On Friday we went out to dinner. Nothing ever goes as planned. Ever. We were going to eat with some friends of ours. But an hour before we were supposed to meet them, the girls were whining for food already. So we decided to head out, just the four of us. We told Jill to pick where she wanted to eat.
My child? She chooses a Japanese restaurant. Not Chuck E. Cheese. Not the Mexican restaurant with the massive playground in the middle. Japanese. She has good taste.
We didn't anticipate over an hour wait. There is never a wait there. We left. In the same parking lot was a Friday's. I have been craving Friday's. Why you ask? Because of that damn commercial that comes on every night with that peanut butter pie. Mmmmmm. Pie. I got excited. But.... another hour long wait.
Next door was Luby's. We walked over. The line was long, but like hell we were leaving. We wait. And wait. The kids were decently behaved. Then we get to the front of the line.
"Jill what do you want?"
"Chicken and jello."
"And for your side."
"Nothing. Just chicken. Just jello."
Her meal comes with a side. I explain this many times. Kenny decides to order what he would like, and save some money. All is well. Then Jill sees Emmi's macaroni.
"WHY DID SHE GET MACARONI? YOU LOVE HER MORE THAN ME. I WANT MACARONI." She drops to the ground screaming. Emmi uses the distraction to begin eating her jello right off of the tray in line. I try to drag Jill out of the way balancing a tray. She kicks at me. One of the waitresses offers to bring us macaroni. I threaten to kill her if she gives my screaming child her way. The manager carries my tray to a table. I drag Jill along behind me. I leave a trail of jello cubes for Emmi to follow.
I use a calm voice. I threaten. I refuse to give her food until she settles down. We end up eating as fast as we can so we can get out. Jill screams the whole time.
The ride home? Not much better. Jill instigates a balloon war. That's right. My kid who threw a fit, still got a balloon on the way out. Why? Cause I was hoping for some peace and quiet. But the balloon war starts.
"Jill. Stop. That. NOW. No more balloon war." She pauses. Then....
"One, two, three, four. I start a BALLOON WAR!"
The car slams to a stop. Kenny jumps out, throws open her car door, and jerks the balloon out of her hand. Then he gets back in the car and continues driving. Jill screams. Kenny dangles the balloon out the window as a warning. As we turn into our neighborhood, he rolls the window up on the balloon's string. A pink balloon now flaps along beside us as we drive tethered to the car by the window. Jill stares in horror at the injustice that has been served to her balloon. He giggles as quietly as possible. Me? I cry.
A whole dinner out of the house ruined. Filled with screaming and fighting. I hate six. Six is my least favorite phase. Twos I can handle. Stubborn threes, no problem. Six-year-olds, I am ill-equipped for those. In my head I count down the days until her seventh birthday and pray to the gods of good behaving children that this phase will end in the very least by her seventh birthday.
I sleep badly. I wonder where I went wrong. I dream. In the morning, I still feel overwhelmed. It was time for some "me time." Kenny tells me to go to the bookstore which is nothing short of heaven for me. And a dangerous place to turn me loose with a credit card. I dress as quickly as possible, and run out the door. And there. Bobbing in the breeze. Still rolled up in the car window. Is the pink balloon. And I started laughing. So hard, tears filled my eyes.