• CrisLawson

    If I take one of my children somewhere, they are good as gold…I assume because my single minded attention keeps them in line.

    But if I bring all three…remember how the velociraptors in Jurassic Park work as a team? One distracts the prey as the other two work an ambush. It’s exactly the same with kids.

  • apostate

    With any luck, in three more months the weather will be nice for patio dining at the Blue Plate.
    Every March in Utard, I make the mistake of allowing myself to think: Maybe this year will be different. I allowed myself to think such a thought last Saturday only to drop F bombs during the snow storm Monday night.
    I feel that the Blue Plate is meant to be enjoyed outside with a City Weekly.
    Home Fries!

  • Cooky

    Blue Plate Diner is totally worth the public humilation with Marlo in tow. I love you guys and your girls. Your posts always make my day. Enjoy these moments. You’ll be glad you have your adventures written down. The girls will be leaving for college before you know it.

  • Ado

    I’m going to add Banana Slinger to my resume – thanks for that, I had no idea this skill would be so marketable. (-:

  • dianemaggipintovoiceover

    it’s been a long time since i was at blue plate. i like to hide under the booth when i see the home fries coming. because, how hard is it to make good breakfast potatoes? here’s hoping they’ve improved. i’ll check it out soon.

    mmmm … extra yellow bonus java boost shit yeah.

  • snownurse

    HA! We were there last Sunday morning. So sorry we missed the show. Don’t worry, it will get better. Our baby is now 6. We can take him *almost* anywhere now! :-)

  • apostate

    The Armstrong women seem to have a predilection for melting things. Crayons. IKEA bowls. What have you.
    The nice thing about patio dining is you can bring a harness and tie your offspring to the bike rack. Not that I would…

  • bawb23

    We took our 3-year old and 1-year old to a Red Lobster. We thought they were doing pretty well, but when we got up we saw that the floor beneath our table was carpeted with crumbs. It was everywhere, in a neatly defined toddler-toss-range circle. We didn’t go back for like 10 years.

  • Jordan RYM

    Wow…you are hilarious. Thanks for being so real and practical. Glad the blog thing seems to be working out for now, but I’m sure you’d be quite good at banana slicing too!!

    Jordan with Rock Your Marriage

  • angshewas

    I still remember the “my own pancake” post. It’s one of my favorites.

  • aussome1

    Your post was hilarious and so were the comments made by other readers.

    Finds oneself wondering why as parents we think that a simple meal out should or could be enjoyable. My picky 13 yr old used to make it miserable if they didn’t have mac and cheese or chicken fingers on the menu…not so much now she goes for the biggest most expensive steak on the menu! Hey but at least we outgrew fake chicken and rubber noodles covered with cheese!!

  • mommyoffour

    Mmmmmmm, wax poop for you!

  • Tontina

    God, I love you Heather!!

  • The Dalai Mama

    I love the whole “food from someone else’s plate.” My now 3-year-old (for whom my now 5-year-old did nothing to help us prepare) will walk up to you and ask what you are eating and ask to try it. At disney land, the grocery store, local lunch place. She will also ask strangers for money if I tell her no.

    She and Marlo can take on the world together. It’s so totally fun…

  • tokenblogger

    If I ever make a visit to SLC it will have to be in the winter so that I can enjoy marvelous snow after snow after snow.

    And I’ll try not to think of how you may be in peril because of effing snow after snow after snow…

  • Mer

    At least it’s non-toxic. I would have preferred my coffee to be cornflower-flavor, myself.

    ETA: Omahgarsh!!! I think this is my favorite masthead EVER.

  • Daddy Scratches

    I used to dread taking our two little ones out to eat. It felt like I was participating in a game show during which two atomic bombs disguised as children had to constantly be tended to in order to keep them from detonating and taking out the whole damn restaurant. Which is to say: There was nothing relaxing or enjoyable about going out to eat.

    And oy vey with the “taking turns” thing. My wife and I would see each other only on the car ride to and from the establishment.

