Dinner Out (Or, The Worst Decision We Ever Made)

Have you ever made a decision that you thought was going to be great, only to realize about five minutes in that it was actually a truly horrible idea?  (If you say no, you’re either a dirty liar or you’re winning at life). For us, we made one of those decisions this evening.

My husband and I decided it would be fun to take the kids out to dinner to celebrate the beginning of Christmas break. Going out is a bit of a treat since feeding a family of six at a restaurant costs about the same as two days of groceries for that same family. Needless to say, the kids were pretty excited.

As we walked in the door of a local restaurant, we were happy to see that there would be no wait and they could even fit us in one of their large round booths. This seemed ideal since that way we could scoot the kiddos in the middle, bookending them with a parent on each end. Calvin’s highchair was perfectly placed on the edge of the table. That was where our good luck ended.

After the waiter took our drink orders and dropped off the chips and salsa, the fun began. It started when Calvin (the one year old) started banging on the table for chips. While my husband and I were distracted trying to get him to stop banging and simultaneously break a couple of chips up for him, Gwendolyn (the four year old) reached across the table and scooped up a huge chip full of spicy green salsa. Three seconds later her face turned red, she started coughing uncontrollably and was waving her hands in the air while gasping, “Water! Water!” My husband jumped up to get the bartender to poor us some water while I rubbed Gwendolyn’s back. That’s when Calvin decided to grab his father’s fork and knife and use that to bang the table since his hands weren’t having the desired effect.

My husband came back with the water and we got Gwendolyn calmed down and the knife out of the baby’s hands. Crisis averted, right? Of course, then the waiter came back with the drinks and my hooligan kids started yelling, “Cheese dip!” Luckily our waiter was very nice and didn’t throw his order pad at us. He just verified the order with one of the people who would be paying for the cheese dip, and left us to it.

At that moment Gwendolyn, aka “Miss Can’t Sit Still To Save Her Life,” pops up on her knees to reach for more chips, and knocks the glass of ice water the bartender gave us all over the table. And her lap. And my purse. And her sister. This was followed by her saying, in her loudest voice for all to hear, “MY BOOTY IS COLD!”

Once that was clean – the water on the table, not her wet booty – by the THIRD restaurant employee that had to help us so far, the waiter brought our queso. Oh good, I thought, something for the baby to eat so he stops trying to stab me in the hand with the fork he somehow keeps getting ahold of.

That’s when Gwendolyn announces, in pretty much the only volume she has, super loud, “I HAVE TO GO POTTY.” As I’m getting up to let her out of the booth so that my husband can take her to the restroom, Calvin decides he’s had enough of waiting and maneuvers out of his high chair, onto the table, and starts CRAWLING ACROSS THE TABLE to the chip bowl.

That was the first ten minutes of our dinner out. We hadn’t even ordered yet. I’m pretty sure by this time the restaurant employees had put our table on red alert status, and had all been warned to do everything in their power to get us out of there as quickly and quietly as possible.

I’m too traumatized by the rest to actually write it all down, but here’s a couple of highlights for you in case you think the rest was smooth sailing.

Sydney: How do I get the sour cream off the spoon onto my taco?

Aaron: Use your finger…No, not all of your fingers, just ONE finger.


Me: Gwen, what do you think you’re getting from Santa?

Gwendolyn: A real eyeball.

Me: What are you going to do with it?

Gwendolyn: Put it on people’s doorstep, then ring the doorbell and run away.

Me: Whaaaaat??

Sydney: It will be good to have an extra in case you ever lose one.

Gwendolyn: Yeah. And pirates will like me.


Me to the waiter: I’m very sorry about your floor.


Layla: I don’t think they’re ever going to let us come to this restaurant again.

Aaron: That’s ok, we’re not going out again until Calvin is six anyway.


Me: Oh look, there’s an ice cube in my purse.




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