It was the kind of meal that we never go out to have. Entering the restaurant at 7:45 or so on a school night… things we NEVER do. It was a fun, casual meal with a good friend, and the kids had desserts—we all did. As we stood to leave, Cole put a hand over his mouth, and looked a little green.
In a flash, I realized what was wrong, and grabbed a stray to-go container, swiftly catching all the courses of dinner as they emerged in reverse order. “Phew, that was close!,” Paul said, as we left, more or less in good condition. The waning blue moon shone overhead as we crossed the parking lot.
Cole puts his hand over his mouth. “You okay hon-ooooh, uh oh!” Pink is all I see flooding through little fingers, down his jacket and onto his legs and feet. Of course his legs are folded, and of course he’s wearing sandals. More and more flows out, seemingly SO much more than had recently been eaten, but I do notice the colors change as we move back from strawberry ice cream, to chicken tenders with milk, to carrot-walnut bread. Where is it all coming from? Does he have a second stomach in there, or maybe one of those hoses actors on SNL use for vomit gags?
The waitress is nice, but horrified. She’s college age, and I don’t blame her. I cleaned up the booth as well as I could, but the floor, well… let’s just say that Carter’s flip flops were casualties, as he’d “flipped” them off his feet while he ate, and I quickly decided that $2 flip flops bought in May had been sufficiently depreciated. Paul cleaned Cole up as well as possible in the bathroom as I pressed every spare bill from my wallet into the busboy’s hand.
“Well, that was awesome,” said Paul, as he carried Carter across the parking lot in the moonlight (no shoes). We drove home with the windows down, gasping for breath, and I don’t know a child has ever been as grateful for a bath as Cole was minutes later back home. Later, as we grownups sat by the fire, we realized we’d abandoned our leftovers. “Y’know, except for that last bit, it was a pretty nice dinner,” Paul said.