Monday, April 23, 2012

Steak, Margaritas and Poop

To eat: Six ounce Fillet Mignon (cooked medium) with blue cheese crust served with garlic mashed potatoes and a side salad.
To drink: Two margaritas and some water.

That is a pretty ideal meal in my world.  It is a meal I don't get at home.  And sadly, it is a meal I only get when my family and I venture out for dinner together every five or six months.  Last Saturday we decided we would take the chance and head out to the Outback for a family restaurant dinner.   

There are numerous reasons we never go out to eat with our kids, and they include:
  • The babe's food allergies make it scary
  • The little guy acts like an animal
  • My husband and I barely get to look at each other, let alone talk
  • I have to eat WAY too fast as any second the scene could dramatically change and we will be leaving with take out containers instead of enjoying our hot meal
  • It costs a lot of cash and I don't find it a particularly relaxing experience.  Quite the opposite, I'd say.
We should have known it wasn't the best idea after we wasted half an hour trying to encourage the little guy to have a poop in the potty before we left.  He hadn't gone all day and I was in no mood to deal with a blow out in a public bathroom.  As such, we went back and forth with him, knowing it was a losing battle.  We were all pretty cranky by the time we decided to give up and get in the car.  We were also fed up with talking about poop.  As we headed out, I selfishly mentioned to my husband that I would be happy to stay home and save the money we were about to spend for a date night for him and I.  Apparently that wasn't fair to the kids (what a nice Papa they have).  

Sadly we had to make a pit stop at the park near the babe's school as we had left her jean jacket there the day before.  Jean jackets aren't cheap and I really wasn't ready to permanently part with it.  Sadly that meant dealing with DC traffic and the always stressful Connecticut Avenue, which added a nice chunk of drive time for us.

We made it to the restaurant in one piece and managed to dodge quite a few potentially nasty children losing it type scenarios (example: my daughter is so competitive she was getting upset when my husband beat her at the tick tack toe game on the children's menu).  Our food arrived and everyone seemed to be doing OK.  The little guy, who has become a terrible eater lately, managed to eat all his burger and start demanding "more burger" from our poor waiter.  The babe seemed more into her apple juice than her chicken.  And my husband and I managed to polish off everything put in front of us, although in a seriously rushed fashion (I am a slow eater and eating fast really irks me).

Then it was time to take my juice consuming daughter to the bathroom (the ride home is a trek). We settled into one of the two stalls and the babe proceeded to have a good pee.  When she didn't immediately finish up, my heart kinda sunk.  "Oh No.  She's not doing what I think she's doing, is she?" I panicked.  The babe is extremely comfortable doing her business pretty much anywhere....public or private bathroom doesn't seem to phase her (probably because she's five and all).  The line of people grew outside the door and I could tell the babe (and the person in the next stall) was in for a long session.  I tried to encourage her along in a positive way, realizing everyone is the bathroom was listening to me babble on like a loon.  After a few minutes I realized I couldn't chat anymore.  I needed her to focus, and I told her so.  I know you can't rush a pooping five-year-old, but man oh man, as people started leaving the bathroom out of annoyance, I also started to feel pretty annoyed.  And I knew the little guy and my husband were probably starting to feel the same way.

By the time we made it back, we had been gone for over 25 minutes, which is longer that we had taken to "enjoy" our meals.  The babe seemed pretty clueless about the whole situation but my husband and I automatically exchanged looks and discussed on our way to the car how we keep forgetting how stressed out we get going to restaurants with our kids.  

Now maybe us parents need to chill out a bit, or maybe our kids don't get enough practice in public eating establishments, or maybe we should move to Europe so our kids can see how well behaved all those kids are in public.  Regardless,  I am fine with another six month break before we try that again.  It just doesn't seem worth it to me, and if that makes me a negative, crotchety Mama, than so be it.  I can wait for my steak.       

No comments: