It's Tuesday, and that means it's my night off from cooking. I pretty much don't care where we go out to eat as long as I don't have to cook OR clean up. Tonight's dinner selection was Perkins. No, I don't love Perkins, I'm not a college student anymore. When we didn't have a child, we avoided Perkins, but since they have Kid's Eat Free on Tuesday and Saturday nights, it's hard to pass up.
The reason I endure Perkins with its the terrible service, sub-human food offerings, and questionable cleanliness is that I know for a fact that Leighton will eat the Perky Bear Pancakes, and I can use the mini chocolate chips (on the side) for leverage to get him to behave and do what I want. I also like the fact that it's super close to our house.
With three mouths to feed (that third mouth may be small, but it can eat as much as I can), the cost of dining out as a family has to be a consideration when choosing a Tuesday night restaurant.
Stupid mom assumption of the day: I assumed that Leighton would eat the pancakes he has always loved at Perkins. Not so this night. Not only that, but we decided on a booster instead of a high chair, and the table was too far away, and he kept sliding too close to the edge of the seat and yelling "Fall off!" Adding to the enjoyable dining experience was the fact that Mark swore the little girl behind him kept saying "shit!"
I also assumed that maybe it would be nice if Mark would sit by Leighton instead of having him next to me and the belly. BAD IDEA! Even though I enjoyed his getting a taste of what I deal with every evening at dinner when I sit next to Leighton (the leaning over and resting on me, the wiping of dirty, sticky hands on my clothes, the placing of unwanted items on my plate), it was unnerving to watch as I could tell his blood pressure was rising to a non-public-friendly level. Dad's just don't have the kind of patience mom's do. Never again. Lesson learned the hard way... that and we need to stick to high chairs for a while.
Tensions kept escalating with the ever-sliding booster and Mr. I'm So Hungry refusing eat his food while yelling for the chocolate chips he could see across the table. Finally things started turning around when Leighton got some of Mark's bacon, and he said, "Thank you daddy." Then when the fries from mommy's plate were in his fingers, and daddy let him dip them in syrup (his giddy little laugh making both of us smile), peace was restored.
Even though he had not been the most well-behaved ever, Leighton received the much-coveted mini chocolate chips at the end of the meal. All were happy, and I was glad it was time to head home.
On the way to Perkins, I noticed a new business.. something about cookies... couldn't read the scripted font from across the street. Mark decided it was worth another look so we headed over to check it out.
As we were parking the car, Mark asked, "Leighton, do you want a cookie?" "Uh, yeah!" Well, that didn't take much consideration. In we went. I thought Leighton's head was going to spin around and fall off when he saw all of the sugary goodness at his height in a brightly lit glass display.
Leighton pointed at a bunny cookie and couldn't take his eyes off of it all the way home. Unfortunately, his eyes didn't know what his stomach wanted, and after maiming the bunny's sugary face, he decided he wanted Mark's M&M cookie instead.
Looks like mommy had to take one of the team and eat the partially frosted sugar cookie (with a side of toddler spit)... not an overall bad experience since frosted sugar cookies are my absolute favorite cookie ever.
Lessons learned tonight:
1. Don't sit the toddler by daddy when going out to dinner.
2. Do not assume that said toddler will enjoy the same meal he has ever other time.
3. Toddlers don't know what they want. Parents need to make the decisions for them.
4. Don't assume that going to a restaurant (any restaurant) with a toddler will ever be any more relaxing that eating dinner at home. The allure of "Kids Eat Free" is, in fact, a siren's song that lures parents there with the promise of a better experience than at home... beware......
Cyndi M. Frick
This lifestyle blog is my outlet to share and advise about the things I love. I always have an opinion!