In celebration of nothing in particular, just because the day was before us, and to make Wife smile and the children grin, I took the family out to breakfast after Sunday Mass; an event that only happens but once a year. Almost everyone was excited, but not #6. He fell to pieces when we turned away from donuts at the back of the church; and he continued to be upset until the gentle sway of the van rocked away his self imposed sorrows.
When we arrived at the restaurant, #6 very nearly had another I-want-a-donut-melt-down. However with the promise of chocolate-chip pancakes, he at last relented and soberly joined his siblings as we trooped in. After only a short wait we were led to our seats, and found ourselves two seats short. Not to worry, no one was left to eat on their feet. Two chairs were quickly robbed from some unsuspecting party who thought they had extra seats; no longer.
Comfortably seated, Wife and I set to work to ordering for the children. Then we set to work assuring the children that their food was indeed on the way. Then I realized that we always seem to be seated in the exact middle of the dining room. More than a few fellow diners seemed to watching our table as if we were the morning’s entertainment. I wanted to stand up and begin shouting, “Yes folks! Step right up! See with your very own eyes, eight children that can not only sit in their chairs until the meal is through, but also use a fork! Step right up!” However, Wife would have seen it as bad form. I remained seated.
At the end of the meal, when Wife was gathering up the leftovers, I looked over at #7, who was my charge this time. There he was, happily scraping gum from under the table. There must be a special place in hell for people who stick chewing-gum under tables; leaving a revolting treat for two year-olds, and a horrible surprise for their parents. It really doesn’t matter how hungry I was; after that, I was finished.
A great big thanks to the anonymous gum-chewer. Over the years, you’ve saved me thousands of dollars. If it wasn’t for you and your booby traps, we might eat out more often.