For some strange reason I often ask Michael what he wants for dinner. I don't know why. He always answers dinosaur noodles or nothing. But, I keep asking hoping that maybe he'll ask for grilled chicken, potatoes, and green beans. Yeah right.
So, I asked him on Saturday and I actually got a different response. "I want to go to a restaurant."
Oh. You do?
The first thing that came to mind was the really bad night last fall when we tried to take Michael out to dinner. The night when I had to inhale my food while Andy kept Michael from tearing the place apart. The night when Andy carried his untouched meal out in a box while I hauled Michael out in a foot ball clutch. The night when Andy and I swore never to take Michael out to dinner again.
I asked Michael if he was sure he didn't want dinosaur noodles. Nope. Restaurant.
Andy and I exchanged looks. Are we really crazy enough to give this another try?
Why yes, yes we are.
Don't worry, we didn't go completely insane. We decided to go to Panera, which has pretty low dinner traffic and is easy to leave in a pinch if necessary.
Michael was pretty good. He did stand up on the seat a few times, but if that's the worst he does, I'm happy. He even ate some of his dinner too, which was even more impressive. Overall, it was a decent evening out. When we were done eating, we even had enough energy left to head to the mall for a little while. I might even be willing to do it again some time.
Later in the evening I was thinking about how difficult Michael can be when we take him out. I was trying to think of times when I've seen other people's 3 year olds making a scene, but I couldn't. I was feeling like a lousy parent until I though a little harder. It's true that I don't see many 3 year olds making scenes, but the more I thought about it, I realized that I don't see a lot of 3 year olds out at all. Maybe the only difference between me and other parents is that I'm crazy enough to try and take my 3 year old out.