- on May 20, 2011
Taking Johnny places, these days, is a crap-shoot.
I pine for the days when he would accompany us to Free State, happy to loll in his infant seat and linger while we had a long lunch.
Now, having a meal at a restaurant is often akin to putting a mountain lion in a high chair and asking it to have a civil meal. I mean, he does okay for awhile, but eventually that mountain lion needs to get up and move around, and he doesn't really care if Mommy is finishing her last four french fries.
Still, we are committed to keep on keeping on, because we will go insane if we never go anywhere on the weekends. Mama doesn't want to cook every single meal we ever eat. And, probably most importantly, we think he needs the practice. If we never take him to a restaurant because it's "too hard" it will only get worse.
I have the same theory about babysitters. I think it's a good thing for us to get a babysitter once in awhile and leave him at home with that person for an evening. If we didn't, he's be a hot mess when we finally had to. I make it a point to ask someone to come over in the evening at least every couple of months, even if we just go to the store or out for one cocktail.
Saturday is the Fire in the Hole BBQ competition at the Eagles Lodge (benefitting Visting Nurses and cases of children who are diagnosed with "Failure to Thrive"). I have the distinct pleasure of being a judge at said event, so I'll be there for a lot of the day. I know a lot of other kids and parents we know will be there, so I asked my husband if he'd bring Johnny up to play after his nap, and I saw the pained expression on his face. "Uhm, it hasn't been that fun to take him places, lately."
I reminded him that at this thing, he can run around and not be confined to a high chair. And there will be other little kids, which always seems to help the situation. Plus, there's a quarter cake walk. That boy needs to win his mama a freaking cupcake!
The challenges of being a parent are never-ending. When you aren't a parent, you see a couple with a kid screaming at the table, and you think "Why in the world would you bring your baby here?" Or you see the dad walking down Massachusetts with his kid on a leash, and think "FOR CRYING OUT LOUD." Now, I look longingly at said leash, wondering if it might be just the tool for getting him through this barbeque on Saturday. And I sympathize with the mom whose kid is screaming and throwing quesadilla bits at the neighboring table. "I get it, people," I think. "The game is now about survival." My friend Lulu once said there are times in parenting when we just have to be okay with a B-minus.
My kid might get a B-minus at the BBQ on Saturday. I might be getting a B-minus for not somehow better training him in how to behave in a restaurant. But at 20 months, he's not exactly a rational being. So B-minus is pretty good. It means he is still alive, and he's managed to get four bites of chicken finger in his mouth before the rest became a hat.