Seasonal breaks and long weekends mean
the kids are off from school. And it's great, really it is. It's like bonus
time with your kids, and you get to make plans with friends and let the kids be
kids all day.
Only problem: the
kids are kids all day.
Over spring break, my
friend and I took our kids to the diner for lunch. What could possibly go
wrong? After all, we are two seemingly put-together adults, and we've been
parents for a while now. You could say we've sort of got this whole parenting
thing down pat. And anyway, my friend has three girls, so how hard can that be?
I have two maniac boys, so whenever I see Heather's adorable children, I
imagine angels singing in the background. Blessed girls! They like to sit and
play on their own, drawing and coloring and playing with dolls. Easy peasy,
OK, that is so not right. That is an outdated gender-norm convention that
isn't even true anymore, was never really true to begin with (says the girl who broke her leg after
jumping off the couch as she watched Batman on TV). Truth is, we were totally outmatched
by five children, ages 2 to 7.
sampling of what happened that day:
walked into the diner and everything seemed fine. We were fine! We were just
two cool moms, out to lunch with our kids. Heather was wearing totally cute, super-trendy sweatpants and everything.
got to the table and the kids rode roughshod over us, deciding where each one
would sit. The older kids sat on one side, and the three younger ones sat all
together on the other side.
they settled in, Heather and I looked at each other and smiled. What were we so
we even got a chance to order, one of Heather's kids announced that she had to
go potty. "Anyone else?" Heather asked, but she had no takers. I told Heather I
was fine watching the others while she went. After all, what could possibly
happen in the five minutes she was in the potty?
Germs are good, right? PLEASE TELL ME GERMS ARE GOOD.
was totally right. It was so easy! I had four kids at the table, and they were
all behaving perfectly. They asked nicely when they wanted a piece of bread
from the bread basket. They sipped their waters carefully, not a spill in
sight. "This is so easy," I thought to myself. "I could totally handle four
children. Why did I stop at two? HAVING FOUR KIDS IS JUST SO EASY!"
the waiter wanted to take our orders. Looking back, I think that's when things
drinks came out, and suddenly anyone who hadn't ordered lemonade really,
really, really wanted lemonade. Right that second. WHY DON'T I HAVE LEMONADE?
food came out, and everything Heather and I had ordered was the most delicious
thing the kids had ever seen. Cue to climbing over each other and grabbing and
spilling everything on the table.
get the check," Heather and I said in unison and tried to flag down our waiter,
now nowhere to be found. COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREVER YOU ARE! WE WILL FIND
10. We got to the front of the diner to pay
and of course, OF COURSE, another kid had to go potty.
11. Two of the kids (I will not tell you
whose kids they were on the grounds that it may incriminate them later in life) did a
complicated Mission Impossible-esque crawl across the grimy bathroom floor,
going from stall to stall (spoiler alert: we were not the only ones in the
bathroom). Germs are good, right? PLEASE TELL ME GERMS ARE GOOD.
12. Two of the kids (OK, my kids. THEY WERE
MY KIDS!) then refused to wash their hands. I finally got the first one to
wash, but had to grab the little one and literally carry him to the sink.
Heather's girls (and the two other women in the bathroom) watched in horror as
I forcibly washed my 4-and-a-half year old son's hands.
Heather and I, still recovering from the bathroom, took that as a sign we should relax for 30 seconds.
13. We walked out and used our bodies as
shields so as to make the kids forget that there were toy vending machines in
the outside vestibule of the diner.
14. The kids wrapped themselves around the
railing of the entryway of the diner. Heather and I, still recovering from the
bathroom, took that as a sign we should relax for 30 seconds.
15. An 80-year-old couple trying to enter the
diner took one look at our combined five children and walked the other way.
(WISE CHOICE, 80-YEAR-OLD COUPLE. WISE CHOICE, INDEED.)