My father-in-law came to visit and offered to take us out to dinner, and we were all too eager to accept. We love eating out so we went back and forth trying to figure out which restaurant would be both delicious and kid-friendly, before settling on an Italian restaurant called Bella Italia. Before we walked in the door I already knew I was ordering Chicken Saltimbocca! They seated us near a window (& almost in a corner, which seemed perfect), set us up with a high chair, and John ordered a glass of wine. We were prepared for a relaxing dinner out because Jack has always been so sweet & adorable at restaurants. When he was little he would just sit on our lap/in our arms, and then as he got older he just wanted to eat the whole time (seriously, a bread stick would entertain him for an hour), and by his first birthday he was flirting with waitresses & making friends with diners in other booths. Always a pleasure.
BAM! Not this time though. This time, he was CRAZY! In that loud, 15 months old, totally normal way, and even though he was outnumbered (3 adults, 1 kid!!!) we could not contain him. It started with the fact that he did not want to sit in the high chair...escalated to him removing his shoes & throwing silverware....escalated some more into us trying to reason with him and ask him to sit down/stop that/eat this/be quiet, etc. Every tiny outburst was painful because the restaurant we chose ended up being full of elderly people on dates. I swear I looked around and all I saw was gray hair (even Mike Sr. & John, ha ha ha). I think the pure tranquility of everyone else's evening encouraged Jack further in his outbursts.
Things just went from bad to worse. We tried a break outside (Me: "Jack, do you want to go outside? You aren't behaving. We have to go outside now." Jack: "Da go bye bye?!? Bye bye?! Da go bye bye!!!!!" (this is his way of saying, I want to go bye bye, yay! yay! yay!)) which did not end well because eventually I had to bring him back inside.
Then John tried being stern. This worked, in that it got a response from our sweet son. Not the response we wanted though (Jack started screaming). We were so desperate at one point that despite my pleas ("Johnny, that really is not a good toy! Not a kid friendly toy!!!") John gave Jack the splenda/sugar box to play with. Jack promptly emptied it on the floor/table (think 50 small packets flying everywhere). He then proceeded to slam the plastic holder on the wall. I think our dinner neighbors enjoyed that part especially. It really set the mood as they enjoyed their fettuccine, ya know?
Anyway, after attempting to devour our appetizer & salads while wrangling this kid, we came to our senses and asked the waiter to pack up our entrees to go. As we left the restaurant Jack smiled & waved to everyone, and said "Bye bye! Bye bye!" like the sweet angel he is.
I think my father-in-law got a kick out of the whole experience, because John and I were so out of our element and overwhelmed, and honestly, it was a good lesson for us...now we know, for the unforeseeable future, dinner out will be reserved for DATE NIGHT!!!
The best thing about being a mom is that even after a hard evening (that may or may not have made me miss the days before I had a child/children), in an instant Jack snaps me back to reality and reminds me again and again why I love him so incredibly! Tonight as we were playing and it neared 7:15 pm, I asked him if he was really to go to bed ("Jack, do you want to go nigh-nigh?") He responded by saying "Nigh Nigh! Mommmeeeeeee!" and walking straight to his room, where he then grabbed his blanket and jumped into my arms to cuddle for a minute before diving into his crib. He will now sleep for approximately 12 hours without a peep and will wake up smiling. How blessed am I? :)
|Little Jack Jack sleeping in his car seat after a weekend of fun. |
There is just something about a sleeping kid that is SO, SO, SO GREAT.