Celebrating a Birthday at Chili's: A Diary

August 15, 2017

Today our dear Demolitions Expert turned two-years-old. This is a momentous occasion in a child’s life, particularly with our Demolitions Expert because we weren’t really sure that she would make it this far. Tonight the family celebrated by taking our little toddler and her siblings to Chili’s. I memorialized the occasion by keeping a diary of the experience that I am sure our family can treasure for decades, much like previous generations did old photographs.


As with all my diaries please note that all times are approximate.


5 p.m. Arrive at Chilis. The two-month-old Jedi needs to eat, so I take the six-year-old Zoologist, the four-year-old Ballerina, and the birthday girl inside to get a table while mommy feeds the baby.


5:05  The Zoologist proclaims he needs to go potty. I ask him to hold it as long as possible, hoping his mother will be inside by then so I can just take one kid to the bathroom.


5:05:21  The Zoologist can’t hold it. Off the four of us go to the bathroom. The Ballerina turns to the hostess and proclaims loudly for the entire restaurant to hear, “We gotta go potty.” I’m guessing she didn’t want someone to take our table.


5:05:53  Just as we reach the bathroom the Ballerina decides she needs to go potty as well. I ask her if she can hold it. She says that she can hold it for two minutes. I ask her if she can hold it any longer. She says she can hold it five minutes.


5:08 After using some amazing wax off wax on skills in the bathroom to keep the Demo Expert from touching anything we are back at our table.


5:08:12  The Ballerina can’t hold it, back we all go to the restroom. I deputize the Zoologist to help me keep the Demo Expert from touching anything while I am helping the Ballerina do her deed.


5:11  We are back at the table for the third time. Thankfully the chips and strawberry lemonade are waiting on us.


5:15  Yeah, Mommy is here!


5:20  The two older kids express a desire to order mac and cheese along with corn on the cob. This leads to a discussion of the fact that the corn is on the cob. We negotiate them to mac and cheese along with pineapples.


5:22  We get the kid’s orders in as soon as possible. Thankfully our waitress understands the urgency of the situation.


5:35  The kid’s food arrives. As soon as I am finished praying for the food the Demolitions Expert sticks her hand in the Ballerina’s bowl and swipes some mac and cheese.


5:38  In an attempt to stave off a sisterly civil war we ask the Ballerina if her sister can have some mac and cheese. She is happy to share, and the Demo Expert is happy to eat it with her hands no matter how many times we ask/tell/urge/plead with her to use her fork. The net result is me wiping her hands every twenty seconds for the rest of the meal.


5:40  The adult’s food arrives causing the Ballerina to say, “You got a big ol’ sandwich!”


5:42  The Demolitions Expert drops a piece of mac and cheese on her shirt. She has trouble getting it off her shirt, then I have trouble getting it off her shirt. Finally I just grab her shirt and life it up until she can eat the piece of macaroni off her shirt.


5:45  Now the Demo Expert is using her fork to attempt to stab a piece of macaroni on her sister’s chair. It may be time to repossess that fork.


5:46  After my attempts to correct her fork use the birthday girl raises her fork as if she is about to put a wooden stake through the heart of her dad the vampire. I look her right in the eye and say, “Choose your next action very carefully.” As if sensing that she might be about to take it too far the Demo Expert returns to eating her mac and cheese by the fistful.


5:49  The Zoologist asks if there used to be a buffalo painting in this restaurant. It is then that I realize that I have barely heard anything from this kid the whole meal. He must be going through a growth spurt because as soon as there was food he was all about business.


5:51  The Demolitions Expert is now trying to use the other end of the fork. Just about time to wrap this thing up.


5:52  The Ballerina tries to get mac and cheese out of the bowl with her tongue. Her mother, who I’m pretty sure is hearing voices by this point, is now beside herself. The Ballerina has had quite a day that included painting furniture, walls, carpet, and herself with a compound used for soldering on copper. If any of the kids need to be laying low during this meal it is the Ballerina, but apparently she didn’t get the memo.


5:57  Mommy rallies from the twitching and voices and now is leading the kids in a rousing, but quiet version of Old MacDonald. This edition includes a verse led by the kids about Old MacDonald has a farmer.


6:02  The dessert is a little slow and now the birthday girl is looking at me saying very loudly, “ZERT! ZERT! ZERT!”


6:05  Dessert arrives and the Demo Expert does not care for the servers singing happy birthday. She just wants ice cream.


6:06  In what is apparently an affront to her dignity after her first attempt, which landed mostly on her shirt, I will not let the Demo Expert spoon her own ice cream. After an aborted attempt at a hunger strike she can’t resist the ice cream.


6:13  Mommy and I had agreed that I would drive the kids home will she made a quick stop at the store. As the kids and I back out of our parking space I get concerned that “run to the store” is code for something like fleeing the country under the name Nina Sandiego.


6:40  Thankfully mommy comes home.







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