Friday, February 10, 2012
I used to be that person...you know that person, the married without kids person sitting at a restaurant passing judgement on the parents of the kid having a meltdown (I called it " behaving like a monster" then). Now I know better. Now I am on this side of the fence, at least on most occasions. I post obssesively about the Gherkin on Facebook. I drag her to play dates. I am convinced she is a genius who gets Neruda when I read it to her. But, there are times when I feel like jumping right across the fence to the other side with the Gherkin in tow. And mind you, we have had to leave a restaurant in a hurry because our Gherkin was having a "meltdown". So there, I hope I have established that I know a thing or two about cranky babies.
What are these one of two things, you ask. Well for starters, no kid under the age of five wants to stand in line for his food, for a really long time (and a young ones idea of a really long time usually starts around the 2 minute mark). Case in point: A recent event at Ikea led to marauding hordes lining up at the cafeteria. If you have been to an Ikea you know that the cafeteria line moves really efficiently. Not this time, why?
Because parents with two kids in tow, stood with their wriggling spawn in line and held it up. The youngest babe in arms bawls, the crotchety four year old starts whining. Mom asks four year old what would he like and the angel replies, "chicken fingers and fries".
Mom: "How about some salad?"
Salad...really! Which planet do these people reside on? Which four year old ever picked salad over fried chicken and fries? And seriously if you did not want him to pick then you would have done what half a dozen other sane parents (like your truly) do - deposit the kids and partner at a table and then come get the food.
So now crtochety four year old starts yelping at the idea of being force fed salad while trays of chicken and fries float around. By the time they are at the ordering station they still don't know...they take 15 gazillion minutes to make up their mind, confuse the person handing them their order and make my blood pressure tip over in to the explosive range.
Why? Why? Why? I silently rage. Same thing happens at the lone sandwich place at the National Zoo a few days later. In this case, the parents harassed the person behind the counter for a good ten minutes and then finally settled on a hot dog meal because there weren't many healthy options to begin with. If you want healthy food, pack a picnic for yourselves people!