Dan and I took the kids to the Palo Alto Baylands this afternoon for a nice walk in the marshes at sunset. It was beautiful, but Julian was acting a bit crazy. He has been yelling really loudly all day long. Guess it's just one of those days.
Meanwhile I'm on Night 3 of Very Little Sleep due to Adrian thrashing around half the night for unknown reasons. So I'm running on fumes.
Anyway, it was a lovely walk and we were hungry afterwards, so I offered to take the family to dinner in Palo Alto. We haven't been out in a million years. And now I remember why...WE HAVE TWO SMALL CHILDREN.
We drove downtown, parked, and walked around looking for a place to eat that wasn't too fancy, too slow-serving, or too spicy. We saw a groovy Indian place, and took note for a possible future date night. We saw Facebook's offices...didn't know they were headquartered in downtown Palo Alto. Saw a sushi place that looked kid-friendly, but we do sushi take-out all the time, and I was hoping for something new.
Finally I spotted a tapas place. Mmmmm, tapas. Small dishes, informal setting...sounded good. We entered...and all hell broke loose.
Adrian saw food and immediately started screeching, demanding that I put it IN HIS MOUTH RIGHT NOW! He thrashed around, wildly grabbing at spoons, napkins, menus. Where is that food! I know it's here somewhere! SCREEEEECH!
Julian, normally a well-behaved diner, was in rare form as well. He was standing up in the booth and answering all conversation with, "Don't say that!" in a semi-hysterical tone of voice.
I ordered a pitcher of sangria and hoped that bread would arrive soon, as I kept wrestling Adrian away from the objects on the table, and tried to distract him from further screeching, or throwing spoons to the floor with a loud clang.
Garlic shrimp and sangria arrived, with bread. Hallelujah! Adrian started chewing a piece of baguette and quieted down temporarily. Julian actually ate an entire shrimp, plus bread. It was delicious. Dan and I wolfed down shrimp at an insane pace.
Then all hell broke loose again. Adrian decided that he didn't like bread anymore. He threw it down and refused all further attempts to put it in his mouth. I tried to give him some tortilla espanola, he refused that too. He drank a little water, and then the screeching began again.
I yanked up my shirt as the screeching decibel level rose, and tried to latch him onto my Failsafe Tool of Last Resort. He grudgingly nursed a little bit, then rejected it and screeched some more. I felt my brain melting inside my skull and flowing out through my ears. WHY oh WHY did we bring our offspring out to a restaurant...just for the pure torture value of it? Why did we have kids at all? Look at all these happy, tranquil people around us...clean, well-rested, stylishly dressed...enjoying a quiet happy hour at the bar with half-price drinks. Holding uninterrupted intelligent conversations, no less!
And then there was our table...covered in half-chewed splotches of bread, with piercing shrieks and wails assaulting the ears of anyone unfortunate enough to be seated in our vicinity. All silverware and plates shoved to the far end of the table, away from the marauding Mr. Baby. One slightly disheveled father vainly offering food to an unwilling and loudly protesting 3.5 year old (imagine...EATING in a restaurant! the nerve!), and one exhausted, grimacing mother wrestling a large baby in an attempt to keep him from overturning the table, in between hasty gulps of sangria rosada (which was a mistake, as it gave me a headache later without providing any discernible stress relief in the meantime).
We finished up the last morsels of Lemon and Garlic Chicken and skedaddled. The aroma of Hot and Bothered Dog wafted out of the car as I opened the back hatch to check on Bugs, not at all happy about being left there while we went to go eat.
The streets outside were full of happy Friday evening revelers, blocking traffic and stranding us on the exit ramp of the parking garage at a precarious tilt uphill, while the tired kids yowled in their carseats. Not like it was that late, it was only 6:45pm, mind you.
I was cursing all pedestrians, all cars in front of us who failed to pull out into traffic in a timely manner. And WHAT was all this traffic anyways? Oh right, Friday evenings. Normal civilians like to go out on Friday evenings to celebrate their lack of small children. I felt 95 years old.
When we got home I checked the Evite for a party that we were attending the following evening. Nearly every confirming attendee wrote something along the lines of, "We got a babysitter! Can't wait to party, see you there!"
No, we do not have a babysitter. I am working on one, she starts next week. She Whose Hearing Shall Be Assaulted by Unending Screams from Mr. Baby, aka Mama's Boy Who Shall Not Be Put Down. Oh, and Julian, aka LOOKIT! LOOKIT ME! LOOK!
So tonight we'll go to the party from 5-6:30pm, then come home, put the kids to bed (a two-parent task), and Dan will return to the party while I maintain my lonely vigil at home as Keeper of the Lactating Breasts.
I know this period will be over soon enough, and Dan and I will be wondering, "Dang, those kids are away at college already? How did the time fly like that?" But right now time is moving VERY SLOWLY. A good night's sleep, an uninterrupted hour of reading, a bathtub all to myself, a dinner out without worry and hurry...those all seem a million miles away right now.
Good thing these kids are so cute and (mostly) sweet, or I'd be really pissed. But I think it's all just a function of me never getting a break. Bring on the babysitter! And let's hope she doesn't quit.