Okay, It Didn’t All Suck

The weekend was another stressful one, and yesterday got off to a real rough start. But there were some good things that happened.

1. Saturday, the girls finally unwrapped their gifts from Aunt J, and those flashlights with Halloween-themed lenses saved my sanity that morning. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Aunt J. I actually have an excuse to lock my children in a dark room now — they ask me to!

2. I made the executive decision on Saturday to not use my kitchen for the rest of the weekend. Fortunately, I had Bocktown gift certificates thanks to ClumberKim, and through some Twitter activity, she and I even made arrangements to meet for dinner, with the children. Dan was also able to join us. It was probably the highlight of my weekend.

I called Bocktown to find out what the wait was like on Saturday around 5 p.m. I was going to have some hungry kids in tow, and all the coloring books in the world would not stop a meltdown if a significant wait was involved. Since it was not terribly busy and we would be there in about 20 minutes, the kind staff set aside a table for seven (with two booster chairs) for us. The hostess with whom I spoke told me they didn’t normally do call-ahead seating, which I know to be true, but I was grateful they made an exception for us.

The children got along like a house on fire (I’m not sure why this colloquialism connotes a positive thing, but so be it). Eleanor and Kate peaceably shared finger puppets; Oliver and Flora checked out baseball scores on Kim’s iPhone (well, Oliver used the phone while Flora looked on); they also shared coloring books and markers. We adults were able to converse with minimum interruptions, and although Bocktown does not have a kids’ menu per se (which is not a sin), they were more than willing to accommodate us with extra plates to divide up meals. The whole table shared the pretzels and beer cheese appetizer — the crowd favorite by far — and my girls had the cheese ravioli.

Halfway through her third cheese ravioli, Flora declared, “This is better than a toy store!” As I was busy inhaling the portabello sandwich, I could do no more than nod to agree with her.

Someone else noticed how well-behaved the four children were during the meal, and complimented us on it as they were leaving! Yes! This is a huge parental victory, and Kim, Dan, and I all deserved it.

3. Kate is starting to pee regularly in the potty. She even asked to go to the bathroom at Bocktown. Dan was holding her in his lap at the time, and he said, “You can just go pee in your diaper.” I was like, “No, no, no! I’ll take her! If she wants to use the potty, she’s going to use the potty!” Kate is well on her way to earning lots of M&Ms.

4. My Sunday trip to Costco was nearly short circuited by the fact that I forgot the coupons. I was so frustrated! It was apparently excellent customer service weekend, because when I mentioned something to the cashier, she said she could give me credit for the products anyway. I said, “But I didn’t grab any of them because I didn’t have the coupon book!” She checked her line, and checked my list. She sent another employee for four of things I wanted, and went for the diapers herself. She was an angel, saving me another trip up to The Pointe. And a few bucks.

5. Monday was salvaged by Starbucks coffee and a pumpkin scone, the Vegetarian Times one of my co-workers left on my desk, and the fact that my husband went to Flora’s school to pick out a picture package and give them money. I had called him sobbing from the car. I didn’t call him because I wanted him to solve the problem; he made that call on his own. I just called him, really, because I wanted a hug. Unfortunately, I had to settle for the scone.

I’ll collect on that hug later, babe.