I’m absolutely done with taking the family out for dinner. Done! Can’t stand it any longer…
It always begins with deciding where we’re going to go. The boy wants pizza and the girl wants chicken strips.
The boy wants sushi and the girl wants chicken strips.
The boy wants Subway and the girl wants macaroni and cheese…with chicken strips.
During this riveting debate is when we’re eagerly shepherding the little demons to get shoes on. This is essentially the equivalent of trying to teach a cat to sit while someone’s using a laser-beam to play with it.
After a spirited race to the car, always won by the boy because he elbows the girl sending her cart wheeling to yet another scabbed knee, we wait while the daughter spends 10 minutes gathering every essential toy scattered throughout the vehicle before getting buckled.
I’ll spare you the drive because it’s just too damn painful to recount.
Then alas we arrive and make our grand entrance. This is always the best part of the night. The second they walk in, they quiet down, put their hands by their sides and take in the scenery.
Diners gaze upon their young innocent faces, smile, and nudge their loved ones usually saying, “oh look…he looks just like Opie and she’s just a princess.”
Little do they know that in the time they’ve uttered those words, both kids have managed to figure out the first 12 ways they’ll make us both cry, pay-off the cooks to spit in my food, and waged a bet on who can make me say, “guys, stop it!” the most.
Then the menus come and they want nothing that’s on it.
Then I order three beers at once which gets the typical waitress response of, “Oh, will someone else be joining you?” as she reaches for more menus.
“No, it’s just us. So again, we'll take water for the kids, margarita for the wife, and I’ll have three beers. Thanks!” This is when the waitress either tells me that’s illegal or slowly backs away from the table.
Almost immediately the daughter hands me the little piece of paper holding the napkin and silverware together and says, “daddy!! Paper airplane.”
“Say please sweetie.”
“Yes ma’am!” And that’s always followed by giggling from both kids and it goes from there until dinner is served.
This is when both kids begin an intellectual discussion about life, the names of all the presidents, whether Barbie poops at night while they’re sleeping, what we should name the daughter’s first tooth she loses, and why daddy wants to do serious harm to Alvin and the Chipmunks.
Twenty minutes later the wife and I have finished and the kids haven’t even taken a bite of their food.
All and all it could be significantly worse. And there are occasionally good eating experiences.
But after last night’s escapade of my daughter mimicking the Italian busboy to the point where he’s contemplating shoving a spork in my jugular. I’m done…
Now I’ve moved on to the phase of just throwing a pile of sushi and chicken strips on the floor, turning the TV on, and slowly escaping with the wife to the back porch to drink beer and chill in silence.