Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Yes, Three of Them

Over the past week, I've ventured out three separate times to "eat out" with all three kids, something I've dared do only once since the twins were born. Two were required family functions with lots of hands to stuff little birds full of cheerios, bread, and whatever else those hands could sneak into open mouths while I wasn't looking.

The funny thing is that at each restaurant, I've watched the welcome crew do a double take when I request "three high chairs." And then comes the scramble. I can almost see their brains swirling: "Do we even have three high chairs? Three? Really? Can't she just hold the babies on her lap? