We only go out to eat once or twice a month. For starters, I like to cook, and have a spoiled husband who often comments that what we paid up the wazoo for was not as good as what I make at home. I don’t really care about that – I like to sit down and be waited on now and then, like anyone else. Give me refills of diet Coke and I’m happy with a ham sandwich and chips as long as I don’t have to get up dozens of times to fetch this or that.
However, I do get tired of constantly telling the 3 year-old how to behave. I can’t sit idly by and let him pester the nice couple behind us who made the mistake of saying, “Hi,” to him the first time he peeked over the back of the booth, etc. It’s important to learn how to behave, but there is a lot of impulse control lacking when you’re three, and sitting waiting for food to arrive is b-o-r-i-n-g. You know what else is boring? Saying, “No, no, no…” 1,000 times in an hour. I don’t relish it, and it’s simple as this: three year-old boys—at least this particular one—are not as easy to amuse for a long time with crayons and play doh or books as ‘they’ say they are.
Parenting experts may disagree, but I’m keeping this kid home for most meals until he’s ready to sit still like his older siblings do perfectly well, in spite of my not taking them out much when they were terrible three year-olds, either. (Actually, I must give Bunny credit here: she was always great at three, and I enjoyed taking her out, but perhaps that is because it was often just her and I eating as a treat.)
Last week the kids and I had a surprise dinner out at a order at the counter and serve yourself kind of place, and I wanted to catch up with friends more than I wanted to teach manners to the uncivilized in my family, so I admit it: I let Cole have a lot of leash and largely ignored his behavior, since it was 5:00 and the place was nearly empty.
I appears my son thought I needed salt and pepper.
…and many, many napkins.
That’s only about half of the napkins he toted over from those bare tables in the background. He also brought us a lifetime supply of ketchup and barbeque sauce.
Oh, well. He had fun, and I had a few moments of conversation that were as uninterrupted as it gets when you have 6 kids at the table with 3 adults.
And, Cole might have a future as a bus boy in high school. :)
(Don’t worry, we put all the napkins, etc. back in their more-or-less proper places before leaving. No table setups were permanently harmed in the making of these photos.)