as you may or may not already know our family is on a homeschool journey. this was not a spur of the moment decision for us and we looked into many different curriculum options. Ultimately going with Classical Conversations for year . My oldest was kindergarten so it seemed like the right time to jump in. That said on the morning of the incident we were rushing around for Parent Practicum which was about 45 min from our house. it was day 2 of 3, and unlike the previous day, i did not have lunch packed and ready to go for break. After the kids and i got around we loaded into the truck and were on our way. the thought was that there were plenty of places around to go get lunch on break and be back for the afternoon session. Anywho morning session day 2 went off without a hitch and i decided we would have just enough time to get to Cracker Barrel, eat, and get back in time for the afternoon session.
So i pack up my 5 year old, 3 year old, and 17 month old into the truck and off we go. My youngest started right away to be fussy, which i figured was just because it was unbearably hot (or maybe it just was to my 6 month pregnant self) or because he was hungry… we arrive and head in. As soon as we walking i begin to think maybe this was a bad idea, but i push those suspicions to the pit of my stomach and press onward. We head to the hostess stand to be seated, this also happened to be located RIGHT beside the lightsaber toys and candy… of course 5yr old has to swoosh swoom voom the lightsaber about after his sister, and im all put it down! shes crying and im carrying a fussy baby, she says follow me, so we do, except when we get to the table my son isnt with us. I turn around and hes at some barrel table playing checkers, aww how cute the kind elderly couple says as they tell me to treasure these days. I smile politely and usher son to the table, strap in 17 mo old. I order right away as the server had been waiting while i corralled my children. the kids play the little skip game and fight over who gets what color crayons, and i am waiting for the food to arrive when dear son tells me he has to go to the bathroom, im like well the food will be awhile so lets go, i haul my preggo butt out of the seat, unstrap 17 mo from high chair and we all trudge back to the bathroom, right by the lightsaber display, which of course dear son has to pick up and swoosh swoom voom about completely forgetting he had to pee. Finally get him to put it down and walk into the bathroom, im thinking this is a great time to relieve my bladder as well, i stand 17 mo beside me in the stall as 3 and 5 enter their own stalls, everything seems to be going well, i hand 17 mo phone so i can unbutton my pants, he promptly throws it into the toilet, which i panic grab it out and think well should i wash it? bc you know germs, or not bc you know water and electronics equals disaster…i decide on wiping it down with papertowels and then damp soapy paper towels, kids are finishing up and im like well not worth going back in to pee, so i help them wash their hands, and we head back out to the table, of course we have to pass by the lightsaber display AGAIN, and of course my son has to swoosh swoom voom it about while i try to keep daughter and 17 month old on track to the table, i tightlippedly say to son PUT IT DOWN…. our food still hasnt arrived, i buckle baby boy into the high chair and negotiate with my older two about not fighting over the crayons, baby begins to fuss, im sweating, worried that were disrupting everyone around us. I make eye contact with a wonderful older lady at the table next to us,and apologize for the fussing she tells me im doing a great job, shes a grandma to 17 kids and a little fussing never hurt anyone so i shouldn’t apologize. I thank her for her kindness, then she brings me some crackers the server gave her for her soup for the baby. Im sooo thankful that hes entertained, the food finally arrives and the kids take maybe one bite, at which point my dear daughter tells me she has to poop. Im thinking were we not just in the bathroom? i ask her why she didnt go then, apparently five min ago she didnt have too.
I have two choices at this point i ask her to wait until we finish or we leave our food here to go. The thought of leaving food unattended in public was not appealing or safe so i asked her if she could wait until we finish eating. She says ya no pwoblem. so we continue eating, five min later she abruptly stands up and announces she has to go to the bathroom right now because it is starting to come out of her butt…. Oh my gosh, the grandma about looses it she has tears in her eyes. im mortified, but grab my purse unbuckle 17 mo old and grab 3 and 5 and head off back to the bathroom leaving most of our lunch untouched. i attempt to block 5 from the lightsabers to no avail while trying to make sure 3 doesnt go on the floor, finally shake the sabers from his grasp and we all wait for 3 to do her business. She finishes up and i help her was her hands AGAIN, im about to cut my losses and just go pay. I think it cant get any worse, WRONG, of course we have to go back by the light sabers and dear son of mine grabs it and swings it about, i finally manage to pry it from his greasy fingers and stomp over to the cash register.
I breath a sigh of relief bc the end is in sight, were next in line. BUT OHHH NOOOO of course khols cash lady is in front of me!, are you figgin kidding me? to top it off the cashier is a trainee who has to ask a supervisor EVERY dang question this lady is asking, AND THEN she begins to SHOUT across the shop to her friend about some scarf they had last week but she cant find it…. im loosing patience, and my kids are swinging around my ankles, round and around and around again. FINALLY it is our turn i hand him the receipt, turn around to my son to say DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING, then proceed with the small talk about how was the meal, did we find everything, CCCCRRRRAAAAAAAASH!!!!!!! oh my god, before i turn around i already know its my son, but not only that he has knocked over and entire clothing rack and sits among the heaps of clothing, the jewelry display scatters across the whole front of the store, im panicking, the manager comes out and is helping to clean up the mess, i drag son out of the mess, hes utterly embarrassed as am i.
the kind grandma from beside our table steps up and says youre doing a wonderful job mom, im like did you no just see what happened? tears fill my eyes, the cashier tells me the balance, i insert my card, DECLINED! what? what even is this day coming too??? oh its expired, NEAT, i hand him a different card and head on out dragging my children behind me…. i open the door to walk our and the sheer realization of how terribly bad this lunch hits me, i start cackling, dying laughing my son is truly terrified, if i had simply been cross with him he could have handled it better but the laughing sent him into hysterics, what a pretty picture we made… i skip the second part of practicum and head home, ive had enough of the day….
it was time to cut my losses and try again the next day.
as a mom of 3 soon to be 4 i realized that patience is really just a matter of thought. I dont think that i have any more or less then other moms just i really try to keep perspective on what matters. Yes i could have been mad, and let that ruin my day, but i laughed it off, and took the kids home for 2nd lunch, or as i like to call it the one they actually ate. Also since that day i decided that maybe eating out alone with my kids might just be too much for young kids. classical conversations like to call the parents lead learners not teachers… i definitely learned something that day.