Birth Control

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It was the evening after a snow day. Two snow days, kind of, since the bad weather had started during the afternoon of the previous day. We got about 16 inches of snow combined, and the 30 mph winds had finally died down. I was feeling a little cabin feverish.

So since the roads were passable again, we decided to go out for dinner with some friends and their one-year-old.

I’m sure you’ve all witnessed this scenario. The couple and their young children creating an absolute disaster area, wreaking havoc in a two-table radius, and generally disrupting the surrounding diners’ otherwise pleasurable experience.

And if you didn’t have children you probably looked at your partner and said, “Well I’m in no hurry for that. Let’s double up from now on.”

If you did have children, but happened to be enjoying a rare adults-only night, you probably felt some pity, but mostly relief as you looked at your spouse and said, “Thank God that’s not us.”

Yeah. We were that group.

We walk into the restaurant and Monkey proceeds to take off her hat, gloves, scarf and coat and throw them on the floor. In the middle of a major walkway.

I know we typically only go to Qdoba, and this is BWW, where the floor is carpeted, but seriously, we’re not at home.

Speaking of home, Monkey then proceeds to take the complimentary crayons and paper and sprawl out, belly down, on the floor.

Yes, by all means. Make yourself comfortable. I mean seriously?

Since I was chatting with my friend C and didn’t notice Monkey’s prone position, Husband brought it to my attention by interrupting my conversation. “Can you please tell her to get up?” he said. To which I replied, “Well, why didn’t you tell her to get up?” To which he replied, “I did. Three times.” Our friend J supportively concurred, “He did.”

“Monkey. Get up.”

To which she responded by dutifully and immediately getting up.

I guess I know who wears the pants in my family.

And you would think it would be my one-year-old who would be the one eating the crayons. Nope. That would be my almost-three-year-old who took a bite out of the blue one and then furiously started spitting on the floor.

Awesome.

After which she began running back and forth between her chair and where the babies were sitting next to each other in their high chairs trying to make them laugh and overall just invading their personal space as she is wont to do.

Which then brings us to our actual dining experience. Monkey wouldn’t eat the chicken tenders because they weren’t the size and shape she was accustomed to seeing. Instead, she ate one of the most gigantic kosher dill pickle spears I’ve ever seen in my life. Seriously. It was as big as a small banana.

As she started to reach for another gargantuan pickle spear I bribed her by telling her that if she ate some of my burger she could have another pickle. After polishing off the second pickle like she was in an eating competition, she proclaimed, “I don’t like those pickles. They’re too spicy for me.”

Meanwhile, Bean and the other one-year-old were well on their way to creating a disaster of epic proportions. The floor was littered with pieces of chicken tender, crayons, sippy cups, shredded napkin, crackers, silverware — you name it. I thought Monkey was a serious food litterer when she was Bean’s age, but Bean is like a machine! Successively pitching the food faster than we can get it away from her.

An early-twenty-something couple behind us had front-row seating to our dining catastrophe. They kept offering information about the location of the crayons and the sippy cups and the silverware as C and I ducked under the table to recoup the lost items as if we were in a choreographed routine.

Honestly, I know the couple was trying to be helpful, but I stopped caring and just gave up.

Our friend C made a valiant effort to pick up all the souvenirs on the floor that we were leaving for the wait staff. I opted to leave a big tip.

Apparently Monkey’s three bites of burger, tiny bite of chicken tender and two colossal dill pickle spears weren’t very filling because as we were leaving she said, “But mama, I’m still hungry.” Imagine that.

It was an exhausting dinner.

I blame the cabin fever for their behavior.

So tell me, what’s the worst “birth control” scene you’ve ever witnessed, and what’s the worst you’ve experienced with your own kids?

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6 responses »

  1. I’ve seen some major/epic meltdowns at stores (grocery, toy, etc) that served as good birth control prior to kids. Even now (with two of my own) I am shocked at some of the thing I have witnessed while shopping!
    As far as my own kids – puking (and cleaning up said puke) has to be the WORST! When Shelby threw up while buckled into the car seat…and Tony was out of town so I was on my own for clean-up duty….I almost lost it!! Fishing the Strawberry Shortcake doll out of the pool of vomit had me heaving!

    • I am thankful that we have yet to have a major meltdown/tantrum at a store. Although Eric took Monkey to the library tonight for a magic show and he asked her to do something and she made her face all red and gritted her teeth and said, “No, I don’t want to Daddy!” and the mom next to him goes, “Wow.” What a b*tch! As if she’s never been there! I felt really bad for him b/c he was really embarrassed.

      You are the second person I know whose kid has puked while strapped into the car seat. That has got to be THE worst! Ugh, I’m so sorry you had to deal with that by yourself. Tony owes you big time!

      • OMG regarding the mom at the library. I can’t stand people like that! What is their deal? I don’t understand why people feel such a strong URGE to comment on things. Just keep it to yourself!!! I’ve had people say the dumbest things to me…it’s like, “Thanks for the AWESOME (sarcastic) advice!” Oh and my favorite has to be, “How old is she?” (when she was two) and then I would tell them and they would say, “that’s what I thought”, like implying the terrible twos or something. It just made me feel totally judged!

  2. So you made me cry. Again. This time laughing!! Everyone wants their kid to be perfect angels in public and most of the time they are. Just so happened that night wasn’t your night. I do remember those days that we decided going out wasn’t always worth it, but you have to try. Then you can do the parenting training that will teach them (and you) what to do for the next time. As for other peoples comments in one ear and out other. People say the stupidest things!

  3. Ahhh this is funny because I was there experiencing it with you!

    As for BC, I remember working at the food court at the mall in high school, and every time we’d hear some kid screaming/crying/whining, my manager and I would look at each other and say “Reason number 568 not to have kids”. LOL… I really should have had more compassion; I’m sure I will be punished for this greatly over the next 20 years.

  4. Glad I’m not the only one! I can think of a couple of trips to IHOP and a diner that were like this for us. By the way, nice use of “food litterer”

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