Thursday’s Sign of the Apocalypse:
I was in a restaurant (Yes, Chik-fil-A counts as a restaurant), with my 3 children last Thursday. Cue in Eric Carmen: ALL BY MYSELF. And….we survived. Neither screaming from the adult nor the children, no injuries, no spills, no hysterics (again, neither from the adult or children). Furthermore- It was elementary school “Spirit Night”. Yes, I can hear the audible groans of fellow parents who participate in “Spirit Night”. Yes, they are utter chaos. But, they are a money maker for the school and for some anthropoligical reason unknown to man, it is very exciting to see schoolmates outside of the actual school.
Somehow, I stumbled upon the secret to escaping “Spirit Night” unscathed. And, I didn’t feel like I had to chew up a handful of Xanax and wash it down with Kettle One upon our arrival home. It’s taken 7.5 years, but I think I can finally be out in public with alone with my people…and not worry about fellow patrons staring at us with expressions of horror.
Of course I didn’t pull off this 20 minute superb dining experience without strategies.
Firstly, I showed up early- I mean 4:50 pm early. Yes, we dined with the senior citizens and one other of The Oldests’ classmates whose mother was smart enough to send her before the clock struck 5.
Secondly, back the clock up a few hours. I did not give The Nosy Meap or The Oldest a snack in the afternoon. No post-nap Ritz crackers or just-off-the-bus harvest cheddar Sun Chips for those two. I don’t even think I let The Middle eat lunch that day. Hungry children tend to go into an altered state of being. They were RAVENOUS by 4:54 pm when our delicious, deep fried nuggets of joy were ready. You can’t make ear splitting noise while inhaling waffle fries.
Thirdly, milkshakes/ice cream cones are essential for luring children back out of the pit of purgatory that is the Indoor Playground. It truly is the only way to get them out after they’ve eaten their dinner. But wait, you exclaim, typically on a “Spirit Night” it takes 15 minutes to get the post meal ice cream, as Chik-fil-A is usually mobbed by that time. Remember, people, it was only about 5:07 pm when we were on the ice cream round, so the place was only about 1/3 full. The ice cream only took 2 minutes from order to service.
Finally, drum roll, please…how do you get the kids OUT of Chik-fil-A for good? A false sighting of the Principal/Teacher in the parking lot usually does the trick…