SwampMan decided, since he was going into surgery Monday and would not be visiting restaurants for awhile, that he wanted to go to Red Lobster. Besides, he had been laboring mightily over my van (still not in actual operating condition) in 102-degree record heat, and he needed a reward. It was 3:00. We absolutely positively had to get the kids no later than 5:00 so Daddy could meet his unit to go off for two weeks with the National Guard. Mommy was at work on the other side of town, so Daddy absolutely relied on us. We were on the road, but still were 30 minutes away from Red Lobster. We were 45 minutes away from grandchildren.
SwampMan had asked me, before we left, where I wanted to eat. “Anywhere you want!” Okay, so I figured somewhere quick where we could drive through and get our food (grin) on the way to get the kids. “NO! I want to eat somewhere YOU want where we actually get to SIT DOWN and have people wait on us!”
“Okay, fine. How about Sonny’s BBQ?” They’re fast, good, and relatively inexpensive.
“I thought you liked Longhorn. You wanna go to Longhorn Steakhouse?”
“Uh, sure. I’ll go, if you think we have time.”
“Well, I don’t want to go there. I want the garlic crab and shrimp pasta at Red Lobster.”
It is a good thing that mentally banging a head on the wall doesn’t leave marks!
I pointed out to SwampMan that unless we could get in, order, eat our food, and get out of Red Lobster in 30 minutes (HA!), we were going to be really pushing the time on picking up the grandkids. “But I WANT Red Lobster!” “Well, we’ll just take the kids with us!” says I, ever the optimist. SwampMan was somewhat more sceptical but his Red Lobster craving was not to be denied. He agreed, reluctantly, to pick up the kids first, expressing his hope out loud to God that he wasn’t screwing up.
MeeMaw told the grandkids that we were going to go to a restaurant where they got to go inside and sit down and people ask them what they want to eat. Papa asked them if they remembered going to a restaurant where somebody asked them what they want. “SURE!” said Jacob. “McDonald’s!” Heh. Papa explained that this was a seafood restaurant. “Do you know what that is?” “Do they have shrimp?” asked Jacob. “YES!” “Good, cuz I looooove shrimp!” Dylan said that he did not like shrimp. Papa said that they also have fish. Dylan said that he didn’t like fish, either, with a challenging stare at Papa which, since Papa was driving, he fortunately did not see. Dylan had not had his nap so he was a leeeetle bit grumpy. He soon fell asleep.
When we arrived, I woke him and gave him an abbreviated set of MeeMaw’s Rules, which consisted of sitting quietly with feet under table, bottom in chair, and no loud talking.
When we got inside and were looking over the menu, I found that I had left a few things off of MeeMaw’s Rules. Things like no enumerating every place where he had ever pooped in the potty at in his loud, carrying voice. Things like no burping loudly at the table. The Rules were quickly amended on the spot. “I have to PEEPEE in the potty!”
The very nice and pretty young lady that waited our table brought crayons. Dylan decided to draw poop since MeeMaw wouldn’t let him discuss it. I made Jacob’s shrimp order (with fries!) for him. He asked if he could have chocolate milk. The young lady assured him she would mix some up personally for him. Dylan said he wanted chocolate milk, too, and wice. “Do you want chicken with your rice?” I asked. “No. Just wice.” “How about fish?” “NO! Just wice!” The sweet and pretty waitress asked him if he wanted macaroni with his rice. “Yes! And I HAVE TO POOPOO IN THE POTTY!” Jacob accompanied us. SwampMan and I got our salads. I ate a few bites of salad. Jacob colored quietly. Dylan announced “I don’t wike sawad!” Our appetizer came. Jacob colored quietly. Dylan smelled it. “I don’t wike it! Where’s my wice?” “They’re cooking your wi–uh, rice.” “It takes a long time to cook wice?” “Yes, yes it does.” Dylan told me that he liked wice. And noodles. And cheeseburgers. And boogers. Another rule: No eating boogers. I hurriedly snarfed down a couple pieces of my appetizer. “I have to PEEPEE IN THE POTTY!” We went potty again. When we came back, SwampMan had eaten my appetizer. I told him next time, he goes on the potty run. He declined. He said if I had wanted my appetizer, I should have put it all on my plate. I pointed out that I didn’t have a chance! He said that was no excuse. The cheese biscuits were delivered. Jacob didn’t want one. I gave one to Dylan. He smelled it. He licked it. I firmly told him we do not lick biscuits, we eat them, and tore off a piece. He liked it! He then told me he needed a knife to cut it. I told him there was no way that MeeMaw was going to allow him to have a knife. Ever. “I can cut it with my hands?” “Yes!” “Okay.”
Our food came. Jacob pronounced his fries and popcorn delicious. Dylan looked at his food. “I don’t wike macawoni!” he declared. What a surprise! He looked suspiciously at his wild rice pilaf. “Somebody put SAWAD in my WICE!” There were teensy chopped carrot pieces in there. And a little greenery sprinkled over the top. *sigh* “Just pick out the salad and eat your rice!” He did. He ate half the rice and half a cheese biscuit. “Meemaw, I finished!” Meemaw was shoveling in food at a frantic pace while Papa had a leisurely lunch/dinner. “Well, you will need to sit quietly while Meemaw finishes!” I have to PEEPEE IN THE POTTY, MEEMAW! “We will go peepee when Meemaw eats her food.” Papa was over on the other side of the table murmuring “never again!” to himself. I told the boys how well behaved they were and how proud I was of them. THEY didn’t eat my appetizer while I was taking the boys to the bathroom. The very nice lady bagged up our leftovers while I was escorting boys to the bathroom again.
It only took us an hour and a half in Red Lobster. It just felt like an eternity!