Friday, September 12, 2014

A Trip to the Pizza Place

A couple of nights ago, the weather was nice, the girls were behaving, and we had a free pizza coupon from the pizza place down the street.  We usually just get take out from this joint, but the girls had been begging for us to walk there to eat in for a while, so we decided to just go for it.

A couple of the girls wanted to ride their bikes and Liz pulled the baby in the wagon. It was idyllic, a moment of parenting perfection: a family night with  all the makings of a "How to be an Awesome Parent" blog post. After all, it involved exercise, a local restaurant, AND a free coupon.  Doesn't that encompass about 85% of all blogs written on the Internet?

Anyway, I decided to take the van down, and ride slowly beside them. That way, I could just leave from there to go out and write.

Well, the way there was pretty unremarkable.  The kids who were riding their bikes, Katie and Caroline, did so excellently. The child who was walking, Annabelle, skipped happily beside me and helped my wife pull the baby, who was buckled sweetly in her wagon.

Then... we sat down at our table.  

Well, the first little hiccup was the baby. She most decidedly did NOT want to sit in the little high chair. There was some screaming and squirming. Then, Liz told Annabelle to go get ONE packet of crackers from the soup and salad bar for Emily.  So of course, Caroline ran over with her.

Kids came back then, with EIGHT packs of crackers, a variety of oyster crackers and saltines. "Just one!" my wife said, "That's all we needed!  Go put the rest back." 

They grabbed four packs from the table and ran back before we could give them the rest, and came back with two.  Oh, well, good enough.

So, then we ordered And waited. It's wasn't that long, but the kids were getting twitchy, and loud. It didn't take long for those cracker packets to disappear.

We were actually sitting in a booth where we could see our bikes and wagon outside the restaurant. So, we could clearly see if would try to steal them.  No one did,  but that didn't stop Annabelle from announcing multiple times that someone had stolen Caroline's bike.  (SIDENOTE: Because Caroline doesn't have a kickstand, it rolled away from Katie's bike. So, it was out of Belle's view, which means that someone had to have stolen it.) However, it never happened. But even after I said this, she kept saying it. I'm not sure why (probably just to antagonize), but it made Caroline upset every time. And then we had to chastise Belle.

Finally the food came. Everyone ate. It was fine. There was a huge mess, but that's to be expected.

Then, we began the journey home...

I got in the van and followed the big girls, who had taken off, Belle running and Katie on her bike.  Liz was with the two little ones.

As soon as Caroline saw the two big ones ride off, she started crying. Hard. "Why are you crying?" my wife asked.  "Belle and Katie won!  They beat me!" she wailed. She has this incredible competitive drive and MUST. WIN. EVERYTHING. (And if the older girls let her win, she still gloats.) 

So, she was wailing and not pedaling her bike, and meanwhile, Katie's shoelace got caught in her bike and she fell off. By this time, the big girls and I were on our little road, that is thankfully low-traffic. I got out of the van and helped her up and untangled her.  Then I thought, where the heck is Liz?  I jumped back in the van and drove back and there she was, trying to help Caroline (who was crying) push her bike. Meanwhile,  the baby was just sitting next to her in the wagon watching it all go down.

I parked the van on the side of the road, jumped out and got Caroline going again. The big girls came back to us and Caroline stopped crying when she saw that she could pass them and WIN. 

We finally made it back to the house.  "What a great time!" Annabelle said.

Yes, it was great. And, getting in the van to drive to Starbucks to write was great too.

1 comment:

  1. Well, 50% seemed really good - that's a good percentage.