We will always look back on this evening and laugh. Retrospective laughter is often the only way we keep our sanity around here. If you have somehow been brainwashed into thinking I’ve got it “more together” than you do, let me prove to you that I do not.
A previous, happier, Chick-Fil-A visit.
It was of those evenings when Emmie, in the midst of two traumatic events for a 2 year old – giving up her nap and potty training, fell asleep in the car at 5:30pm. Because I had no “dinner plan” and since each minute of car sleep is equal to one hour of napping in a bed, it seemed we needed a “tucker them out” activity with dinner. So we opted to stop at Chick-Fil-A for food and playground time.
95% of the time Emmie wakes happy from a nap and ready for the next adventure. On a rare occasion, its downright ugly.
I believe the crying started when we were trying to cross the parking lot and it seemed she couldn’t decide whose hand to hold. Later I came to understand she was after Penny’s hand, which is odd, since Penny was being carried and unreachable to little Emmie – only increasing her frustration I’m sure.
So here I am holding a baby, Fable’s hand and dragging Emmie across the parking lot to keep her from laying down in the drive thru lane. Bob seemingly zoned out stands there holding the door open for me. Uhhhh, a little help here please! Oops, he tunes back in. We make it inside.
Crazy girl Emmie is in a puddle of tears but temporarily settles squeezed into a booth with her two sisters. Daddy mistakeningly unwraps the kids’ straws and now we have two crying children. The elder is saying “Daddy is NOT BEING KIND!”
Oh grievances upon grievances! How dare he open those straws! Bob turns to go get new straws, while I try to assure everyone it will be ok and beg them to settle down.
Emmie is absolutely hysterical and manages to vomit with no warning, right there all over the booth, and of course all over Lucy. Awesome. Just then Chick-Fil-A lady walks over with our food – awesomer. I tell her, “we are leaving.” She brings to-go bags. I hand Emmie to Bob instructing him to take her outside. He strips her to her diaper in the entrance way. Lucy starts retching because she’s got vomit all the way down her arm, who can blame her, awesomest.
I remember the million extra potty training clothes in the car and toss the keys to Bob. I clean Lucy and the booth. Thank God for baby wipes – right??? The other kids are still freaking out because vomit trauma and because now we are leaving. I think, eh, so what, what if we stay??? Its just a little vomit. Hysterical crying induced vomit. Way different from sick vomit, I rationalize. Maybe no one noticed.
Yeah, right… It was all so loud. Everyone noticed. Chick-Fil-A Lady definitely noticed.
I start handing out food. Kids start eating. I tell the older girls that their behavior was atrocious and they owe Daddy an apology. I remind them that Daddy doesn’t always know all the big kid things they can do (like unwrap their own straws) because he doesn’t get to spend as much time with them as I do.
I can’t believe we’ve recovered so well. Chick-Fil-A Lady comes by to see if she can help us with anything. I inform her that we are now staying, “We’ve settled down now,” I say.
Emmie and Bob reenter like nothing ever happened – except Bob wants to wash his hands. I make a mental note, I should really wash mine too, preferably before I started touching all the food. And I really need to bathe Lucy when we get home. And Emmie too. The big girls apologize to Daddy for their attitudes.
We eat. No one cries. We run into friends. The adults actually get to talk to each other, with interruptions, but still success. We have a potty accident or two while we are there, but we planned ahead and put a pull up over the underpants, so its not so bad – especially in light of the vomit drama.
We eat ice cream.
We go home with full tummies, and a bag full of dirty laundry. We bathe kids, they get into bed late and pass out almost immediately.
Glad I get to do the stuff of life with the people I love. Grateful we get to laugh about it together.