Monday, August 06, 2012

Eating Out

This is an honest to god account of what it's like to go out to eat with a 3 year old and a 1 year old. Otherwise known as, "HEY! Anyone up for some more frozen cheese pizza??"

6:45 pm:  Pull up to restaurant of choice, the one with the friendly waitresses and gargantuan portions (one dish supplying dinner for four and lunch for two days).  Spy tiny "Closed for Cleaning" sign on door, sigh loudly, and coordinate with friends on another nearby Chinese restaurant alternative.

6:48 pm:  Screeching from backseat begins. Realize children haven't been fed since naptime. Simultaneously break out the bag of Bugles tucked under the front seat while also explaining to husband why there is a bag of  Bugles tucked under my front seat. (answer 1: they were in the dollar section of Target. answer 2: see, screeching).

6:52 pm:  arrive at alternate Chinese restaurant and walk in. Half of the restaurant is empty. The other half is completely stuffed with people. They are obviously reserving space for a party. Guess which side Hopper runs to, taking up residence in a booth and immediately pouring a mound of salt on the table?  Spend next three minutes trying to bodily remove 3 year old from his chosen booth and salt "sculpture."

6:55 pm:  stuff 4 adults and 1 toddler into a booth. Eye 70's era folding metal high chair provided warily.

6:56 pm. Realize that I don't want to sit this close to people. Move an extra table over. Hopper disappears under it.

6:57 pm.  Notice that the tiny spoon in the sweet and sour sauce is missing. Locate it with Hopper under the table.  Spend next three minutes pouring sweet and sour sauce on Bugles (shudder) so he can eat it with a spoon. What? It keeps him quiet.

7ish--Order more food than any of us can reasonably expect to eat in one sitting. Gigantic party arrives filling up the empty half of the restaurant. Order now takes on fictional, fantasy-like quality.

7:03 pm  Rowan figures out that his tray, being metal and from the 70's, makes a LOT OF NOISE. Proceeds to bang things on it. Spend next ten minutes removing bangable things from his vicinity.

7:15pm  Pu Pu Platter arrives. Hopper pops up from under table to claim beef skewer, disappears again. Feed Rowan piece of fried shrimp and watch as he hocks it out of his mouth about 10 feet. Note to self: child does not appear to like seafood.

7:20 pm.  Hopper  pops back up from under the table completely covered in plum sauce to claim another beef skewer. Asks me to throw it on the Pu Pu platter flame and then when I do, complains that it is now "too hot, mama." Disappears under the table again.

7:23 pm Rowan screams loudly, only to be silenced by my offering my glass of ice water which he uses to dunk his hands in over and over til they turn slightly bluish and he goes, "Oooooooooo"--takes them out, lets them thaw then does it again.. We do this for at least 5-10 minutes straight. Am only slightly worried about frostbite.

7:35 pm  Food arrives.  Hopper reappears, takes one look at the incredible variety of dishes we have ordered including pork with wild mushrooms, fried squid and 2 chicken dishes-- asks for rice and soy sauce-- which he eats with his fingers.  Rowan makes mad grab for fried squid and eats at least four pieces of it. I am wrong about seafood.

7:40 pm.  Frustrated by his lack of proximity to 500 dishes of food, Rowan screams. I put him on my lap. He promptly grabs a jalapeno from the squid dish, pops it in his mouth, then looks at me like, "what the hell ??" I remove it quickly before the heat hits too hard. Hopper reappears on the bench with his original beef skewer and I Do Not EVEN Want To Know Where That Thing Has Been For The Last Thirty Minutes.

7:45 pm  A four piece Mariachi band starts playing for the party.  I am not joking.

7:46 pm.  Rowan starts dancing to the Mariachi band by swaying violently from side to side like a drunk Stevie Wonder giggling madly,clutching two handfuls of sticky rice. Hopper stands up on the booth bench, face and arms clear up to the elbows smeared with every single type of sauce available in a chinese restaurant, attempts to flirt with the woman sitting in the booth behind us by shouting, "HI, I'M HOPPER" in her ear. Check please?

7:50 pm.  The band plays on. Little Stevie Wonder over here clocks me in the jaw with one of his head moves. My fault. I should know better than to get in the way of the man and his rhythm.  Hopper empties the water from his styrofoam cup onto a plate and starts ripping the cup apart as he disappears under the table again.

7:53 pm  Check PLEASE, for the love of god almighty. The waitress shows up with fortune cookies. Rowan eats the entire thing. Fortune included.

7:55pm  Decide to take Sticky Sauce and Little Wonder out to the car while Daddy pays. Make concerted effort not to even look under the table. I am sure there is some sort of beef skewer/styrofoam/salt shaker  masterpiece underneath there but you can't make me look.

8:10pm  Bath time. Water turns mostly to soy sauce.

I've decided that next week we just stay home, pop some Flaco Jimenez in the stereo and watch Hopper rip open 5000 packets of Kikkoman. I'll bring the pizza.

In simpler times, when we just fed them plates of turd.
(kidding, grandparents, that's chocolate cake..incidentally they needed a bath after this too)


Blue Gal said...

But I must know! Where is the first restaurant? Please share! Good Chinese food and friendly's mythical, right?

Stinkydog said...

Hunan on Wm Cannon and Manchaca--but I gotta be honest, they have some kind of strange interpretations of some dishes.. We usually just get the Combination Mooshu and it seriously feeds a family of four for 2 days.