    Our kids are almost-6 and almost-8 now, and they mostly behave perfectly when we go out to eat. It was well worth the effort of training them … and we did it without ever threatening them with a lie about a restaurant employee whose sole purpose was to take ill-behaved children and shove them in a trash barrel … which is what my parents would tell my siblings and I. Yes, really. So that sort of explains the therapy and the meds.

  • Tricia

    Mmmmmm, Blue Plate Diner. Ruth’s Diner is also a great place for an early breakfast– very family friendly.

    Yay, Marlo for giving mommy a yellow submarine!

  • misszoot

    I never comment b/c you get so many. BUT – we just recently had our first successful outing where we left and did not immediately stop for beer on the way home. My youngest will be 3 in May. I’m not trying to discourage you with a timeline of how long it will take before you can enjoy a peaceful outing, I am just showing you it does end…EVENTUALLY.

    My husband and I were scared to discuss how well it was going WHILE we were there because we were afraid we’d jinx it. But when we left we were all, “HOLY CRAP. IT WORKED. PEACEFUL DINNER! WITH THE KIDS! WOO HOO!”

  • CO

    I love the crayon in the coffee! Never a dull moment hey?

  • tiffanyincali

    Ha! I used to always say that my daughter could turn even the nicest restaurant into Denny’s in 5 seconds flat! Now she’s almost 14- is a pro at always ordering something that is NOT ON THE MENU! Usually pasta with butter and cheese… even at Mexican places.
    Good luck!

  • Sharon Heg

    Longtime lurker, first time poster. OMG, I don’t blame the poor girl…bananas on pancakes, BLECH!!!

    My Last Blog Entry: “Flash Mob Much? (Part 2)” http://sharonheg.wordpress.com

  • Amber_D

    I burst out laughing at the crayon in the coffee causing everyone in the previously silent office to turn and stare.

    I think they may be on to the fact that my work is not that amusing.

    Thanks for the laugh.

  • kwm

    Awesome, I was the same way about taking kids out to eat versus staying home comfy! So fun to read your blogs.

  • soojeegirl

    Sounds like a pending piece of art with the next B.M.

  • Unnatural Mother -Deanna

    Nice. We’ve had plenty of nightmare dining experiences, oh yes we have. I empathize, I do, I do!

  • beannie

    I find crayons add a little something “extra” to coffee. Aren’t kids so kind?

  • specialkrispy

    My dad takes me and my 7-month-old to breakfast every Sunday also. We always try to beat the crowds, too, but the baby is always the last one up. I feel your pain. We have driven past Blue Plate a few times, but it is always overflowing.

    P.S. Have you tried the biscuits and gravy at Ruth’s in Emigration canyon? Oh.Em.Gee.

  • amadajo

    Our kid refused to go out to eat until we figured out to sit in a booth with no booster seat and let her stand up the entire time. We also take a big bag o’ toys with everything from crayons to playdoh. We call her the red menace.

  • Tangerine

    I have to say, I am fully grown and a basically fully recovered picky eater, but I still react that way to bananas. They are the only food that does that to me, and they always have. When I was a baby eating mushed fruit for a living, I would always reject bananas violently. So other picky eating aside, I fully support Leta in this aversion.

  • specialkrispy

    I never knew there were so many banana haters in this world.

  • ckat22

    dear lord … thank you, heather. i NEEDED that chuckle so very, very much. i can totally picture the entire morning. i was worried i would never love your second child as much as i adore leta … i didn’t have to worry. i love marlo in a completely different – and completely equal – way!!

  • Rebellin

    I am in the same place as you… The past two weekends, we’ve taken our two (similar ages) out to sushi restaurants. On the first outing, our daughter had a coughing fit so bad I had to take her outside, and right as I returned, our baby poked himself in the mouth with a chopstick, lauching a fit. At the second outing, my baby was poking another woman in the rear with chopsticks while my daughter talked loud enough for the whole restaurant to hear. I was starting to feel like we weren’t effective in teaching manners, but you’ve made me feel like perhaps it’s more the kids’ fault, and us parents are the victims.

  • SugarFreeSweetie

    Oh My! I remember our first trip to the IHOP with our oldest son. My husband went into a complete fit when our son cried becaues he CUT HIS PANCAKE! I just sat there and said, “we are staying here and we are going to eat this meal”. So yeah, I’ve been there. You know what’s worse than taking kids out to eat? Making kids sit quietly through three hours of church!

