Monday, June 30, 2008

A new contact sport – dining out with a toddler…


Going to dinner with Sophia is comparable to playing contact sports. Earlier this week we went to dinner with Trey’s parents and his godchild, Hannah. I came out of the restaurant feeling beat up – almost like I had played 4 quarters of football.

1st Quarter – Game On. At most restaurants, kid’s menus come with crayons. After waiting for the highchair to arrive (and praying that it has a lap belt that is actually functional), I get Sophia strapped in and situated at the end of the table. After approximately two minutes of scribbling with a red crayon on the menu, both items are flung on the floor repeatedly. After retrieving crayon(s) and menu more than 3 times, I call a penalty and take them out of the game. Crying begins.

2nd Quarter – We order our food and I attempt to keep her occupied while waiting for her food to arrive. The waitress brings Sophia some milk in a kid’s cup with a lid & straw. Sophia immediately grabs the cup, puts the straw in her mouth and tips the cup up into the air (like she does while all her sippie cups). Milk pours all over her shirt and spills into her lap. More crying. I grab her cup before it goes flying onto the floor. I transfer the milk into a sippie cup (that I brought from home for this very reason). I hand her the milk in the new, straw-less sippie cup and watch her face as it scrunches up in anger and turns red. She attempts to throw the cup on the floor but I am too fast this time and I catch the cup in midair and call another penalty. Now the kids menu, crayons, and both cups of milk are all out of the game. Crying continues.

3rd Quarter – Our food arrives and she immediately starts reaching for the plate that the waitress puts in front of her. Obviously, this woman does not know that you should not put hot food on a breakable plate in front of a hungry (almost) two year old. I now have about 30 seconds to cut up her food, put it in her a bowl (that I brought from home so even if she throws it on the floor it will not break), and blow on it until it is cool enough for her to eat. This is all done while holding Sophia back with a stiff arm as her hands are grabbing for her plate, my plate, and the kids menu again. One of the milk cups hit the floor again and milk splashes up on my legs. I emerge from the 3Q a little bloody (ok, it is not blood, just ketchup from the fries she stole from Hanna’s plate). Crying stops as she shovels food into her mouth for the next 7 minutes. I even apologize to the waitress for the large amount of food that is spilled on the floor under the highchair.

4th Quarter – A rare treat, I ordered Sophia some ice cream for dessert. Actually, I ordered me the ice cream for dessert, but I ordered it from the kid’s menu because it was cheaper and it looked like the perfect amount instead of the massive desserts on the regular menu. The waitress, unaware of the game plan, puts the bowl of ice cream in front of Sophia instead. I watch Sophia attempt to dip her spoon into the ice cream and get some to her mouth. The problem is the waitress brought my child a huge soup spoon and she can’t quite fit it in her mouth before the ice cream melts off and lands in her lap. Crying begins again. The crying reaches an ear piercing shriek when I take the bowl of ice cream away and try to feed it to her myself. This is when Trey tries to coach me on the game plan oblivious to the activity in the previous three quarters*. He asks me why I don’t I let her feed herself? His input is not appreciated and I call a penalty on him. He is out of the game. I let her attempt to eat some more of the melted ice cream for a few minutes, until a large spoonful falls down the front of her shirt. More crying. Out of my fear that the bowl of ice cream while be launched into the air and land on the nice people sitting at the table beside us (who have been an attentive audience for the entire game), I call another penalty and take the melted ice cream out of the game. Crying reaches a new level and I take myself out of the game. Game over. Sophia wins. Daddy picks her up and they go outside for the post game celebration on the playset.

**I am not throwing Trey under the bus – we usually take turns sitting next to her at restaurants so one of us actually gets to eat our food while it is hot. On this day he was visiting with his dad while I was playing defense against Sophia.

4 comments:

Trey said...

This is hilarious!! Since I obviously have been involved in some of these games!!!! I am still laughing about it!!! HEH!

Ashley & Rhett said...

ok - WOW! i'm am cracking up at this, but also a little scared about our future football player! yikes!! :) so, we need to make sure we have our helmets and gloves on for all dining experiences?!?!?! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! TO have been a spectator at that game.
I can't wait till I have to go 4 quarters with Jackson.

trisha said...

Haha poor steph! It sounds like your team got a butt kicking! Even though it is rough, enjoy these chaotic toddler moments while they are here. She is growing up so fast.. already becoming an all-star athlete! :)