The worst restaurant trip ever

So… yesterday, after church, we went — as we often do — to a place called Ajo Al’s.  They don’t have a gluten-free menu, but we’ve eaten there so much, we know what’s safe, and we have a favorite waitress who goes back to the kitchen to make sure things are prepared in a g.f. way.  Love her.  Libby, the best waitress EVER.  She’s the kind who remembers your drinks, and what you ordered last time, even if you haven’t been there for a couple of months.  She’s very pretty, too, and all the boys are smitten, and Audrey adores her.  (Libby at the Arrowhead location.  Tell her that the family with three cherry cokes, an Arnold Palmer, a Diet Pepsi, and an apple juice sent you.  😀 )

Since Arizona has no smoking anywhere now, we are free to sit in the lounge, where they have the TVs.  It’s football season, so, of course, we’re watching football.  Even Audrey can holler, “Touchdown!!” now.

Yesterday, our oldest two boys, Ethan and Grant, went over to friends’ houses after church, so it was just Martin, 6yo Wesley, and 20 month-old Audrey.  We thought, “Fantastic!  This’ll be a snap!  A peaceful meal, watching football.”

Um, no.

It was the worst restaurant trip ever.  Audrey became the baby you NEVER hope to be seated near when you go into a restaurant.  She screamed with ear-piercing pitch and volume.  She cried, spewing snot everywhere.  She threw food.  She grabbed everything and everyone within arm’s length.  She wiggled out of her high chair.  It was hellish.  Thankfully, I was close to the exit door and took her out on the patio a couple of times to get her to calm down.  Audrey can be loud sometimes, but usually, it’s very brief, and we’ve never had to leave a restaurant due to our child’s behavior.  But, there’s always a first time.  Finally, I told my hubby, “That’s it.  I’m outta here.”

We were in separate vehicles, so I left with Audrey, leaving Martin and Wes to finish up and pay.  Well, Martin to pay.  Not Wes.

I was embarrassed at the scene Audrey caused.  I was agitated.  I was frustrated.  All those lovely emotions that make one so very pleasant.

As I drove to the gas station, I started grousing to myself about my hubby, who hadn’t really done anything to be of any assistance as I was struggling with our daughter.  Grr… 

So, there I was, at Costco, irritated with my little girl, irrititated with my husband, and generally feeling crabby, pumping gas.  Out of the corner of my eye, I see my husband’s truck, edging its way carefully between the rows of vehicles.  “Babe!” he hollers, holding a soda out the window, a wide smile on his handsome face.

I immediately started repenting for my attitude towards my husband, and for my general, “Woe is me” state.

My hubby doesn’t even like me to drink soda; in the regular stuff, the corn syrup is bad for you, and in the diet stuff, the aspartame is highly questionable.  Yet, he had noticed that in my hasty exit, I had left a full glass of Diet Pepsi on the table.  He had the waiter put it in a to-go cup, and delivered to to me at the gas station.

God is gentle with me, even when I’m irrationally grumpy, and have let what’s a fairly normal event in the lives of most everyone with a toddler become something that hangs, black-cloud-style, over my life and attitude.

And, He knows how to get me out of it.  Soda in hand, love in my heart, I drove back home.  Audrey fell asleep on the way.  And she stayed asleep when I put her into bed.

And I went to watch some more football, do the crossword, and take a nap.

It was a good day, after all.     


About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on December 17, 2007, in Arizona, Marriage, Motherhood, Random Stuff, Sports Stuff, The Dear Hubby, The Kids. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. What sweet sentiments–thank you for sharing! I will keep your posting in mind the next time I start getting grumpy about rowdy kids or a distracted husband! 🙂

  2. ya gotta love it when God blesses you even when you aren’t all that plesant….it is a little Whisper from God.

  3. Karen,
    I’ll say it again – you are wise. You recognize God working.

    We’ve had a few restaurant trips like that, though thankfully it’s been a few years so we can go back without being recognized as THAT family.

  4. Awww, what a sweet hubby! I’m glad the day turned out okay. 🙂

  5. Thanks for visiting, La Donna Mobile! Glad you enjoyed the post.

    Amy ~ Thanks, too, for your visit (or have you been here before? Your website looks very familiar). Your comment is *exactly* what I was thinking.

    Steve ~ Your comments always mean more to me since you’re family… I appreciate your words, though I particularly do NOT feel wise right now.

    MLBAH ~ Yes, he is a sweet hubby, and I’m glad I stuck around to found that out, because I wasn’t always so… enlightened to his charms. For a long time, I could only clearly see his flaws, and I was very discontented. But, God is good, and He gives us time to grow up. My pastor is fond of saying, “If you don’t quit, you win” and I think that’s particularly true about marriage. We’ve been married 13 years, but it took the full first 10 to really become happy with him, much to my shame, because there’s really so much about him that is fantastic, and so much about me that is lamentable, and I most often feel like he got the short end of the stick.

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