Our first realization that the window to eating out has been temporarily shut was on Father's Day. But did we pay any attention? Of course not. I think as parents the need to get out and do "normal" things sometimes outweighs rational decision-making.
Every year we try to make it up to the Baldpate Inn for their fantastic soup, salad and baked goods lunch/dinner that they open up to the public. The scenery is amazing and Cady has been dying to go to the mountains now for some time. So, nearly a month ago I made us a reservation (I made it at the same time as the disastrous Father's Day Brunch). We thought that some fresh air, a walk through Estes Park, hummingbirds, fresh flowers and chipmunks would somehow seduce the kids into a complacency that would get us through lunch. Not so much.
The first mistake I realize is even considering eating at a place with nice tablecloths and five utensils in the place setting. Kids and tablecloths and extra utensils do not mix. Let me do a quick summary. I took Cady up to get food on her plate and she wanted well, pretty much nothing that was on the salad bar. She was unimpressed by it all and spent the better part of dinner drinking her water with her spoon, trying to fit her fork into the milk cup (the milk that was upsold to us by the waitress who after we told we were all having water asked Cady if she'd like a glass of milk), eating crackers like a chipmunk, jumping out of her chair and having a melt-down when realizing that she could not have pie for dessert (thanks again to the waitress) because we had a cookie in town AND she didn't eat dinner. I brought back some finger food for Coben which he greeted by back-arching and screetching which carried VERY well through the intimate dining room. Every food that we would offer was screetched and screamed at and yet offering nothing at all was also fuel for a back-arching and screetching fit. Cady felt like she had to go to the bathroom, oh...FOUR TIMES, during the course of the dinner. Coben upstaged that with a stink poop grand finale that I had to change in the tiny, cute, very nice smelling bathroom. (Sorry Baldpate for my child single-handedly destroying your lovely fragrance). The ride home? I think Rob and I rolled our eyes and wished we were anywhere else the entire hour and a half. Cady was bouncing off the car windows making noises and talking a mile a minute while Coben cried THE ENTIRE HOUR AND A HALF that it took us to get home. Wait, I exaggerate. About five minutes before we pulled in, I put on some very loud rap music which seemed to calm him. Who knew.
One day we will stop romanticizing these things and prepare ourselves for the reality of life with two little ones. Through it all we had a few chuckles and those are the moments that we'll hold onto. Cady and Coben playing I spy on the way to the Inn. Cady pretending to speak for Coben in this funny high squeaky voice, "I spy something white" and Cady always guessing right on the very first try. The conversation on the way home between Cady and Wall-E (For those wondering, Wall-E was NOT with us). But again, the high squeaky Wall-E voice and Cady bantering back and forth was a HOOT. Coben lighting up at all of the flowers in Estes Park and calling "Bood bood" at all of the hummingbirds fluttering around the Inn. Driving by Wild Basin and pointing out to Cady the place that her mom and dad got married. And one of my favorite moments on the way home:
Cady: I have to go to the bathroom
Me: Cady, we'll be home soon, you'll have to hold it (she had just gone before we left)
Cady: But I really really really have to go and I can't hold it. I know. You can stop at a cookie store and we'll use the bathroom there.
So obvious kid.