Plan trip to Pittsburgh to see brother and his new girlfriend. Pittsburgh is a 3 hour drive from my mom’s house in Hagerstown.
It took until 3pm to pull out of her drive way narrowly giving us enough time to arrive for dinner between 6-7pm with stops.
Arrive at brother’s house and let kids play on his giant beanbag for 30+ minutes while we discuss where to eat. Select Italian. Note it’s Wednesday night, reservations should not be necessary.
WRONG! Italian in hot up and coming neighborhood so after parking and walking we find 1 hour wait in tiny cramped restaurant with no room for children to flail about. In other words, young hip yuppies out for a good evening, we with children do not fit in even with hour wait.
Leave, head for bigger restaurant with renown bad service and hit or miss food – the Spaghetti Warehouse. It’s now 7:40pm, only 20 minutes till Sam’s bedtime.
We arrive to SW and kids are frantic with hunger, potty breaks and needing to dominate the conversation – Sam demonstrates this by throwing himself about with all the strength his 20+ lb body can muster. I only want to talk with new girlfriend, ask her about her home country of Rwanda, etc. but my children need full attention.
Waitress takes an extraordinary amount of time to deliver drinks and bread, kids nearing massive meltdown, parents desperately trying to hold it all together by scraping diaper bag for food supplies.
Husband disappears to car for formula, bib for and potty break for Charlotte. I feed Sam bread bites and applesauce while he alternates lunging for everything on the table as I shovel food in his mouth.
Upon husband’s return, I take Sam for diaper break. Come back and husband takes Sam for bottle and actually takes him to the car as food arrives because Sam’s too distracted and hyper to actually drink in public. So we finally eat in peace, at least 3 out of 4 adults. It’s well past 8pm and Charlotte agrees to stare into the blissful abyss of my phone. I hate resorting to this but it’s so late, it keeps her attention focused rather than on what mischief she can get into. I eat as fast as possible until husband returns with Sam. Everyone’s almost done. He eats 2 bites and asks for to-go boxes so he doesn’t hold everyone up.
During the entire meal my brother and his girlfriend chat with us, tell us about their camping adventures and watch our family show with bemusement. I manage to not blurt out anything inappropriate like – wait until you have a litter, you’ll see how challenging it is!