(This post is in no way sponsored by anyone, but I threw in the link to the restaurant for any of you local folks who might be interested.)
On the rare evenings that we’re both kid-free, Chris and I usually like to go out for dinner, and we have a few regular places we like to go. One of them is an Irish pub near my house. I happened to notice that they had a special on Tuesdays: $5 for a burger and side, and kids’ meals for 99 cents. I pointed out to Chris this meant that all four of us could eat for about $12, and we were sold.
We went last week, and the kids really liked it. It’s not Chick-Fil-A or McDonald’s, there are no indoor playgrounds, but the food is good, and the kids sat quietly at the table and were very well-behaved the whole time. Plus, the restaurant happens to be next door to a Goodberry’s, so I told them that if they were really good during dinner, we’d walk over there after dinner and get ice cream. What can I say, bribery works really well on both of my kids.
I had told my parents about it, and my dad – the eternal cheapskate – wanted to try out the $5 burger himself. So, last night, since it was a Tuesday, we all went out to eat: me, Chris, the kids, and my parents.
My dad says that it’s impossible to take my kids out to eat because they’re too hyper and won’t sit still, and I wanted to show him that their restaurant behavior is actually very good. To ensure this, I brought along their iPads (yes, they each have their own iPad now, Lucy got a used one on eBay that my parents bought for her and don’t even get me started, I know my kids have no concept of how spoiled they are). And they did really well. They played on their iPads until the food arrived, then they ate their dinner, and then they played on their iPads some more when they were done, so the grown-ups could finish eating and pay the bill. They were both sweet and lovely and we had absolutely zero fights or meltdowns.
I also really like when my parents are around and can see for themselves how crazy the kids are about Chris. Catie gave him a hug the minute he walked in, and Lucy ran to him with her arms up for him to carry her. Lucy sat in between Chris and my dad at the restaurant and spent her time alternately snuggling up on each of them. (Safe to say that Lucy is a very big fan of the dudes in her life.)
We got Goodberry’s after dinner again, because apparently I’ve established that precedent now. When it was time to leave, the kids wanted to ride in my mom’s car instead of mine. I’m not sure what it is, they both love riding with my mom. I call it Mimi’s Magic Minivan. Since my parents live less than 2 miles away from me, my mom said she’d just drive them over to my house & drop them off, so we wouldn’t have any tantrums in the parking lot about getting in my car instead of hers.
And this is where, I found out later, Chris and I got “outed.” While they were driving back to my house, Catie just casually blurted out, “Yeah, Chris spends the night a lot.”
I had told Catie to not mention sleepovers to my dad a few months ago, but as it was pointed out in the comments on that post: it’s a bad idea to tell little kids to keep secrets from grown-ups. I hadn’t said anything about it since then, so it was something that I knew would get out eventually, and it wasn’t entirely surprising that it did.
My dad’s reaction to Catie’s statement was just a simple, “Oh, really?”
My mom called me later to tell me what had happened, in case he brings it up with me later. But since my dad would pretty much sooner die than ask me about my sex life, I’m guessing he probably won’t say anything.
Apparently, though, my dad said to my mom afterward, that dinner had been like what he imagined life would be like when they first started talking about moving to North Carolina, but he thought it’d be Dave at the table.
And I guess at some point, I thought that too. But I’m so, so glad it’s Chris. I can’t really imagine my life any other way.