The Kamakazi Toddler and Other Adventures in Eating Out with Kids

We went to the Dosa Factory restaurant

with a very good old friend

and our seven kids.

They were very good:

one napped quietly and the others played card games like “Go Fish”

and set up their Littlest Pet Shops on the lazy Susan

to show our sweet friend

who expressed genuine delight.

They sat in their seats and were very good indeed…

except the toddler

who played musical chairs

and repeatedly catapulted himself off his high chair,

grinning delightedly under his cropped golden mop:

“Wheee! Whahoo! Wheee!”

Of course the encouraging smiles of the surrounding people

just added fuel to the fire

and when he hid under the table

it wasn’t in shame but in jest…

he was playing house!

It was all well and good until he spilled water all over his pants

and decide to strip down, then and there, in the high chair….

and then bolt–laughing!–

as Daddy followed in hot pursuit.

After being bribed with “Coffey” (sweet milky chai tea)

he temporarily settled back into his high chair

(now in his pants again…which were only pjs…but still)

and sipped his drink off a spoon with relish:

“It’s yummy, Mama; it tastes GOOD!”

And while all this went on

we ate mutter paneer dosa, and chicken korma and naan

and talked faith and philosophy,

the importance of being yourself

and why the little things matter,

and I nursed the baby

and bounced her as she cooed and giggled

those new little laughs

that are like spring flowers

meeting with the world for the first time

to share their loveliness.

And once the kids escaped their seats

and scampered about eating fennel seed candy,

we settled up and walked home in the slight rain

to the scent of June roses

perfuming the grey evening with hope

and splashes of colour.

Some long days…

Some long days the baby cries

and the toddler screams

and the 5 year old seems to have

ants in his pants

and a megaphone around his neck.

Some long days

the toddler won’t nap

and the phone rings five times

during the quiet-time movie

and it seems nothing can wait

for you to just chill out and relax

for just an hour…even half an hour!

Some long days

the boys fill your kettle with pencil crayons

and draw on the bathroom door

and the baby wakes up

as soon as you begin the math lesson

and everyone moans and groans

and forgets how to round to the nearest ten.

Some long days you hit dinner time

with a sense of desperation…

“How long till bed?!”

and sing along to “The Muppets” soundtrack

in an attempt to feel that you’ve got

“Everything that I need, right in front of me.”

Some long days

the smartest thing you do

is have a glass of wine with dinner

and veto everything but laughter

as you listen to stories from the Vinyl Cafe

with the kids

who delight in the one

when Dave gets trapped in a sewer

after dropping down his keys

and gets mistaken for a monster by a little boy.

Some long days

the greatest relief is the feeling of your toddler

drooling on your shoulder

as you rock him to sleep early, to prevent any more fits.

Success! The little beast is quiet…

and you can actually read the others

“The Never-Ending Story” about Atreyu and Bastian,

the luck dragon Falcor and the childlike Empress,

until their eyes close and their breath gets deep and even.

Despite all the chaos,

all they’ll probably remember about today is

listening to stories with you

and falling asleep on the warmth of your lap.

Some long days

when the hours drag on,

remember you’re not alone

and try to end them with a smile…

Just keep picturing diving into bed

and sinking into the sweet relief of sleep!

Some long days, mamas,

you gotta keep your eye on the prize!

awake

In the dim, dark house

the furnace rumbles and blows

breathy hellos into the corner of each room.

In this airy darkness

I try to lie still

while my toddler—

having made his nocturnal migration

into my bed—

sleeps beside me.

The baby in my belly wiggles 

and flutters, 

hoping for a snack.

Such a boy…

not yet born

and already wanting breakfast before dawn.

How small I am, Lord

How small I am, Lord,

like a little toddler stumbling along 

and insisting on doing it “self.”

But when I get so exhausted that

I have to sit down and cry,

I find myself scooped up in Your loving arms.

You’ve made me this small so You can carry me

tenderly and cover my scrapes with kisses….

gestures of affection from all those around me,

whose warmth and wisdom protects me

from the silliness of trying

to travel this journey alone. 

I am tiny

so others can have the chance

to be messengers of Your mercy—

angels of Your love.

Help me always to trust

that every time I fall

You’ll be there to comfort me

with a love even sweeter than before.

  

Boys are like puppies…

Puppies need lots and lots of affection.

Puppies love to nap. 

Puppies like to play with other animals.

Puppies love treats and getting messy.

Puppies enjoy being taken for walks.

Puppies like to play on the floor.

Puppies delight in popping out of funny places like boxes. 

Puppies love big sticks.

If any of you are puppy owners, you’ll surely agree they are sweet, loyal and a little sticky, and make you feel very, very loved!

Quotes from the Peanut Gallery #2

Multitasking:

Me: Can you cut this paper dolly out for your sister?

6 yr old: Sure. I have time to do lots of things, but not time to do lots of things at the same time.


Weather Report:

4yr old: “Mommy the clouds turned purple. The clouds turned purple because they are angry that it’s not raining anymore.”


Royal Duties:

While training her 4 year old sister to be a polite princess, my 7 year old explained why the 3 year old couldn’t join in and be a queen.

“Because queens are really old, and it’s boring…actually it’s a lot of work. You have rule a village, and to sit on a bench all day and read newspapers…and eat chocolate all day until you get sick.”

“What if it tasted like coffee chocolate?” piped up the 4 year old. “That would be awful.”

“I wanna be a princess and dance!” moaned the distraught toddler.

Mouth Mumbles:

3 year old: “He has an ice cream lipstash…”