We’re feeling a bit tired and lazy and Mr Stress, Mess and Fancy Dress has suggested that it might be nice for me to have a night off from the cooking so we’re going to “the restaurant” as my daughter refers to the Harvester.
Really we find our external catering options are limited to the Harvester and Pizza Hut. These establishments have had the wisdom to provide instant stomach ammunition via an array of wilted salad items and some hard bread rolls. Although a whole bowl of crispy bacon bits probably doesn’t pass as actual food. And crayons, there are always crayons. As soon as we are seated, the diva smiles smugly and commences the very absorbing task of completing the colouring in. As we peruse the menu of deep fried finery, the Incredible Hulk starts eating the crayons. Having successfully covered himself in small chippings of red wax crayon, he starts the important business of wanting to get in and out of the high chair. We haven’t even ordered and I’m starting to wonder if this was the best idea.
We place our order with a smiley middle aged woman who gave us a pitying look as she moved onto the scowling young couple on the table next to us. Part of me feels a bit embarrassed that my now screaming toddler is removing all romance from their evening, but it’s 5.30pm in the Harvester and he’s wearing a track suit, if he thought this was going to get him laid, he is even more stupid than he looks.
Mr Mess Stress and Fancy Dress returns from the salad bar and hands over the food. The Incredible Hulk inhales half a bowl of salad and throws the rest on the floor, then insists, through the medium of tantrum, on vacating the premises until the rest of his food arrives.
I spend the next 20 minutes following him around the garden and wrestling him to the ground to retrieve an old fag butt he was considering eating. Finally the food arrives. We return to our seats.
The young couple are now onto desert, so both the children decide that as the salad has taken the edge off their hunger, they are going to stand firm and refuse to eat their fish goujons in the hope that they will be rewarded with an ice cream sundae. Much pointing and crying at loves young dreams ice cream sundaes now ensues. As we have lost the will to live, their perseverance reaps it’s cold sugary reward.
We now beg for the bill ASAP and leave as soon as humanly possible. In the car we review our restaurant adventure and conclude that we spent £50 to give our kids some lettuce and ice cream for dinner. A personal parenting success no less.
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