One fine Christmas Break day we were cruising in the mini van and out of the window Rhett saw with great excitement "the place with the grapes."
Known to most people as the Olive Garden.
Rhett claimed to have fond memories of feeling like family and their breadsticks. Rad is pretty much part Italian with his love of pasta. We haven't taken the boys to a real restaurant (or Olive Garden) in...a year? Longer? What we loved about the idea of taking the boys to Olive Garden was not the food (sorry. but the kids love it...so there's that) but that it was a real restaurant but not the fanciest joint on the block.
Jake and I felt super optimistic about publicly breaking bread as a family but we should have known not to do it the evening we did. Take a 5 year old a 2 1/2 year old and a 9 month old...both of the latter who hadn't napped to dinner? IN A RESTAURANT WITH OTHER PEOPLE IN IT?! But no, we did it anyway. I really wanted to have a family bonding moment, so we took the chance. It did not work out in our favor.
We kew it was bad when the boys start to get cranky before we even ordered and Jake and I sat there and wondered if we should just abandon ship right from the get go. But we felt bad, they had already brought bread sticks and water and man I REALLY wanted some bottomless salad of a sudden, so we forged ahead, blindly ignoring the pretty blatant warning signals Beck and Rad were sending out like the bat signal to get the F out of there before they changed into terrible toddler monsters. The guy waiting on our table had some special waiter sixth sense and even warned me that we should just order our unlimited soup and salad combos immediately because "it would take a while" and we did, and we were locked in. But we did ask the him to bring the boy's food AS SOON AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE because maybe that would buy us some time.
And within the first 15 minutes...
- Beck turbo-ed himself into a salad bowl sending lettuce to places lettuce shouldn't be which scared his little soul to death.
- Rhett loudly declared that Rad's spaghetti was "the grossest thing EVER."
- Rad showed off his stellar eating manners.
^^^ I love how our 2 year old can figure out how to work the TV remote, but can't find his mouth while eating spaghetti.
- They continued to spill and drop stuff. A lot.
- Beck continued to realize the world is a scary place and was only happy chewing on my hair.
- Rhett got distracted by organizing the sugars and was deeply effected when Rad commandeered all the breadsticks...the soul reason Rhett had wanted to go the place with the grapes.
- Rhett punched Rad to "teach him a lesson" about stealing a man's breadsticks.
- A new waitress stopped by to ask if we "needed anything" and her long hair wooed Rhett into offering this pick up line "Hey girl, I can write my whole name...with lowercase letters. Does that impress you?"
And before that relationship could steamify we did a hasty clean up, left a generous tip, offered the practiced "Apologetic Parent Face" ( You know the one. The one that is sort of like a facial shrug, like "I'm really sorry, I know my child is being loud but I am a good parent and I will try to remedy this ASAP.") and herded everyone out to the car.
Oh...but first me made Rad turn in the "your table is ready" beepers which he almost kelpto-ed which lead to a high-knee-run-in-place-and-then-collapse-tantrum in front of the hostess desk.
Rhett hoped his waitress love interest wasn't watching the shenanigans.
Bonus: Rhett shared that the breadsticks weren't his favorite after all on the drive home.
L to the O to the ironic L.