Monday, May 4, 2009

Red Robin

Our big outing today was an early dinner/late lunch at Red Robin in Skokie. I've been to the one at Woodfield Mall and they have very good hamburgers, as well as an onion ring tower that's yummy. Any restaurant outing with the entire family, plus the entire Alog/Penepacker clan, is a challenge but I think we're getting better at doing it. Mainly because the boys are getting older and able to feed themselves, if not sit by themselves. I didn't pack entire meals because it was too early (4:30ish) for dinner. Snack time food would suffice. I also brought books and cars so the boys wouldn't be bored sitting there. We arrived and got the end of a long table, near mom and Pat. Ronin immediately sat next to mom, which was nice because she was able to entertain him. Nikko mostly sat with Denis, and Audrey stayed in her car seat pretty nicely. I propped a bottle for her to drink from, and I purposely didn't look behind me at a family with a baby and toddlers because I kinda felt that the mom was frowning at me for propping. I started thinking of a few comeback lines in case someone at her table approached me to say, "You're a bad mom. You're not supposed to prop the bottle for your baby. She could choke!" My rebuttal would be, "She's in plain view of me, my husband and my mom. And if you had 3 kids under 3 years old that you had to feed all at once, you'd find a way to do it, I'm sure." Instead, at the end of their meal, one lady asked me how old Audrey was.

"Six months," I said.
"Really? That's amazing, she's able to feed herself and holds her bottle so well!"
Another lady, the one I suspected might say something negative to me, said with a smile, "She's not feeding herself, the bottle is propped."
"When my daughter was 10 months old, she still wasn't able to feed herself," the first lady continued. The other lady walked on and the first lady said, "She's so cute!"
I thanked her and they left. Was that smile a real smile or a fake one? Whatever, I don't know how but I knew something was going to come from her mouth. Doesn't matter, she's GONE.

The boys were placated with crackers and juice and books and cars and balloons, until their "allergy alert" french fries arrived (plain, no seasoning). All seemed to be going well, but then I saw Ronin cramming a french fry into his mouth and starting to choke on the mush. Anna saw it, too, and remarked about it. I saw another heave and told an unassuming mom and Denis that they better watch out because something was going to happen. Sure enough, Ronin spit out the mush and started to throw up. I got up to get more napkins from the waitstaff and by the time I came back he was bathed in thrown-up fries and crackers and juice. It was such an icky mess. Atz was so kind to offer to watch Nikko while we cleaned Ronin up, changed his clothes, and promptly decided to pack up. No staying for dessert for us! Nikko was starting to melt down because he didn't want to sit anymore and Ronin wanted to walk around but I wouldn't let him because his shoes were covered in vomit and he was barefoot. I gave Nikko a vitamin because I knew that would calm him a bit and buy me a few minutes. Out came the double stroller to harness Nikko, put in Audrey, we said our good byes, and fled.

Our day as a whole had some ups. Nikko didn't do anything terrible, no nasty tantrums that were prompted by vitamins or wanting something he couldn't have. He follows me everywhere and I talk to him wherever I go. When we came back with a balloon in the living room, I asked Nikko where it was and he turned his head to look at it. He's been jargoning a lot lately, too. His new thing is that he takes something (a ball, a plastic corn on the cob, a flag) and throws it up in the air slightly behind his head. Then he turns to see where it landed. Be wary if it lands behind the couch or behind the TV! I've been beaned in the head by a plastic ball, and Audrey has escaped some narrow misses. He is also recognizing some of the Hi-5 songs I sing out of the blue and will smile at me while I sing it. Finally, he's getting used to the Twinkle Twinkle Little Star finger play song I do with him, so we've added this third song to our repertoire.

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