‘IT’ refers to eating out at a restaurant that doesn’t have a children’s play area.
I had a rough idea of how difficult it would be, but I was honestly tired of being the one who always says “no”.
A bit of background: Our good friends have two older boys. One is 16 and one is 10. I think they are a bit tired of me holding back our group excursions and using the excuse “Is it suitable for the girls?”
Don’t get me wrong. I am dying to go to a restaurant the doesn’t have ‘fish fingers & chips’ or ‘mac & cheese’ on the menu; one where I don’t have to order the kids drinks in “take-away cups with the lid on please”; or a clown faced ice-cream on the desert menu. DYING I tell you! But I know how it will go down, and that is even less my idea of fun.
So their kids were away last night at various sleep-overs so they suggested we join them at well know South African Seafood & Sushi restaurant. A place they know I usually like, but a place I have resisted numerous times BECAUSE IT DOESN’T HAVE A KIDS PLAY AREA.
Anyway, I decided I was maybe being unfair to them, and to the girl who also deserve to have different experiences. So I said yes, we could go.
I prepared relatively well I think. We went early enough that it wasn’t too late for the girls, and I took a sticker/activity book to keep them busy.
It did actually go better than expected. They were fairly well behaved, they only needed to inspect the bathroom facilities onc, they ate most of their food without dropping it on the floor, they didn’t spill anything, they only swapped chairs twice, and no one cried.
Well – maybe the waitress cried after we left but she really needs to find another calling in life. Not only did she not orderone child’s meal, which we specifically requested (sushi), but we waited nearly an hour for all the food. Then she charged us for extra drinks. I think she was very sorry she came to work last night. I’m sure some of you are thinking I’m being a bitch about her, but I’m really just giving you the overview, not the full details.
Getting back to the kids, I really tried to enjoy myself, but the reason they were so well behaved was because they had my full attention the entire time we were there. I played with them with the sticker book, I lept to their every bidding, and at one point I felt like an octopus between the sticker book, rescuing drinks from being knocked over, picking up crayons off the floor, buttering bread rolls, taking them to the loo, wiping their noses, and explaining nicely why they can’t stare at the couple next to us trying to have a romantic dinner for two, and of course … trying to drink my wine.
My husband and our friends kept trying to engage me in conversation, but I think they all eventually realized it was futile. I don’t expect to be going back there any time soon. It really would have been easier to just go where we normally go. This is something I accepted a long time ago.
It’s not anyone’s fault, it’s just where my life is now. And in case you were wandering, no, we don’t have family nearby or reliable baby-sitters to call on.
One day I will look back and miss it, or so I’m told repeatedly. Some nights though, I really would like to get dressed up, go to dinner with my husband and have an adult, intelligent conversation with him.
Sorry my love, we did try. Let’s give it another five years?