No matter what the case at a restaurant is however, it's usually contained to the little circus area known as "our table"...until Sunday.
My parents were visiting over the weekend and we all went to church on Sunday morning. After the service, Mom and Dad thought it would be a nice treat to go out to eat. Thinking that the odds were in our favor with four adults to four kids, we agreed.
The meal actually went well. The restaurant's service was fast and impressive and the food was excellent. It was so nice to sit and not have to cook or clean. My husband and I kept mouthing to each other, "The kids are being Great!" We had them staggered throughout the four of us so that they couldn't touch, pinch or breathe on each other throughout the meal. Genius.
I swear I even felt the stares from the tables around us and heard whispers of, "Look at those kids...so well behaved. How sweet?" There was a new feeling of restaurant pride that came over me. One that was short lived.
About thirty minutes into the meal, our three year old daughter announced that she had to go potty. Why is it that anytime we're in public the kids think it's the "coolest thing" to use the bathroom? I don't know, but there we were. My husband and I almost broke out into a game of "rock, paper, scissors" to decide who had to take her, but I ultimately got the nod.
I've learned that the difference between boys and girls is huge when venturing into a public restroom. With boys, they don't have to touch anything. Literally. They can just get in and get out with a hand wash and they're good to go. It's not so easy with girls. I've tried everything from the "hanging over the toilet" approach with her, to the "put toilet paper all over the seat" trick. No matter what I do, it only seems to make it worse. Her little hands touch every square inch of the toilet as she tries to sit. I don't want to be a germ freak or anything, but, ugh.
This time around, I decided to go with the "hanging over the toilet" until her big eyes looked up at me as she said, "Mommy, I have to go poopy." (You have GOT to be kidding me.) "Oh, Baby Girl, we're almost done with lunch, so how about we go home and go there, okay?!" "No, Mommy. I have to go poopy now."
Here we go. I stood her up, covered the seat with toilet paper so that it looked like a marshmallow, then sat her back down. She was right. She really had to go. When she was done, we washed our hands and she smiled saying, "Let's tell Grammie that I went poopy! I'm a big girl and I went poopy!" (Can you see where this is going?) As soon as we opened the door from the bathroom, she hit the ground running. "I WENT POOPY! GRAMMIE! I WENT BIG POOPY!!! I'M A BIG GIRL AND I WENT POOPY!!!"
Forks were put down on plates, you could see the collective appetites of an entire restaurant simply fade away. It's a funny thing about eating, you usually don't want to think about bodily functions, even from a three year old. A few parents snickered at her excitement, but for the most part, it took a little while before things seemed to resume back to normal with the general appetite of the room.
All in all, it was a nice outing. I can't help but think that as the kids get older it should become a little easier to do though. I don't think that I'll ever be able to go to that restaurant again however, without a little smile on my face no matter how many years go by.
I'll always picture that three year old little curly haired girl in her church dress, running back to our table and taking the hearts (and stomachs) of everyone else with her.