Tonight, we thought it would be a keen idea to head to Jim-n-Nick's for an early dinner. So far so good. It's the details that always bury me.
We had six adults and four kids (all in highchairs). Except they were one highchair short, so Big E was relegated to a booster seat. (Key ominous music).
What's that nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach? Oh, it's just the unshakable feeling that dinner was going to be a world-class disaster.
And. It. Was.
The key to an enjoyable time with Big E is containment.
Whether it be in a shopping cart, highchair, or stroller, as long as he is locked and loaded, I have the upper hand. This is my only weapon. Without containment, I'm dead.
I placed Big E in his booster seat. He eyes the delicious muffins the server placed in front of him. I tell him to go ahead. He begins his muffin bender. He is quiet and I feel myself starting to relax.
As our friends begin arriving, Big E gets excited. I can't blame him. I love our friends, too. But it is just too much for my three year old.
He begins to slide down out of his seat. I lean over, grab his elbow, and threaten that we are going to leave if he doesn't stay put. This works for the time being, but he is hot to get out of his seat and properly greet all of his friends.
I roll my eyes and let out a frustrated sigh as he slinks his way down to the floor. He is under the table.
But he is quiet, and aside from the occasional leg rub, he isn't bothering anyone. In fact, he is entertaining Baby S.
He makes his way to the other end of the table and crawls out. Now he IS in the way.
We ask him to sit back in his seat.
Of course, he politely refuses.
Mr. Yoy grabs his arm and takes him to the car. They sit out there for about 15 minutes while Big E calms down.
The food arrives and Mr. Yoy and Big E come back to the table. Big E picks at his dinner, although I'm not surprised, given the amount of muffins he put down when we first walked in.
Big E and Little E begin to fight over crayons. Big E wants to get up. I, again, explain that if he can't sit, we are leaving. I count to three. He ignores me.
I grab the keys, Big E's arm and we are out the door...again. And this time for good. We wait out the remainder of the meal in the car.
After reading this you are probably thinking, well that sounds horrible.
But that wasn't really the bad part.
He had a Grade-A, full-on, ape-sh*t meltdown once I strapped him in the car. It lasted about twenty minutes.
I'M HUNGRY! I'M HUNGRY! I WANT TO EAT DINNER! I'M HUNGRY!
I ignore him. I know he just wants to go back inside. He ate enough bread to survive for about three days without another meal.
He fluttered his legs back and forth like he was trying to swim his way out of his car seat.
Good lord, where is Mr. Yoy?
Big E is crying, sweating, kicking.
MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY!
I turn the lights on and glance at him in the rear view mirror.
How is this little monster my sweet baby boy? When did this happen? How can I have such conflicting feelings of love/hate/frustration/anger/sympathy all at once?
I HAVE TO PEE!
What a manipulator! I ask him if he really has to go. He does.
I pull him out of his car seat and he makes on his portable potty. I'm mildly impressed that he expressed the need to use the potty in the middle of his Academy Award winning performance.
I'M SLEEPY! I WANT TO DRIVE HOME!
Mr. Yoy and Little E make their way to the car. It begins to rain.
As we head towards home, Big E makes small talk in an attempt to extend an olive branch.
LOOK, THERE'S DADDY'S BUILDING!
THERE ARE THREE GAS STATIONS!
THE LIGHT IS GREEN!
Even though I'm disgusted by his behavior, I feel a smile creeping onto my face. I realize what he is trying to do. Mr. Yoy implores me to stay strong.
Once we are home, bed and bath time are pretty uneventful. As Mr. Yoy and I tucked Big E in for the night, I leaned over to kiss him good night.
He looked at me with his angelic face and said in his hoarse voice:
MOMMY, I'M SORRY I WENT UNDER THE TABLE.
And just like that. He had me wrapped around his little finger. Again.
I can never stay mad at him. I try. But I can't. I love him too much.