We tend to space dinners out so infrequently that we forget the pain and when one of us announces we've got a gift card from Cracker Barrel the other happily says, why yes I'd love to eat out tonight! So we bustle about for 2 hours, finishing the dishes, cleaning the floors, even pre-making dinner for Monday night so the other parent can attend an evening event! We pull frozen cookie balls from the deep freezer and make a quick tray of hot piping cookies for snack time. Everyone seems to be having a blast, even Violette in her crib with a new (to her) toy, Little Einstein's ipod music box with fresh batteries!
Our downfall was pushing it to 6:30 to leave, just a hair too long. Had we left at 6 I'm convinced the evening would have been perfect. As it was, we had all 3 children crying at various stages in the evening.
Violette cried on the way there and back home which was not uncommon or unexpected, but at least she was calm in the restaurant because she was being held.
Sam cried when we took away the table toy as his meal arrived. He didn't eat, so we gave the toy back thinking he was done for the night. Then he wanted to eat and play with the toy so we took it away. He cried that deep bellowing cry that only a two year old can manage so we gave the toy back and took away his food, to which he didn't care!
Charlotte finished her meal with the promise of dessert but cried when her toy was taken away because she purposely dropped pegs on the floor after we refused to pick up the ones she had accidentally dropped. She did that whole fake cry with no tears and then got bored of crying when we didn't react and just started coloring. I guess it's hard to fake cry and color at the same time.
The waitress forgot the dessert that comes with the kids meals and we didn't remind her because we didn't want to deal with the consequences.
But before the crying started, the waitress and table behind us assured us we had the most beautiful children they had ever seen. So there's that!