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March 2, 2013

A Slice of Life at Mindy’s Restaurant

After taking both of my children to the doctor’s office to receive injections, my husband and I dared to eat a meal in a public place. So after driving around aimlessly trying to find a place that offered delicious food selection with somewhat healthy options and a family environment, we parked the car in a Mindy’s parking lot. We then proceeded to unload an overflowing diaper bag, a carrier holding our four month old, and a two year old with a tear streaked face and blue stained lips from her sucker. As soon as I set my daughter down inside the restaurant, I began peeling her hair off of her sticky cheeks while scanning the room for a booth that was away from all other diners. We found the perfect booth and as I started getting the kids settled into their seats, my husband approached the counter to place our order.

And it began.

Within seconds my daughter, Evie, made her way to the edge of the booth and began yelling Baba (her Greek version of Daddy) and waving her chubby little hand at my husband the entire time he stood in line and placed our order. Shortly after the food arrived and as my salad hit the table, my son, Johnny woke up and was also hungry. We propped a bottle up in his car seat using a blanket forcing him to self feed. Evie helped herself to her water, my water, and my husband’s water and continued to tilt the cup even after several reminders to hold the cup straight so that water wouldn’t spill out everywhere. Each reminder followed by “Oh, ok Momma,” as if it was the first time she had heard this. After multiple water spills, Evie’s clothes were drenched and so was the booth, my pant leg, and most of the table. The napkin dispenser was empty by the end of our very short stay and the table was covered in rice grains floating in puddles of water and glops of water soaked napkins. My husband and I continued to eat as fast as we could while my daughter shuffled through her favorites in the iTunes app on my phone causing a musical chaos that paralleled our dining experience. Meanwhile, soft music was playing throughout the restaurant and all diners seemed to be enjoying their dinners in a calm manner. Not us. We shoveled the last bites into our mouths and began repacking the children up and heading towards the exit. I followed behind my husband who was carrying Johnny in the car seat and I held Evie’s hand and draped the diaper bag over my shoulder. As we left Mindy’s, my husband let the door slam on my arm as he passed through and I remembered a time when doors were held open for me and meals were eaten in normal places and at a normal speed.

The car ride was just as enjoyable.

Johnny screamed and cried as I attempted to find one of the two pacifiers that were hidden in his car seat. When I finally found one, I realized I was trying to put it in his ear instead of his mouth. At one point on our journey home, my husband asked me who was singing the song playing on the radio and I replied by saying “Shhh.” I immediately remembered a time when I spoke with real words and cared to talk about nonsensical things because it was fun. The sobbing continued and my husband sang along with Aerosmith to lighten the mood and drown out the perpetual shrilling cries. As we finally came within reach of our home, I heard Johnny’s car seat snap in place into the base – the position it should have been in before we pulled away from our fine dining experience. My husband then looked at me and said “Remind me to never order the fajita wrap from Mindy’s again.” We were home and it was time to start unpacking the car again and begin the bedtime routines.

We made it.

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4 Comments
  1. Ha! “We made it.” Yes, you did. (And you will again and again!)
    Ruth

  2. You just described my life. Except you made it sound kind of comical, and when it’s happening to me, I’m not amused. That part about your husband letting the door hit you when he used to hold it open REALLY hit home for me. It’s that stuff that changes after kids, isn’t it?? That little stuff?

    AND that line about the chaos of the music mirroring the chaos of your dining experience? Brilliant!!

    Funny how we long for calmer days of the past, yet we wouldn’t trade our present for anything, isn’t it?

    Your first slice! I’m proud of you!

  3. You captured the chaos, the frustration and the disappointment. Your voice is very strong. I think your voice reflects your spirit. You are a survivor. I am glad you have decided to join the 2013 Challenge.

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