! Honey, this is the pediatrician we use when Doctor R is not available.
Dr: You kids eating all your veggies?
M: (thinking, oh great the ONE time the kids have no veggies with their meal we run into their doctor, smiles weakly)
Dr: My table's ready. Have a good rest of the night!
W: Anyone want Dee Ee Ess Ess Arr Tee?
Adults: Thanks but no
G: (hands credit card to W) Let's try to expedite our checkout a little

I didn't mention the other twelve or so times Lizzy tried to dive under the table, or Abby's hair getting into her mac-a-roo and cheese, or the other time she had to rearrange everyone to go to the bathroom AGAIN. And yet, we had fun. It was a little more chaotic than I'd like, but hey, I have great steak/onion/mushroom leftovers for lunch tomorrow.. All is well.