So- one of our neighbors generously gave us a gift certificate to Maggiano's for Christmas (what a blessing!) and I have been savoring and caressing it ever since it arrived in our home.
Last night was the night- we went out for a wonderful dinner.
Here is the recap:
Car Ride: Allyson begins crying - her stomach hurts.
Parking Lot: RUN with Emily to restroom to avoid pants peeage.
Restroom: 8 minutes explaining what all the fancy bottles of lotions and sprays are for ( I love upscale bathrooms!)
Hostess Stand: Husband and Sam still waiting for us to tell them we arrived (I assumed they would be seated with drinks by now)
Table: Ah- the battle over whose crayson are whose, and who will sit with who, and whose coat is in whose way- but finally everyone became situated and happy.
Drinks- pre dinner order: Explanation to Sam why he can NOT have iced tea for dinner. He orders iced tea again only directly with the waiter this time. Explanation with waiter why even unsweetened iced tea would not be a good idea for my 3 year old. Order shirley temples all around. Sam spills said shirley temple, I wipe and blot. "Waiter, can I trouble you for another napkin?"
Salad: Entire discussion over when the kids dinners will be here and why they brought 'ours' first. (obviously my kids could eat salad, if they would, but they won't)
Appetizers & entrees: Cut cut cut, plate plate plate, chop chop chop. Clean up Sam's spaghetti masacre that is all over the table and booth. "Waiter- can I have yet another napkin?"
Entrees: mad dash run back to the bathroom, with all three because we travel in a pack, so that Emily and Allyson can use the potty. Clean up the entire drawer of stuff from the table sam accidentally pulled out. Explain the sprays again. Parade back through the restaurant to our table.
Back at table: waiter asks if he can box up our leftovers. I rip his head off and stuff it in his doggie bag and explain I have YET TO EAT.
Entrees: still- Allyson accidentally spills her drink, I crawl around on the floor picking up ice and blotting, rubbing, wiping. "Dude- bring me another napkin! You heard me right- another napkin"
20 minutes of waiting, waiting, waiting: Our server who rocked the first part of our meal is now missing in action. Wait wait wait.
Finally returns: we beg for drinks, to go containers, another napkin (I hear ya) and the kids cookies.
Dessert: the best most wonderful, rock this world lemon cookies arrive. A plate for all of us. My iced tea is full, my cookies are awesome, and I am finally forgiving the server.
Restroom, again: Sam poops his pants. Back to the potty we go.
Car: ahhhhhh, finally back in the car. Tummies full of wonderful italian food, a huge bag of leftovers- enough for at least 2 more meals- happy kids full of cookies- and a gas light that has come on in the van (and a husband willing to pump it).
There is no relaxing dinner as a mom. Dinner is more relaxing at home, than out. At least there I don't have to hop up and down for the restroom breaks. But I also have to cook it. And serve it. And clean it up. And wipe it off every surface in our home because my children eat like wolves.
I've become accustomed to cold food, wet pants from spilled drinks and NOT drinking soda with a meal for fear the kids will want one too.
But someday- ooooohhhhhh, someday they will all be older, and I'm going to only cut up my food, and it's going to be eaten while hot. Or at least warm.
At least I didn't have to cook dinner last night, which was awesome! I just wonder why I am not thinner- it's a work out to get everyone through dinner and I only get to eat a bite or two in between 'needs'. What's up with that?