Thursday, September 23, 2004

The Big Red Bird. Named Robin

Tonight, we went to Red Robin...I actually recall making the comment as we stepped inside, "we haven't been to a restaurant for awhile...*chuckle* I guess we will see how it goes, it will decide whether or not we can start going again". You see, when you have children, the whole world of restaurants become almost non-existent. You become very familiar with nuggets, fries and a drive thru. With a baby its not so bad..its when they hit that wonderful age of 1. They no longer sit and and enjoy the surroundings, they move, they throw things, they want down, they cry, they scream, they make a mess. You shudder when someone suggests something other then "fast". You warn all involved that it may not be pleasant.

Ok, so we decided to test our luck. Thank goodness it was just my other half and our offspring. It starts out well, we sit, the princess is happily coloring on the menu they gave her. The prince sits in his carseat next to me, intrigued with the little coaster I gave him. Can this be? I took a sigh of relief...can we actually step foot back in restaurants that their food doesn't come in a wrapper?

Well, not on Thursday nights. Guess who made his grand appearance? yes, Mr Red Robin himself. The bird came out for a meet and greet. A parade around the table and chairs. You are thinking to yourself.. 'OH, NO. She is afraid of the bird. I bet she screamed.' Well, you are wrong. She LOVES that bird. She starts frantically waving at him from across the room. Screaming over and over again in toddlerese...something only other 2 year olds can understand. She was ecstatic. You would think it was The Wiggles, or Dora the famous Explorer. So I take her over to him, she runs and hugs his legs. Giggling endlessly, she blows him kisses, dances, and waves. It was so very sweet, customers were ahhing, and oohing. Commenting to me how adorable she is.

Well, thats when the cute ends and the toddler begins. It was time for the bird to move on, and for us to sit and eat our food, and that was unsatisfactory for the princess, she disagreed with mommys decision. Screaming and pleading her case in a different language, I take her back to our chairs. Her father rejoins us, and she calms herself but continues yelling across the room to the bird. "Hey bird, hey bird, hey bird" waving like crazy. Once normal giggles, have now turned into a high pitched screetch... even worse when she realizes the bird is ignoring her pleas. She wasn't doing anything wrong technically. She was just excited to see the bird. We tried to explain to her what a quiet voice meant and how he had to visit other boys and girls, but at 2, you don't understand. You think the world is ending because the bird isn't giving you 100% attention. A teenage girl, turned and shot me the look of death, she asked our waitress if she and her mother could move far, far away from this child. Right then and there, I cursed her with having a high maintenance child 100 times worse then what she was seeing. She deserves it, come on girly, learn some patience! So shortly after, I apologized to the waitress and I asked if we could eat outside. So there we are, the only couple eating on the deck, with our two children. Why? Because my child was interrupting people, with her excitement over a person in a bird suit. She continued her cries to get back inside to see the bird while we sat at the metal table. The whole time we were out there, she tried opening the door to get back to the bird, she laid on the ground and cried, she waved to the door as if he was on the other side, looking back at her. We finished our meal, paid and went on our way. As we walked back through to get to the car, she scanned the area for her idol. You could tell she was trying to spot him. He was out front, she waved again several times, gave him a high five, and then cried her big alligator tears, as we walked away from him to get in the car.

We wondered what people were thinking, "Oh..I feel sorry for them, how embarrassing" or , "wow, they have a lot of patience" or maybe even "I remember those days". I am sure all of the above. But what can you do? Its life, and with a toddler thats what happens. You learn not to go to Red Robin on Thursdays. You also learn that meals in a box are called 'happy' for a reason.

By the way, the prince, he was fine..the life of a baby...give him a coaster and he will be happy forever. :)


jenniferbf said...

That was a great story that you MUST share with the princess one day. She will laugh and beg you to tell her again.

I feel as you do about anything that isn't "fast" food! FEAR!!

Erin said...

hee hee... this is what I have to look forward to in about six months I suppose. (my six-month-old is so EASY in restaurants right now!)

By the way, at least you got Red Robin's yummy, bottomless fries, right? ;)

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