diners at the local Texas Roadhouse whispered behind their menus and tall glasses of glistening sweet tea.
Who were they referring to?
Why me, of course.
Standing in the doorway, surveying the darkened restaurant, I was weighed down by my very own Chubbs and Chubby. Each hip held a baby, each arm circled around a tiny back, each foot carefully stepped as to not trip with my precious cargo.
A couple days ago on facebook I mentioned that the crushed goldfish crackers on my living room floor made me hungry for warm rolls slathered in cinnamon butter at Texas Roadhouse (envisioning the crushed peanut shells infamously on the floor).
After a like minded friend chimed in with memories of sweet tea, we immediately set up a date to meet and indulge.
I needed an early time so that I could get in my dinner plans before the kids' 6 o'clock bedtime, so we agreed to meet at 4:30. I didn't think through the fact that my husband wouldn't be home for work yet (so that I could leave one or both of the kids with him), but it didn't alarm me enough to change the time or cancel.
The plan was to arrive with both kids (by myself) and sit luxuriously at a booth sipping the talked-about sweet tea while my children played happily in high chairs, charming all who might glance their way. Ten minutes later, my husband would arrive and pick up whichever child wasn't behaving (JUST in case), and I would continue with my girl's night out with one lucky, lucky child.
Well, turns out that Addison had a different plan. She did NOT want to sit in her booster seat. She did NOT want to read her books. She did NOT want to nibble on warm rolls with mommy.
News flash: children with Down syndrome can still have temper tantrums and go through the terrible twos. I know, simply shocking.
Just as my parched lips gently closed around the straw and my throat relaxed in anticipation of the refreshing beverage, Addison somehow wiggled herself out of the booster seat with evil intent. Ten times of "putting her back in" later, I gave up.
The rolls grew hard and cold. The ice melted in my tea.
Oh well, I reasoned, Aaron would be there soon. I placed Addison on the seat next to me and let her rifle through the diaper bag.
That entertained her for.....ten seconds.
She then decided to scale the back of the booth, using the booster seat as a stool to give her the leg up necessary to sling her little body over the back.
Pulling her back down to sit next to me (a couple of hundred times) did not make me very popular.
Loud "NO"s rang out through the restaurant in girlish yells/screams, competing with the deafening twangs of country music and line dancing happening all around us.
I positioned her on my lap and opened her tupperware full of goldfish mixed with cheerios. I glanced away for half a second, and she grabbed the tupperware and with one flick of her tiny wrist made the entire place rain goldfish and cheerios. Soon to be crushed snacks lay over me, the table, Carter and anyone within spitting distance.(which is super ironic since this is what made me hungry for Texas Roadhouse in the first place)
My face flamed bright red as diners brushed their shoulders free from the crumbs and continued whispering.
"Yep, we knew it. She IS a fool."
After Addison escaped my lap to play under the booth and then quickly crawled out through the high chair rungs where her brother sat, I grabbed her and held her tightly against me, sweetly
Oh, I forgot to mention- Carter was scared of our waiter, so every time he came by- Carter began screaming bloody murder.
Addison fought on my lap for her freedom. She was NOT happy. It was a bit like holding a burlap bag full of angry, hissing snakes high on steroids and chocolate.
Nothing says "thank you for bringing me into this world" like a writhing 2 year old kicking you in the gut.
I called Aaron on my phone (that Addison fought to claim and talk to him herself)- he said he was almost there.
Side Note: I'm sure her conversation would have been something like
"Hey dad, mom is making me SIT STILL. Can you BELIEVE that she would DO that to ME!!! Come soon. and bring chocolate."
I looked across the table at my friend calmly feeding her baby who was cooing and giggling.
Just then Carter left out a sweet-tea-curdling scream as the "threatening" waiter passed by for the hundredth time.
I tried to feed Addison the hotdog that I ordered her. She tasted it and then spit it on me in disgust.
I leaned down to talk to her and a mouth full of jagged teeth flashed open and very decisively sank into my jaw.
I held tighter in shock while Carter screamed yet again.
Time stood still. The snakes were biting me and the poisonous venom of dread mixed with a healthy dose of embarrassment spread quickly, threatening to shut down my mommyhood stamina.
This was a mistake.
I am, indeed, a fool. Were the warm rolls REALLY worth all of this????
Aaron finally arrived to rescue Addison (an HOUR later)
My arms were sore. My spirit was crushed.
My rolls were stone cold and harder than the teeth that had just clamped onto my jaw.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
At least that's the best kind of restaurant to have a melt down in- super loud. And Carter was a doll the rest of the time (screaming aside) so I could finally eat my meal (cold), talk to my extremely patient friend, request a fresh basket of rolls and get a sweet tea refill.
All in all- it was a lovely night out.
I can say that now. Both kids are asleep in their cribs, and I am reclining on the couch laughing at my own naivety.
I forgot that Addison gets super over-stimulated by Texas Roadhouse. I forgot that she struggles to sit still. I forgot that just because I CAN for ten seconds, doesn't mean that a long sit down meal with both of them by myself in a restaurant will be successful.
Sooooooo yeah. I probably won't ever leave my house again.
After all, isn't this why delivery services were invented?????
(yes, we are working on it.....she will get it eventually, I know.)-I am repeating this over and over to myself tonight
p.s. Did you check out Addison's "reading" video on our facebook page?
p.s.s. The winner of the onesie giveaway is.....Emilie Woodworth. Congratulations Emilie! You can look forward to an adorable onesie coming your way very soon!