Is that what we did today or my perpetual state of mind? You be the judge.
I took the kids to lunch today with some friends. First of all, I should make a note that I do enjoy taking them out to restaurants. My kids are very well-behaved, by anyone’s standards. When my husband and I take them out, we all have a lot of fun. I suppose this is because of one of the best pieces of advice I ever read. In one of those child-rearing books that are so popular these days, the author was commenting on restaurant behavior. He said that the children whose parents were really enjoying their company were behaving far better than the kids whose parents were mostly paying attention to each other. When we take the kids out, alone or together, we give them plenty of our attention. This pays off for everyone, including the other (grateful, I’m sure) patrons.
Today was another story. I took them out with three other moms and their kids. I try not to do this, since I know what will happen, even without the aid of a crystal ball or the Psychic Friends Network. What prompted this temporary lapse in good judgment was this morning’s play date. The other moms said they were going out to lunch, would we like to join them. I wasn’t in the mood for the meltdown that would have occurred, in stereo, if I said no. So I agreed to go along.
As predicted, my son kept annoying the boy seated next to him, while my daughter tried to sit on her brother’s head. One of the other moms kept telling my kids to settle down. To be fair, the other boy was definitely baiting my son, but that is no excuse. They somehow managed to eat their lunch, after which my daughter asked for ice cream. Now, I had no intention of buying ice cream, but she did ask nicely. Besides, they had both had a pretty good lunch. So I agreed, of course.
It turned out that was the best decision I made all day. Because the other moms didn’t want to buy ice cream too, they all left. I was alone with my kids at last. It could not have been more fun. We laughed and talked, sharing the ice cream. It was amazing what a difference I saw in their behavior.
Never discount the time spent with these little ones. Even if it’s just cheap ice cream in a semi-fast food restaurant, they’ll thank you for the moments you took to nurture them.