Sunday, July 27, 2008

Restaurant Disaster #243 but at least I looked good!

On Saturday morning, Tim said to me "why don't you take off for a few hours today while I watch the kids?". Hell, yeah!!! I remembered that he had given me a gift card on Mother's Day to a local salon and spa that I had forgotten about. How could I forget about that?!

So I managed to get an appt that same day and found myself saying to the stylist, as she pulled my hair out of my signature hairstyle, The Mommy Ponytail, "just cut it all off....and could you throw in some highlights while you're at it". She said, "are you sure?" and I said "just do it before I wimp out and change my mind".

2 hours later and I look like a completely different person..or maybe it's just that I feel like a completely different person. While she went to mix the color for my highlights, I stared at my reflection and thought "you look SO freakin tired...and old...let's not forget old". I looked like such such a mother. You know, the hair in a ponytail (still wet from never having blow dried it but I guess I should consider myself lucky that I had time for a shower), very little or no makeup at all, a tank top with a child's dirty handprint on it and a pair of shorts that are all wrinkled and probably have stains too.

But after the 2 hours, I felt so much lighter without all the hair hanging down my back and with some pretty blonde highlights that brought life to my face. The stylist admired her work afterwards and said "who knew?" and I said "who knew what?" and she said "that a change in hairstyle and some highlights could make you look like a completely different person". Then I wondered if Tim and the kids would be freaked out by my new look?? The kids very rarely saw me with my hair down because I always wear it in a ponytail. The one time I did wear it down, Garrett and Landon did a double-take and started crying.

Turns out everyone liked the hair, esp Bella, who kept saying "Mommy, I like the green streaks in your hair". Huh? Green streaks? I really should have her tested to see if she's color blind. And Tim, who very rarely speaks up about anything, actually said he liked it. His exact words were "I like it, it's really cute". I felt flattered but I was also a little suspicious...what man uses the words "really cute" to describe something. All I could figure was that he must have spent the 2 hours I was gone online googling "ways to compliment your wife on a new hairstyle...learn WHAT to say and HOW to say it without pissing her off".

We decided to go out for dinner that night. Usually we go to Applebee's but we're all growing quite bored with that. Bella had tried some sushi I had earlier in the week and absolutely loved it so when I asked her what she felt like for dinner she immediately said "I want sushi" but Tim and Cole hate sushi so we compromised and went to a Japanese restaurant that also serves other foods, like chicken teriyaki and steak and such (kinda like a Benihana where they cook the food in front of you). We thought the kids would do okay because of the little show that the cook puts on, esp the little exploding onion volcano.

Upon arriving, we were sat at our own little table and then the waitress showed another family to the same table. Garrett started fussing immediately upon me putting him in the highchair and next thing I knew, they were moving to another table. The waitress politely said "I think you'll have a lot more room if you have the table to yourself"....yeah, whatever....I don't blame that other family for wanting to move, esp if they were expecting to have a quiet, peaceful dinner. Then Tim took Cole and Bella to the bathroom, and while he was there, both Garrett and Landon started having a meltdown. I was breaking a sweat trying to keep them quiet and I felt people staring at me. As soon as I saw Tim come out of the bathroom, I said "we can't stay...we're gonna ruin everyone else's dinner so let's just go home".

With that, Cole and Bella started crying because they wanted to see the exploding onion volcano. I apologized to the waitress, who was already coming to the table with our drinks, and she offered us a table in the front part of the restaurant, where there were less people. I told Tim I thought it was a really bad idea but he wanted to stay and offered to hold Garrett instead of putting him in the highchair.

There we sat, hidden away from other people, in a tiny corner of the restaurant's bar area behind a huge fish tank. It was still a disaster. Cole and Bella were so intrigued with the fish in the fish tank that we could barely get them to sit still long enough to eat. The only one who seemed somewhat happy was Landon, until he no longer wanted to eat anymore and proceeded to take his plate and dump it all over our extremely tiny table. Tim and I ate our food so fast that I don't think either of us really tasted it.

So that was Restaurant Disaster #243...and the thing is, neither Tim and I have learned from any of this. We'll attempt it again next Saturday because we figure at some point it has to be successful. We desperately long to be that family that we always stare at and think "how on earth do they get their kids to sit still and eat quietly?" And then maybe, just maybe, we'll have Restaurant Success #1.

As we ran out of the restaurant (literally), I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirrored windows of the restaurant and thought "well, at least I looked good while Restaurant Disaster #243 went down"....


Leslie said...

Oh Helene! I think that family with the quiet, orderly kids have a huge secret that you are missing: They didn't have four kids practically all at the same time!

I'll bet in another couple years it will be so much easier. I do really understand you keeping trying. I would probably do the same. But how stressful that must be. I know I'm stressed out if my ONE child is extra energetic or whatever in a restaurant. I would almost surely actually blow a gasket if I were trying to keep FOUR kids under control!

It will get so much easier. I know it will.


Kim said...

" . . . and the thing is . . .we'll attempt it again next Saturday" HA! ain't that the truth?! Why do we do it to ourselves?

I've found that if I starve my twins before going to a restaurant, they'll be still and quiet for a good 10 minutes while they stuff their faces. Now if the rest of us could learn to inhale our meals, eating out would be no problem.

joy said...

Glad you liked your new hairdo and got some time away, that's wonderful! (would love to see a picture of it)
I like to go to places that have either bread or tortilla chips (mexican restaurants) so they are occupied while we wait for food. I've had my share of embarrassing evenings out to eat too.

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr

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