It's not something I'm all together proud of, but it's reality. We are "that" family when it comes to going into a restaurant. But because Nate and I are aware of this, but aren't eating at McDonald's all weekend long, we avoid places that aren't "family friendly".
It really all starts in the van.... Like all good mothers, I drive as far as I can yelling back "OK! OK! Next Exit we will eat!" but continue to pass exit after exit, until their belly aching becomes too much for anyone to handle.... Yesterday, the 99 restaurant in Topsham was the latest victim of the Richardson Family.
The boys jump out of the van with a full level of energy from having just napped for the last 3 hours of driving. As I pull Joey from her seat I realize that she has been a busy girl and there is a rather large mess spread up her back, down her legs, and soaking threw her clothes. Of course her clothes are in the bottom of the suitcase, in the bottom stack of things thrown into the back of the van in a hasty "lets just shut the door quickly" packing job hours before.
While I dig everything out of the back and spread it across the parking lot, Nate does his best to hold Joser at a safe distance from him body while making sure the boys don't dart into the road.
Clothes found, we head for the restaurant.
Keeping Joey a full arms length away from myself, I enter quickly bipass the "seating person lady" and head right for the bathroom... 45 wipes later, Joey is cleaned and in new clothes, we join the boys at our table.
We have to get a booth so that we are able to corner the kids between us and the wall... this however is a catch 22 because booth's are always back to back with other booths. Giving the perfect opportunity for Calvin to throw his fork, food, napkins (and even once a salt shaker) into the booth seat of the other table. Wesley crawls from one side of the table to the other (under the table of course) always hitting his head on the way up which results in spilt drinks and Calvin taking a break from disturbing the other table to follow suit.
Nate is focused on the 34 TV's surrounding our table and is always 3 levels too loud with his disappointment or excitement, while half out of his seat, on which ever sporting event is being played.
And I sit, with a baby happily bouncing on my lap, yelling at the boys to stop doing whatever it is they are doing, being judged by the old ladies who have come for their early Sunday dinner, drinking my beer.
Finally the food comes and things start to settle... at least settle to Calvin "RAAAAR"ing at everyone who walks by, Wesley encouraging him by being the look out, Nate causing everyone to jump and the plates to rattle by hitting the table when the Patriots throw an incomplete pass and Joser enjoying the acoustics the restaurant give her high pitched squeals of delight.
Fortunately for others, we don't eat out very often! On the upside my hips say 'thank you' to them for never offering for us to stay for dessert.