Saturday night we went out to buy a few things for the kids. At the end of the trip I suggested to treat the kids, who behaved reasonably well, with going to the family restaurant and ordering pancakes. I am holding Sally Hazel partially responsible because her going out to eat with the well-behaved child story was partially the inspiration for this trip. Also, I was going back to dieting on Monday, and this was my last chance to get pancakes for a long, long time, like a week. (I rarely stick with the diet for more than a week). Somehow, on Saturday night, a week seemed to be too long to be pancake-deprived. Just don't tell my husband that eating out was for me, not the kids, and we'll all be fine, OK?
My daughter was excited, but the baby fell asleep on the way to the restaurant. We gently woke him up, and despite of my fear that he will be extremely cranky, he was quite happy and smiley. All was well. That should've been my first hint that things will not go so smooth. Nothing that starts well and without any hiccups ends well in our house. Nothing... I need a bump here and there for comfort, just to know that I am fulfilling my quota of annoyances in small areas, not in major ones. But on Saturday I was lulled in a false sense of security by pancake anticipation. I have my faults, OK?
We were seated in comfy seat next to the wall. This was very convenient because the kids couldn't run out on us. The walls also had big mirrors, so the baby took the lead and started entertaining himself by making crazy faces. I will not describe in great detail, but only a mother could find chewed up food poking out of his mouth cute. You had to be there; on the other hand, my husband who was there, didn't find that to be cute at all. OK, like I said, you have to be a mother.
Then we ordered. I ordered soup, of course, to mask the real reason why we were in the restaurant. I knew there would be leftovers of pancakes from kids, there had to be... (You don't need to say this, I know I am pathetic and desperate, OK?) This was when the real fun started - waiting for food to arrive. My daughter, the frugal one, started stuffing my bag with packages of Equal and Sweet'n'Low, no matter how many times I had asked her to stop doing it. The baby got way too hyper and started jumping up and down in his seat, getting cuter and more annoying by the minute. At some point he even started squealing with delight. When the food arrived, kids barely touched it - they were too busy making monkey faced in the mirror. I think I swallowed my soup in record time, ditto for hubby. We asked the waitress to pack everything else in the doggy bag to take with us. But not before I indulged in some pancakes. Oh, sweet memories...
Overall, I would call this trip a success. 1. - We went out to eat, which we didn't do in over a year, probably even more. 2. - Even though kids misbehaved, no one got hurt, and no serious damages to the restaurant took place. 3. - I got to eat pancakes while still officially on the diet, he he. 4. - Leftovers, always good. 5. - The only people I really feel bad for are not my husband and I. They are two women who sat behind us, who most likely were taking a break from their own kids. They came to relax, not to watch other kids' antics and being flashed with our camera. I give them full credit, they didn't give us the evil eye even once, something I probably would have indulged in if I were in their place. On the other hand, my kids provided those poor women a reminder as to why they had to get out in the first place and served as an antidote for feeling guilty. Public service, if you look at it closely. The only serious down side - hubby got hearburn.
At the end hubby said that next time we are eating out alone. At the rate at which we are going out now, I think "next time" we will be eating apple sauce in the nursing home. But one shouldn't be too picky, right? OK, I'll take mine strawberry flavored, and preferably with pancakes.