Playful, elegant, and not above the judicious use of the word “shit."

March madness

Sunday morning we resumed a ritual we practiced with Leta but gave up once Marlo came along. Because Marlo ruins everything. See how I just came right out and said that? Believe me, when she reads that fifteen years from now I guarantee you her feelings will not be hurt, and instead she will throw her fist in the air with a, “Shit yeah, I do!”

For years we used to get an early Sunday breakfast at the Blue Plate Diner, always beating the rush of the brunch crowd because Leta has always been an early riser. Always. Just last week she complained that making her stay in bed until 7 AM is unfair because lying there awake in the dark is so boring. I asked if that was her closing argument, and when she looked at me confused I said, “MOTION DENIED.”

The logistics of taking two kids out to eat is not one we’re necessarily eager to master. Yeah, I know, families with ten kids go out to eat all the time, and they TOTALLY WIN. We’ve just looked at it like this: why try to wrangle a homicidal toddler and a picky eater in public when we can just wallow in the misery of it in our pajamas?

Easy way out every time.

But we’ve missed those Sunday breakfasts, mainly because of the food: homemade buttermilk biscuits and gravy for me, French toast for Jon, pancakes for Leta, and a huge side of bacon for the whole table. Also, as much as we want to avoid it, we have to start teaching Marlo how to behave in public. I did not know that this would involve telling her that it’s not okay to take food off of someone’s plate AT THE TABLE NEXT TO OURS.

It wasn’t a total nightmare, just a partial one. I mean, she didn’t bite anyone, and every two minutes or so I kept repeating WE ARE DOING THIS, WE ARE DOING THIS out loud to reassure myself and Jon that we could handle it, that we had actually ordered food and it was coming to our table. But Marlo had had enough behaving about fifteen minutes in when she commenced shrieking, and before the food arrived we had to tag team it. Meaning we took turns walking Marlo back and forth outside the restaurant so that she couldn’t hurt anyone.

Meanwhile, Leta’s pancake arrived, and because she’s a kid they thought it would be cute to make it look like a face. They created ears out of whipped cream, eyes out of grapes, and (can you hear me gasping? that was me) a smile made out of sliced banana.

For those of you unfamiliar with Leta’s aversion to bananas, let me put it this way: she saw that banana smile, screamed, and hid underneath the booth with her arms covering her head AS IF TO PROTECT IT FROM THE BANANA.

If I ever need to get another job to supplement this blogging gig, I could totally be a professional banana slice slinger. I had those things off of her plate so fast that it reversed time and she forgot they were ever there in the first place. So, yeah. Advice to potential mothers: your duties may one day involve slinging a banana slice. Practice.

Also: this happened. Yeah.

  • 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!!