Ha! No, we didn't secretly sneak off to Australia for our vacation. Instead, we finally decided to take Michael out to dinner at our local Outback Steakhouse. For all the trouble, we should have just gone to Australia.
We have taken Michael out to dinner plenty of times, but Outback is a logistical nightmare for us. Our area has a shortage of cookie cutter, chain restaurants and has a large population of people that are willing to wait for over an hour to eat a less than amazing steak. The thought of waiting outside a restaurant for an hour with a curious two year old is about as appealing and shooting myself in the head with a staple gun. I can't even imagine what kind of hell would await us when we did finally get a seat.
Well, last evening, Michael woke up from his nap early enough for us to head over and give it a try. Trains? Check! iTouch? Check! I think we are good to go.
We timed it perfectly. We were able to get a seat right away. Michael has been pretty good sitting in a both, so we decided to pass on the high chair. That was not one of the better decisions I've ever made.
I was impressed with the service. Our waiter was very prompt, and he acknowledged Michael from the beginning (and the special issues that parents of toddlers have). He made sure to get our drinks for us right away. I routinely bribe Michael with sweet drinks at restaurants to buy us a little time, so I didn't think anything of ordering him fruit punch, until I saw that the lid to the toddler cup wasn't like the one's at the other restaurants we've gone to. It was one of those thin, soda cup type tops. Andy asked me, "Did you bring the sippy cup?"
No. No I did not. And I will never do that again. And, you all know why. Because, the first thing that Michael did was picked it up and spilled it all over himself. And the seat. And my butt. If he had been in a highchair, it would have spilled on the floor. But he wasn't in the highchair, so I got it all.
I wiped him up, blotted my tush, and acted like nothing had happened. I then battled with him through out the meal to keep him from tilting that stupid cup up again. I really wish he would figure out the whole straw concept.
The waiter was great. He even asked if we wanted Michael's food fast to keep him happy. We said no. Why bother. He may eat a few fries and take a bite of the grilled cheese, so no real distraction there.
Now, the women sitting in the booth behind us, that was a distraction. I had to wrestle him back into his seat about 50 million times, and he still managed to grab a hold of the cord for the blinds at one point. Another time he managed to drop one of his trains IN the woman's hair. At which point we considered slinking out of the restaurant. So, when Michael crawled under the table to play for a few minutes we just left him there.
He did not even acknowledge his food when it arrived. I don't even know why we waste the money. I guess I'm still hoping that one day he will actually eat. He did, however, engage me in several wrestling matches while I was trying to eat my food. It was awesome.
Oh, but we did figure out how to end things on a good note. Carrot Cake. Very yummy carrot cake. Which Michael just about pounced on when the waiter brought it out. Yes, the child that didn't even seem to notice that food was on our table during dinner, was all over the cake. Little stinker.
As soon as the cake was gone, I escaped with Michael...fruit punch covered butts and all. Andy paid and we got out of there as quickly as we could. As we were driving home, Andy said, "That didn't go too badly." And sadly, I had to agree, because I know it could have been much worse.