Tuesday, May 12, 2009

So we ate dinner at The Club

Kids eat free on Tuesday nights at The Club.  It's not really a money saving deal for me or anything. There are plenty of places the kids and I can eat a cheap healthy meal (like our own kitchen).  But I promised Huck we would do it, and I try very hard to keep my promises to my kids. So, off to The Club we went.  Just me, the boys and twenty pounds of books, markers, and activity pads.

Things started out great and only got better.  Did you catch the sarcasm?  No? You really thought a story about an uneventful meal at The Club would make the blog?  You must be new here, welcome.  A story about a lovely meal at The Club with my two adorable and well-mannered sons would never be featured here (not that they aren't adorable and well-mannered ((mostly)).  First, because there would be no humor in it. Second, because it would never happen.

Let's begin, shall we? 

Worm had a runny poo on the way into The Club.  He stopped in the middle of the lobby, got a panicked look on his face, and then yelled "POO POO, MAMA!" 

This story should just end here.  If I were a more intelligent person it would.  I should have just packed it up right then.  But no, a promise is a promise.

The women's locker room was deserted and I had a ziplock full of markers in my ammo diaper bag.  I dealt with the poo, dumped the markers loose in my bag, put the diaper in the ziplock (so the smell would be somewhat contained until the trash was emptied), washed up, and headed to the dining room.  I figured that was my disaster for the night.  I am, apparently, quite naive.

When we got to the table, Worm climbed right up into a chair before I could get him in a highchair.  This meant he would have a freak-out if I took him out of the big boy chair and put him in a highchair.  My goal for this evening was to leave the club fed and without embarrassing myself.  A Worm freak-out would completely shatter that goal, so I opted for a booster seat. It's not ideal because he can get out of it if determined enough, but a booster seat is novel to him, so he allowed me to put him in it. I then pushed him so close to the table that he might have some slight bruising on his ribs tomorrow.  I stopped pushing when he let out a little grunt. Then I congratulated myself on another disaster averted.  Oh, I am so ignorant.  The grunt may not have been due to the overzealous pushing, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Waiting for the food went well.  The service there is impeccable, so the milks arrived quickly, the crackers were free flowing, and they turned in the kids' portion of my order as soon as we were seated to keep the wait short.  Plus I had that half a gazillion pounds of kid entertainment with me.  Although, you'll remember the markers are now loose in my bag.  Let's go ahead and change that to spilled under the table.  It's not like you couldn't see it coming. "A minor blip", I thought to myself.  So, so stupid.

Their food came quickly and the general business of children eating commenced.  Then I smelled a familiar smell.  I looked at Worm and asked, "Did you poo?"  He very enthusiastically replied, "UH-HUH!"  It was another runny poo.  That earlier grunt was now flashing through my mind. If I were I smart woman, I would have investigated that grunt more closely.  I believe we have established that I am not a smart woman.

Huck wanted to stay at the table alone while I ran down to change Worm.  It is not like him to want to be alone in an unfamiliar place, but I was taking any bone thrown to me at this point, so I let him.  Have we established my ignorance yet?

While I was downstairs with Worm, a thunderstorm rolled in, and my food arrived.  By the time I got back to the table, Huck was curled up sideways in his chair crying in that sad, silent way boys cry when they can't hold back the tears but don't want anyone to see them.  I thought he was afraid of the storm, so I hugged him and told him it would blow over soon.  He replied, "Yeah, the thunder will stop soon, but the rain won't, and then I'll get wet going to the car."  I replied, "Seriously?  Your brother has filled his pants with liquid crap twice in twenty minutes, I haven't eaten a mouthful of food, and you're worried about getting rained on?"  Okay, so I didn't say that to him, but I wanted to.  Instead I told him I would pull up the car for him.

This set off another round of tears!  The boy who happily stayed behind a moment ago while I went to another floor, was now balking about watching me run to the car in the rain while he stayed dry.  I told him I would find someone to wait in the lobby with him and Worm while I went to get the car.  He asked about one million and seven questions about who this person would be.  My dinner began to get cold.

Just when I was about to scream Oh my God, shut the hell up and let me eat loose my patience, Worm figured out that the whole booster seat pushed into the table was a scam.  He began to very deliberately slide down in his seat.  I grabbed him with one hand and signaled for a waitress with the other.

I asked for some to-go boxes as I put on my coat.  Worm took this opportunity to lean as far sideways as he could.  Luckily the family next to us was completely mesmerized by our chaos paying attention, and the daughter jumped up and righted Worm before gravity kicked in. 

She then knelt down between the boys, introduced herself as Elizabeth, and began talking to them as if she had known them forever.  She talked to Worm about the drawing he had scribbled and complemented Huck on his cool hoodie.  She ended up hanging out with the kids while I pulled up the car so my little princess Huck wouldn't get wet.  

When we got home, I was soaked and starving.  The boys settled in front of the TV with some fruit and yogurt (because they hadn't just EATEN A FULL MEAL OR ANYTHING) and I contemplated heating up my food.  Instead I started the nightly straighten-up, get kids ready for bed routine.  

I finally got Huck into bed at 7:35.  Thirty-five minutes late, but it still felt like a triumph.  As I kissed him good-night he said, "Dinner at the club was great!" I was incredulous and asked him for clarification. He responded, "The jelly on my sandwich was really good, it was neat watching the rain on the golf course, and we got to meet Elizabeth."

I promised him we would go back for dinner very soon.  I am now officially the dumbest person on the planet.


  1. Sounds like you need to get away...my little mess here in Dallas will seem lke heaven to you! Come on down!!!

  2. I can exert some control over your mess. Establishing some control over my surroundings will feel great, even if they are, ultimately, not my surroundings.

  3. I guess it's easier to have 2 adults when you take children out to eat. Did you ever get to eat your dinner?

  4. From now on, when it is just me, I will only take them to an establishment where crapping your pants, crying, and wiggling out of your seat are the norm: McDonalds (and that's just the adults)!

    I will be eating my dinner for lunch today. I ate a bowl of cereal last night.