We generally try and eat out at least once a week, more just so we can get out of the house at night rather than because of any desire to eat someone else’s cooking. And thanks to a co-worker having left me a coupon for a BOGO meal at a local seafood and chicken grillery (Boneheads), I was all up for a night of dining out!
We got there around 6:30 and I was surprised to see that the restaurant was packed with mature Americans; you know…not as young as us, but not as old as say, my parents. There really weren’t any young couples and I think we were the only ones with kids. But the boys were being good thus far so I wasn’t too concerned.
As I ordered, CareerMom took the boys and found a booth near the back of the restaurant, which afforded a little bit of running room in case MLE got antsy and needed to get out of his highchair before the rest of us were done eating.
I looked around to see what we’d have to contend with should one of the boys start being annoying and just to our immediate left was a couple of male “partners”, and in the booth immediately behind us was an older bunch talking politics. As I’m pretty sure they were democrats, I wasn’t too concerned about MLI getting rowdy and interrupting them, but just in case they had found their good sense and come over to the Red state side, I was prepared for immediate admonishment.
The food arrived and we divvied up the kids’ meal between the two. It was popcorn fish bites, corn on the cob, a choco-chip cookie and a juice box. Everyone was happy.
About five minutes into our meal, MLE started waving for something to drink. CareerMom handed him the juice box and with a mouth full of popcorn fish, he started slurping away.
First came a little cough.
Then a bigger cough.
Then his face started turning red.
Then he made a little gagging noise.
Then he started coughing some more and making louder gagging noises.
By this time, every table within a 10-yard radius was staring at us!
Now, MLE has this habit of puking whenever he starts coughing really bad, so I had pre-emptorily grabbed his bib and was holding it up in front of his face.
But the gagging continued!
Finally, CareerMom grabbed him and took off muttering, “I’m going to take him to the bathroom,” which was a well-planned mere eight feet away.
Sitting there, I realized the restaurant had gone silent. I was so embarrassed that I didn’t even look around. I knew they were all looking. So I again did what I did at the pool the other night; I blamed the kid!
Making it look like a teaching moment, I told MLI who was still sitting there (in a loudish voice), “That’s what happens when you try and drink with your mouth full.”
With my head lowered towards my plate, I raised my eyes and took a peek around. Most everyone had gone back to their eating, so we had not apparently ruined anyone’s dinner. A couple of minutes later, CareerMom came back with MLE who had miraculously gotten past the choking episode without puking and we quickly finished off our meals and hurried out the door.
It just goes to show you that you can never rest with kids. Even when you’ve planned everything out to the nth degree, something will always happen. But I’ve found that few things can’t be fixed with a few wet wipes.