The shattering of glass silenced the chatter in the restaurant. I cringed as the sippy cup continued its journey and toppled off the table with a clatter, further confirming identification of the table responsible for the ‘glass-broken-by-hurled- sippy-cup.’ Our yet childless couple who’d requested we go to breakfast with our two, under two, tensely insisted, ‘’its fine.”
Other parents in the restaurant looked on with sympathy, irritation or the look I’d later acquire known as the ‘Yes! It’s not me!’ look.
Eating out with our young twins was something we avoided. The times when we’d not gone for an extended time and became deluded into thinking ‘this time it will be better’ were generally when we’d weather the outing. Since reality always roared its hyper-head, we took to eating more Mexican or Chinese cuisine to pretend the comments muttered, which we couldn’t understand, weren’t really about us.
At home the girls tested gravity by tossing food to/at each other— which ended up on the floor…wall…me…or the dog. The dog wasn’t overjoyed to be showered with mashed, unidentifiable food-like mush and scrambled through the kitchen as if avoiding stray gunfire. Emerging displaying the wounds of his battle, his white fur splattered with a multitude of colorful remnants as he pined for the days of solid food.
We rejoiced for a millisecond when the girls were done with the highchairs. Until they became fascinated with what lies beneath… the table. Drawn there, and reluctant to leave its wonders. We’d briefly attempt to pretend to be dining out as adults and that we didn’t have two children foraging beneath the table. But the rising and falling of the table and our fruitless efforts to keep it, and our dinners, grounded, had us losing patience in the ‘guess what I got off the floor and rubbed onto your pants’ game.
Deciding one of us should enjoy dinner, we took turns retreating to the car while the other stayed at the table that looked as if it had been ravaged by wolves and feigned a nice dinner…alone. Painstakingly aware that those few precious minutes of solitude in the restaurant were like eons to the one trapped in the car with crying, crusty children while eating a cold, congealed dinner in a Styrofoam container.
Although we did discover one benefit to eating out with young children; parents with tiny children housed the ability to irritate and deter customers. Our food was served and cleared in record time. Therefore it was no surprise to see the servers of Cracker Barrel pull together and rush our table.
“Really, it’s okay. There’s no glass in my omelet.” My friend blotted orange juice from the table with a napkin while plucking small pieces of glass from her hair. Yasmine added some partially chewed toast to the egg, orange juice and glass combination while I wondered if we’d unknowingly be responsible for how long they delayed having children.
Diners: … Are you: A. It’s me
B.Yes! It’s not me! or
C. You’re irritating the heck out of me.