  • janeingrid

    Love it!

  • ClarissaD

    This is HILARIOUS! You are such a talented writer – I will be a regular reader :)

  • kickyboots

    Oh, I loved this! We have three girls are the older two were NUTS. We’d consider it a success if they lasted 11 minutes at a buffet before we had to leave. They’re getting slightly better with age (now they’re 4.5 and 2.5) but we rarely bother eating out with them. Why pay good money just to feel anxious and frustrated and to have to eat in shifts while your spouse runs laps chasing the rabid badgers?

  • burkeabee

    I drove with my 4 kids from MA to NM this past summer.Lots of restaurant practice. I prefer busy restaurants……that way the shrieking is camouflaged.

  • kittyvicious

    Bwahahahahahaha… the crayon! I die.

  • mommica

    Yeah, baby number two is due in 12 weeks and I’m pretty sure I won’t be eating out for, oh, about four years. Taking one kid to a restaurant is bad enough. I’ll be at home if you need me.

  • luv and kiwi

    ha! that crayon made me want to throw up in my mouth a little bit. noted!

  • deannamil

    Well let’s see at 6 and 8 we still grab the children and run as fast as we can from restaurants before they ask us to leave.

  • sybil

    Please enlighten me. I don’t get it. Why do parents bring little ones out to eat when they’re miserable. The servers are miserable (unless you leave a big tip to make up for the little beasties). Your kids are miserable. And you make other diners miserable. I would love a little “Marlo” to come steal food from my plate. Just hate the sticky hands in my hair over the booth and the shrieking. Oy. Please tell me why parents do this to themselves and other diners.

  • bellamaxjoy

    I wonder if boys are just easier. I know they are not quite the emotional thinkers girls are, and also “easily entertained” (my husband can still waner off in a store and get totally engrossed in something “cool”) As long as I had an aresonal of matchbox cars, dinosaurs, transformers, they were resonably easy to get distracted. Girls are just so darned EMOTIONAL, I have learned from my BF’s daughter!
    Love the blog, and am having a great time reading thru it from the beginning. I want to recomend it to a new mother friend of mine. I am a Christian, hope that isnt grounds for dismisal!, and although she may not dig the more “flowery” language, she is going thru a rough time with her 5 month old. I want to find the point where Leta came in and have her ready it, so she doesnt feel alone.
    thnks again!

  • pink.marleen

    OMG, that just made me laugh out loud. My son just turned 2 and also is not too interested in just sitting down in a restaurant. But I love the fact that Marlo slipped a crayon in your coffee, that kid is ballsy! And whoever told the cook to put a face on the pancake anyway…

  • mom2meerkat

    Funny… my eight month old daughter HATES HATES HATES bananas. It’s the only food that she spits out, cries about, and generally shuns.

  • julie4920

    haha! Right after reading this post, I saw this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cds7lSHawAw&feature=player_embedded

    Baby trashes bar in Las Palmas. Hilarious if you haven’t already seen it!

    Laughed thinking of Marlo eating off someone else’s plate. :)

  • ponyk

    Fact: RIPE bananas smell exactly like the scent released by ANGRY bees.

    I learned this bizarre fact while taking “Bees and Beekeeping 101″ in college.

    I was delighted to learn that there is a decent reason for me to not like ripe bananas. (Gag!) Greenish bananas I quite enjoy.

    Happy bees, on the other hand, release a scent that smells like lemon-scented Joy and/or lemon hard candy.

  • Indiana Lori

    I have the 2 most high maintenance daughters on the planet, so I have 2 words for you: restaurant bag. It just stays in the car, full of bendaroos and little wooden bears that you decorate with wood clothes…even glow sticks. The girls can only play with it when we are IN a restaurant and waiting for food. It was a game changer for us.

  • Indiana Lori

    Oh yes, and when Sara’s pancake came out of the kitchen not immediately soaked in 5 lbs of syrup? She tossed it onto the table next to us. There is just no way to apologize for a toddler flinging perfectly good pancakes. My sympathies to you!