Last night we had a family dinner at Holy Grail restaurant on the other side of town to celebrate the Baptism of my cousin's baby...the 16th great-grandchild. So by "family dinner" I mean 17 adults and 12 kids and not everyone was present.
Andy was still in California on a business trip, so I decided to grab my passport (click East vs West under Cincinnati for explanation), load up the kids and head west all on my own. I knew there would be extra hands available to help me if needed and the kids and I were ready to escape the house.
Here are some highlights of and observations from our evening:
I was willing to attend since the event started at 5 PM. Any later and it would have been a "no-go" due to the 45 minutes between the locations. Early-bird dinners are the way to go for us when we have to drive across town on a "school night".
I'm now sorry I got the kid music CD in my Christmas stocking. Up until Christmas, we NEVER listened to kid music in my van (except for vacation). I refuse to listen to what I'll call "real" kid music - particularly anything sung by something animated. So I got a Laurie Berkner and a Barenaked Ladies CD in my stocking. Cool at first...hey, I wasn't having to hear "Mommy, mommy, can we please listen to our music for once?" nor was I humming along to BARNEY so it was cool. But now I'm about to kill 7 since "7, 8 (ate), 9"...and if I blast-off on another Rocketship Run...anyway, argh. Just might have to lose those CDs to daddy's truck and go back to having to answer questions about lyrics..."Mommy, why's the first cut the deepest?" * I think I was even more pissed to realize probably 10 minutes went by before I realized that I could turn it OFF because both girls fell asleep on the ride there.
I always pack crayons and paper...critical for distraction at the restaurant.
I always pack a snack and/or side item. My side item received much attention = squeezable applesauce. Best. Stuff. Ever. Not the cheapest (although Costco now carries it = YAY!), so my kids only get it on-the-go.
My cousin-in-law was impressed that I trekked out on my own with all three kids. My response, "Are you kidding me? It was that or stay home with them by myself, entertain them, feed them, clean-up after them...get the picture?" Point made.
As a "single-parent" for the night, I ordered food you can easily eat with one hand while holding a baby and managing the meals of two toddlers. My selection = a turkey wrap and steamed veggies.
The kids ordered individual cheese pizzas. They arrived and then I pulled out the scissors. Yep...I pack my own kitchen shears when going to restaurants. Pizza cut into bite-sized pieces in a matter of SECONDS. Ok, so I had to withstand the staring and looks of WTF? So worth it. Thanks kidd-o. Best. Idea. Ever. If only I had time to market the idea and sell them in cute kid colors. But then someone would think they were for kids and some kid would get hurt. And imagine the confusion when kitchen shears starts showing up on people's baby registries...never mind.
All in all, dinner was a success. The kids were entertained and fed. Most importantly, someone else cleaned up!
So...kid music in the car? Yes or No? And what do you never leave the house without?