If you can't go to McDonald's. . .

James took Monday and Tuesday off. But I hardly saw him because I got hit out of nowhere with a stomach bug. So did Wil. So James' time off which was meant to afford us some catch up time turned into him playing nurse and us hardly seeing each other. So last night before he had to teach a class on apologetics the boys and I met him for a quick bite at McDonald's near the university. We picked McDonald's because it is kid friendly, fast, and cheap - three cheers for the dollar menu! And normally it is a crowd pleaser.

Last night we arrived to find that Timothy had somehow managed to spill his milk from his sippy cup all over his shirt. I mean he was drenched(!) as I had filled his Nalgene cup (if, btw, you are in the market for a sippy cup you should check into these, we love them) to the max before we left home. So James took his shirt off in an attempt to dry it with the bathroom hand dryer while I got the boys settled in.

Please let me paint you the picture. I am still looking rough from my previous days illness. Cargo pants with flip flops and a button down shirt over a tank top, no make-up, air-dryed hair - which is bad news letmetellya! and here I am with a shirtless Timothy and a shoeless Wil (flat out forgot to put shoes on him) both of which are very unhappy about having to sit in high chairs rather than roam the restaurant. And Luke is playing with the condiment pumps. I am painfully aware of the looks I am receiving from the people in the booth next to our table. When James returns I go up to order for us. As I am in line a few more people come in who have no idea I am with the loud group in the corner. There were two seperate conversations going on about our family. "Are they kidding?" one woman said as Wil's screaming got louder despite James' attempt to quiet him. "Jeez, are they trying to outcry eachother?" another said, and understandably so, as W and T seemed to be in some sort of toddler screaming competition. "Great, just what we want to eat to," it went on. When our food started coming out I ran the first batch to the table so that James could get something in their mouths. Wil with his lightening speed grabbed James' burger just as he unwrapped it and hurled it to the floor. He went on to bat away the hands that were offering him food all the while crying and signing eat. I should mention we have been going through this with food, protest after protest to food that normally is well received. But we really thought a thin, cheap cheeseburger would do the trick. Timothy ate his fine but screamed nonetheless. Why? Because the food wasn't coming fast enough or maybe just to harmonize with Wil, I am not sure.

So that is how it went. We were THAT family. The loud family that others talk about, wondering why we can't control our children. The family that others see coming and switch seats. I get it. I don't want to be around screaming children either. I am generally the parent that removes my child immediately when they get loud. I am usually overly sensitive about disturbing others. But I just didn't have it in me last night. And it was McDonald's! If I can't go there with my non-compliant toddlers where, I ask you, can I go?


Lark said...

Really, you don't go to McD's for a quiet fancy meal.
We were 'that' family at a nice restaurant with 6 other family members for a birthday dinner. They advertised 'always bring the children' on their sign and menus and had a little area with a toy box which I took the whiney children to near the hostess stand. Then a woman procedeed to chew out the hostess because of my noisy kids and how she couldn't believe she was paying so much and couldn't enjoy her meal in peace, never coming back again, etc. The hostess and manager defended me and told her it was a family place and that they didn't want her business if she was going to be so rude. After she stormed out they apologized to me. Whoa!
Thanks for posting this, I just wish everyong had the experience of being 'that' family so that they wouldn't be so smug as to demand that preschool children always be quiet and calm. Sometimes I want to walk up to frazzled moms/dads of 'that' family and tell them I understand.

Grandma Walden said...

You can bring them to Grandma's house anytime!!

Ctina said...

I honestly think I would have said something to the people in line...Something like, "Don't you remember when your kids were this young and you were THAT family? Try some understanding."

I mean I get annoyed with screaming little ones, but I'd never say things out loud just so the parents can hear it.

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