Updated: Jun 23
For some odd reason, I thought it would be a good idea to go to lunch with my newborn and toddler. The hostess sat us back in a corner of the restaurant and I thought it was perfect for being tucked away in case the kiddies decided to cause a scene. However, just 2 minutes later she sat two separate large parties right next to us. I just took a deep breath and went along with it.
Being alone with two kids, I had to leave Makenzie at the table with a paint app on my phone and I took Brayden with me to get food. I nursed Brayden in between trips to the buffet line, because babies only get hungry when it’s time for mama to eat, right?!
Things went well for first round of food. It was during the second round that things took a turn. Makenzie decided to put her hands in her cup and swirl the water around. Knowing that this was a sure precursor to the cup being knocked to the ground, I gave her a warning and informed her I would take the cup if she didn’t stop. In true two-nager form, she didn’t stop and I had to make good on my promise. Then comes the meltdown. Folks are staring pretty hard and my attempt to deescalate the situation was unsuccessful. She really wanted to drink her concoction of sweet and sour sauce-water.
By this time, my inner “it’s time to go” bell is ringing. I quickly caught the attention of the server and let her know I was ready to pay. As you can see, my wallet is on the table, because when you go eat with kids, especially alone, you must have your wallet readily accessible, in case of a necessary emergency exit. One simply does not let the waiter hand you a bill and walk away, because trust me, the kids will pull out all the shenanigans in that short 3 minutes of waiting for the server to return.
I paid our bill and got up out of there. Oh, but my troubles were not over. When entering the garage to park, the arm at the gate entrance went up as soon as I approached it. In any other situation, this means parking is free. Nope. Not this time. I approached the gate to exit and when the arm didn’t raise I knew had done something wrong. I put the car in reverse and see a sign, in German of course, attached to a machine that looks like it takes coins. I had no clue what this sign said, but I threw some Euro coins in the slot and the arm still doesn’t budge.
There is now another car pulling up behind me. I get his attention and thankfully he also spoke English. He sees that I was putting Euro coins in the machine and tells me I was supposed to grab a special coin from the restaurant to get out. We look at each other stumped for a moment. I was so embarrassed, but there was no way I was going to park again, unload both kids from the car and go back up the elevator to the restaurant to get a silly coin and reload the kids back in the car!
The nice man walks over to another machine at the exit gate and starts pressing buttons. I am praying HARD at this point. Thankfully whatever he did caused the gate arm to raise. I gave him a hearty “danke schön” (thank you kindly) and gratefully pull off.
Unfortunately, I was still not out of the way of problems. We were out way past nap time and I knew we had to get home before Makenzie fell asleep. With just 5 minutes left in my drive, I heard snoring. Makenzie was knocked out! Thankfully, for the win of the day, I was able to transfer her to bed for a good nap. I then took a nice break to eat pretzels with Nutella and catch up on the Bachelorette!
While the afternoon was not necessarily peaceful and relaxing, it was still precious time spent with my babies and I got to enjoy good food. As parents, we can’t let our kids deter us from doing the things we love. It would be so easy to stay home and never go to lunch with kids, but I refuse to do that. Life must still happen, even with kids. It just looks a little different. So, meet up with that friend. Go shopping. Take that trip. Go to lunch.