Apparently I think I am Wonder Woman or Super Mom or some equivalent of a made up character that does not exist in real life.
I took all four of my kiddos to Chick-fil-A, by myself.
Was I just looking to punch my crazy card this week? Possibly!
My reasoning was that if we went to eat somewhere, I wouldn't have to clean the kitchen and attempt to bathe the children and get them in bed all at the same time.
I thought a clean kitchen would be nice for a change.
I should have opted for sanity. I'm just saying.
Now, I will say that Chick-fil-A is just about the only restaurant that you can get away with taking four small children to by yourself. I was very aware that there would be some staff member there whose pleasure it would be to assist me in feeding four small children.
Addison and I had a deal. We would pick out a table; I would stick everyone's placemats to the table, and then I'd throw some snacks on the placemats to hold them over while I ordered food while looking over my shoulder the entire time. Addison was going to be in charge of the table.
I forgot that getting into any place of business with four very small children is a challenge all in itself. I really need one of those ropes with the rings on it that Kate from John and Kate plus 8 used to have when her kids were little to make them walk in a line. Because obviously, no one has eight hands.
We did get inside without any huge tragedies. I may have slightly bumped a baby head on the door to Chick-fil-A, but he didn't cry, so that doesn't count. And I had three other children hanging onto the diaper bag, so it was cool.
The moment we walked in the doors, Addison had to potty. Great. Four small children in a public restroom. Can we say nightmare. Only two of them cried. Addison and Luke went into the stall together because he is her flushing buddy. (Since the only interest he is showing in the potty is flushing it, we're going with it, okay people?) He cried because the toilet automatically flushed when Addison moved.
Then our sweet little girl (our foster baby) started crawling on the floor in an attempt to get under the stall door to see why Luke was crying.
That's not cool with me at all. I do not like public restrooms, and I really don't like the floors of them. I'm just saying. So I use one hand to pull her off the floor from the back of her shirt, and she wasn't very cool with that, so she starts crying.
We're four minutes in. There are two down!
We forego washing four sets of hands simply because Chick-fil-A is awesome enough to have those antibacterial wipes. Praise the Lord! It's good enough for me.
We head out of the restroom with a couple of tearstained faces and begin to scope out a table. Everyone knows if you have kids, you want a booth close to the play place. We find a half table, half booth at the back of the restaurant, very close to the play place door, and I begin to stick four placemats on the table and wipe off four sets of hands with those wet wipe things.
By now, that great Chick-fil-A staff member who I was counting on coming to my rescue has spotted me! She assures me that she will keep an eye on the little ones while I order, deliver our food, and get us anything we need. It will actually be "her pleasure." To which Addison replies, "I'm in charge because I'm the oldest."
Whatever, they can work out the power struggle on their own. I need some chicken.
In the middle of me ordering twenty chicken nuggets (which they ate every single one of!) and a chicken salad sandwich for me, Addison runs up to the counter to inform me that our "other" sweet girl has scratched her. (Another power struggle.) Great.
She also informed me that now Luke was in charge of the table, because he was the second oldest. As I glance back at the table, he is pushing our sweet girl away from the table in her high chair and she is screaming "NO!" at him.
I headed back to the table empty handed simply because I could not wait for them to get me five drinks. Thank goodness for that sweet lady who brought our food, our drinks, and our sauces. And it was her pleasure! I really do love Chick-fil-A.
As you can imagine, our dinner was anything but uneventful, but I'll spare you all the toddler details.
I did notice that a few people looked at me more than once, as if in wonderment as to why on earth I would take four small children anywhere by myself. Oh well.
And then as our time at dinner was quickly and obviously coming to a close, I heard the guy at the table behind me repeat the words I had just spoken out loud to myself...."She said she 'must be crazy for bringing all four of them in here by herself.'"
Yep. Tonight I was "that" woman. The one you always look at with pity and concern. Poor soul. She must be desperate for a night out. Ha! Yes, that's it!
To top off the night, that sweet Chick-fil-A employee brought all four of my kids a balloon. That was nice. And it kept the two youngest entertained for a few minutes while I put shoes back on the older ones.
Getting all four kids and all four balloons, a diaper bag and my purse to the car, now that was humorous. :) That's a story for a different day, I suppose.
I'm not sure what the moral of the story is except that helpful people are helpful and sometimes you just need a chicken sandwich no matter what the cost. Next time I may consider the drive through. Just a thought.
Tackling it one day at a time....
.....day 208 of a year of writing.....