Date night is so much different with two little ones. We are visiting family and had a craving for yummy steak, so we decided that we would hit up our local steak house. What used to be a night of relaxed conversation over wine, now had a much different landscape. The first sign that we were in a different life stage was when the complimentary bread came out. This nice warm loaf used to be split, two pieces each, and we were able to enjoy it while it was still warm and butter freshly melted on top. This evening, I attempted to grab a piece but the baby noticed my desire for carbs and squawked at me to feed her first. Okay, okay…sure babies first, I got it. But each time I turned back to the loaf, more pieces were gone and a trail of crumbs existed, leading straight to the other little one chewing away loudly. There were still two pieces left…so hope was still alive.
The baby was not a focused eater and created a new challenge in trying to feed her while she turned her head back and forth, staring at everyone around us like a nosey neighbor. I thought for a brief moment that she was done, but that was a mistake. It was as if she had some teleconnetic connection to the food container because the moment I put it down, her head jolted back to look at me. In the same moment she smacked the table with her hand and let out a “Ma!” How dare I? I looked at her and with faked confidence told her, “you’re not the boss of me!” Seeing that there was only a piece and a half left, I took a chance and buttered up that half piece before it disappeared and then went back to feeding the hangry, people watching, windmill.
Chewing on the bread that I had been longing for that whole time, I realized the magic was gone. This whimsical ritual of warm bread before a fancy meal had been sabotaged by a small child who had taken the majority of the bread off the piece and discarded the crust back onto the plate for her servant parents enjoy. She’s thoughtful that way.
Our drink orders came and we pretended to be normal adults again as my wife sipped her wine and I sipped my beer. Unfortunately, those sips were about as far as we got before we had to juggle the various rejected items on our little Wonder Women’s appy plate. How dare they give her dip with her celery and carrot sticks. After the ranch crisis of 2018, she then focused on the fact that there was green in her plate. With a look of bewildered annoyance, she proceeded to take a sample bite of the celery before immediately poo pooing it and selflessly handing it over to her sister to chew on. The baby did not mind the added chew options, however she did have her own personal food standards which appeared to involve a timer. Like clockwork, after a few minutes of content chewing, examining and chewing again, the vegetables sticks clearly hit some predetermined expiry and were tossed on the ground in a neat little pile under her seat. I’m not sure what we did to get such incredible food connoisseurs, but we did!
Like any family dinner time, we allowed a whole millisecond of appreciation for the delicious food on our plates before downing it like we were going to be late for formation. Baby Arrow was losing her patience and the next step in the How to Amuse Your Small Child Guide would be to pick her up. Knowing she is grabby mcgrabberson, I prepared my immediate vicinity and then performed the half get up method to lean over and pick her up. Although it sounds like this is the half ass method of getting her, there is in fact a solid point of commitment to the maneuver. You see, you have to prepare yourself for the counterbalance so the moment you decide you are ready to pick the kid up, there is no turning back. If you pick up the kid and then abort, you will bail, your kid will bail and everyone in the restaurant would take pictures and publicly shame you on FB or whatever young person platform there is these days. Luckily, I am confident in this maneuver. Maybe more confident considering what happened next.
The steps were executed flawlessly. The weight transfer/balance was smooth and the intended purpose had been completed. Arrow was in my hands and my butt was now securely on my seat, but then tragedy struck. Once I realized what had happened, a look of despair went across the table to my wife. She saw this look and countered with a confused head tilt before scanning our surroundings and then identifying the threat. Her head then tilted the other way and a compassionate smile came across her face. Like any trained spotter, she had observed the darkness on little Arrow’s black shirt. It was at this same moment that I noticed the cute little face in front of me had been waiting in anticipation for that very discovery. A giant smile was now beaming as she knew that my fingers were moistened by her efforts and once again she dutifully delivered for her poop enthusiast parents.
I gathered my tools and made the long march across the restaurant with the stinky poop machine in tow. As I stood there, having to perform a full wipe down and wardrobe change, I couldn’t help but smile. Not only did I have a very happy baby smiling up at me, but I just realized how different our lives have become. Previous date nights did not involve this much poop…if it did, we wouldn’t be going back to that restaurant! But now, it was a risk no matter where we are or what we are doing because cute kids bring a ton of shit with them 😂.
I stood in front of the door mentally preparing for the walk back. As I came around the corner to the dining area, I felt like every parent turned to look. It was completely obvious what happened. Arrow had been wearing a black shirt and jeans when we went toward the washroom (of course everyone looked at her! She is flipping adorable and distracting.). Now she was sporting a white shirt with pink trim and some very fashionable cat pants. I walked this way and that through the maze of people, trying to just get back to my table. My apprehension and anxiety slowly turned to acceptance and confidence as it was as if every parent that looked my way was giving me the nod. The nod of compassion, and understanding. The nod of great job! A record pit crew couldn’t have completed that swap as efficiently as me. The fact is that we as parents put so much pressure on ourselves and the fact is that our kids just poop all over that….literally. As always, I would have loved a high five on my way back, but not everyone is as cool or as weird as me…
Maybe we can try another date night and maybe, just maybe, the kids won’t poo poo the whole thing😁.