Why We Hardly Ever Go Out To Eat

We were going out to dinner.

This doesn’t happen very often. I can count on two hands the amount of times we have been out since Big Girl was born 6 years ago.

Now, it’s not because the kids are particularly vile in public. I mean yes, we experience an occasional Flop or Flounce, but predominantly they save all of their epic misbehaviour for when we are at home.

I like this. It makes me look like a fantastic mother.

But however cooperative the kids may be, it always seems to go a little bit wrong.

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The day I am thinking about was back in the hazy, pre-Squeak days. That feels freaking ages ago now! Little Girl was probably about 18 months old, and Big Girl was 4.

I can’t remember whose birthday it was, but my dad had offered to take us all out to dinner. And this woman does not say no to free food.

We went to this lovely local Italian restaurant. It’s a great place to take kids because it’s not the kind of place where they expect them to be silent and perfectly behaved. Always a hit with me.

I was feeling awesome. I had recently lost a load of weight, and was wearing a dress. This is big moment for a woman who lives in jeans. Hair was done, make up on, I was looking good and feeling confident.

In retrospect, this should have been a major warning sign.

The kids were all dressed up and looking cute as hell. I had planned for all eventualities. I had plenty of quiet toys, I had wipes, every base was covered. Nothing could go DSC_0541wrong.

Ha.

Big Girl disappeared as soon as we arrived. Not in a concerning way! She ran off to play with the owners’ children. Brilliant, no bored child wriggling on a chair while we read and re-read the menu.

There was something wrong with Little Girl, though. She just wouldn’t stop fussing and crying. I couldn’t understand it, she’d been fine all day at home.

I tried employing tools from my arsenal. But all of the toys were cast aside as she turned ever redder with distress.

I decide to offer her some milk. That was sure to fix it. Now, I’m pretty comfortable with breastfeeding in public. But I did not think it through this time.

Remember the dress? Yeah, that was a shitty idea. Even with some careful jacket draping and a nonchalant expression on my face, all I could think was, I just pulled my dress up in a public place.

It didn’t bloody work, anyway.

The rest of the meal was as excruciating as you can imagine. Little Girl wailed and howled. The food I offered her was ignored. She was passed from adult to adult to give us all a chance to eat. I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

After what seemed like forever, we were done. I was super relieved. Finally I could get home and figure out what the problem was without a restaurant full of people watching us.

It was just then, as we were saying goodbye, that Little Girl decided to let us know what was wrong.

By vomiting an ocean all over the floor.

Oh God.

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I did not pack enough wipes for this shit. And there’s nothing subtle about having to ask the restaurant owner for supplies to clean up.

It splashed on everyone. My dad, my sister, me. Also my sister’s boyfriend, who will agree that he is just slightly intimidated by children.

What a bloody disaster.

Never have I been so glad to get home. This is why we hardly ever eat out.

It’s just safer that way.

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