So tonight I went out for a loverly dinner with my sister and her three kids. My sister has had a pretty rough few days here, and nothing says "Let's go and relax" like Kids Eat Free night at Perkins.
On the car ride to Perkins, my six-year-old niece Annabelle gave a 2-hour recap of the movie The Lorax. I still have no idea what the movie was about.
When we got to Perkins, my two nieces bumped into 73 people trying to get their sticky hands on a balloon. Which they lost track of 72 times. There were kids everywhere and all the servers looked...homicidal. We sat down and I played a few games of Tic Tac Toe with Annabelle. I lost twice. Meanwhile, Eve was trying to smoosh her face onto my face without hurting my "bump" [a.k.a. giant tumor zit].
Trying to keep kinds entertained while waiting for food is almost impossible. We had 4 crayons, 2 kids menus, balloons, a clown doing face paint, and 12 mini creamers to make towers with. That took care of the first 5 minutes of waiting.
Finally, the food came. The girls each ordered blue pop and pancakes with chocolate chips and sprinkles. My 1-year-old nephew ordered "pieces of whatever everyone else was eating". It was delicious. I think. The girls were like VULTURES. Annabelle would reach over and snatch up a piece of bacon from Prinna. Eve would slip her tiny fingers onto my plate for French fries when I wasn't looking. Do parents EVER get to eat a whole meal?
Prinna had to get up and meet someone in the lobby quick and said "OMG. I'm sorry...I'll be back as soon as possible." I was all "Psht, what could go wrong in a booth at Perkins in 5 minutes? Take your time!"
Alec started whining as soon as Prinna left the table. I dumped 800 pieces of French fries and pancakes in front of him which worked for a bit, until his balloon flew into the ceiling fan. Then Annabelle dropped her creamer tower in a pile of ketchup and they rolled everywhere. She picked up each one, sucked off the ketchup, and put the creamers back in the bowl. Eve was hopping up and down next to me on the bench before she accidentally did a back flip off the bench and landed on the ground. She immediately looked at me, fighting back the tears and surprise, and said nervously "I'm okay, Phawin," and then spit blue pop all over my shirt laughing at herself.
That was FIVE MINUTES. When Prinna came back, I was 10 dog years older. My shirt was covered in blue pop and red ketchup. I had syrup in my hair and all my French fries were gone. I had been reduced to eating pancakes covered in apricot syrup. APRICOT. GROSS. I forgot how much I LOVE pancakes, though!
When the complimentary cookies came for the kids at the end of the meal, the girls were "too full of sprinkles" to have them. Prinna is off sugar right now, so I had to man up and eat the cookies myself. They were pretty good, though. Not to mention the fact that my hands were covered in syrup from picking at the pancakes. Mmm! Double-sugary goodness...
On our way home, I realized Prinna hadn't even gotten to eat her whole meal herself, but I managed to eat part of mine, part of Eve's and all the cookies. Prinna has given up sugar, I had tripled my daily dose in 15 minutes. I don't know why people think sugar gives kids a high...I was completely drained on the ride home.
Anyway, dinner was...an event. Now I know why kids go to bed at 7 p.m. I'm exhausted.