Adventures in Eating Out

I'm telling you...feeding my family is a result of the Fall. I've already explained how cooking (and the grocery shopping necessary) is caused by sin in the world. Today I'd like to explore this line of thinking and how it plays out in the world of restaurants.

At my house, we have an understanding on Sunday mornings. I, Mommy, am supposed to go to church to worship Jesus. After dressing three children (two of whom argue with me about wardrobe choice and one who spits up on at least two outfits), enduring the hair brushing scene (which we may explore in a later blog), directing breakfast, and getting myself ready (why, yes, it WAS another ponytail kind of morning), I am already struggling mightily to have a heart ready to worship. If you add in being responsible for an edible meal when we return from church, Satan just won the battle that morning. Look out, here comes Mama on the rampage.

That being said, our only other option is to venture into the world of food industry after church. Today we rather reluctantly gave in to our oldest daughter's pleas for Jason's Deli (she has figured out that they have free ice wouldn't matter if they served squid, she would still want to go there if it meant ice cream). After waiting in a long line, we place our orders and I head to the restroom with the girls. And while we're on this subject, let me just say that while I love having all girls, you have to admit my husband has a slight advantage when it comes to bathroom duty in public places....

Fifteen minutes later, we emerge from the restroom (only one injury occurred in there, so it was a good bathroom break this time) and find Michael and our food waiting. Cries of indignation about the food being too hot, three of our four forks being dropped on the floor, and two of the kids drinking my diet coke instead of their Sprite while the baby grabs the nearest plate, we finally get everyone settled. Literally 2 seconds later "settled" time is over and the baby is squirming, fighting to be freed from her high chair.

A well-meaning grandpa type behind us makes friendly efforts toward our unhappy baby, only to be answered with shrieks so high-pitched I saw the hearing impaired everywhere adjusting their hearing aids. Quickly I grab a cracker (or it could've been a butter knife, I'm not sure) and give it to her, finding sweet silence for the first time since I sat down. I choke down two bites of my chicken wrap before the requests for ice cream begin.

Two tables down, my husband and I spot two of our couple friends enjoying lively conversation and what looks like actual normally-paced eating (vs. our eating, which could qualify us for the hot dog eating contest since we have to eat at a rate that outpaces our children's attention spans). Does it bother me that we don't ask friends to join us for lunch? Not at all, because we have tried it in the past and it invariably ends with one of us taking a tour of the grounds outside the restaurant with the kids while the other spouse makes apologies while picking the turkey pieces out of the other couples' hair.

After the big moment of free ice cream has passed and our children have lost all interest whatsoever in sitting in the booth, Michael and I give up the remainder of our meal and call it a day. I cringe as I see the condition of the floor under the high chair and think I see the bus boy approach his boss for a raise before he heads to our table.

And that is our Sunday lunch experience. Please excuse me as I go peel the dried macaroni and cheese off my children's faces, and I'll look forward to seeing you next week....choose your location wisely.


Hornok said…
Love this. We should eat out together just to laugh at other's scene. We are all of the above and add a kid with autism to the mix. Our lunch usually starts out with Lizzie at the counter demanding french fries. I just watch the scene from across the room. Most of the time they give her a basket just to shut her up.

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