Last night, we ate at a restaurant.
There’s always a point these days, shortly after arriving and being seated, when the two seconds of restaurant crayon novelty have worn off, and Collin is climbing all over everybody and pounding his spoon on the table, and I’m wondering, “Whose idea was this, again?”
The answer is usually: Mine.
We’ve made a habit of leaving a healthy tip after a meal, because, as most parents of busy toddlers can attest, the mess is catastrophic. We’re talking the rice ground into the carpet, tables sticky with drinks that have been dumped repeatedly, and broccoli that lands on the other side of the restaurant variety. Usually, I’m so engrossed in keeping Collin from singlehandedly destroying every other person’s dining experience, that I kind of go into this “restaurant zone,” and neglect everything else around me. But, last night, I could only wonder what we must have looked like to the outside world, to the other diners and wait staff.
There I am, pouring my decaf coffee down my gullet, because being in a restaurant is a special occasion in and of itself, and normal health rules go out the window. Thus, my coffee is LOADED with those toxic flavored creamers that make it nothing short of liquid crack. The evidence is the embarrassingly gluttonous army of empty creamer cups surrounding my side of the table. As the waitress clears them with a fork lift, she reassuringly says, “I like cream in my coffee, too.” Um, yeah. Not as much as I do, apparently.
There’s Collin, disheveled with his long hair in his eyes, eating his mac & cheese face first out of the bowl, like a barn animal eating from his trough. Every now and then, he takes a break for a big bite of his crayon with a zestful, “Mmmm!” And where are his parents during all of this? Why aren’t they correcting him? (“We eat with a spoon, Honey. Like a person.“) Oh, they’re right there beside him, shoveling their food into their faces as fast as they can so they can finish before he does and starts to get bored again. They’re just happy he finished his spoon drum solo.
Who are these people?? How did I become this family? This weirdo, wacky family that I love so much?
My cup dumpeth over.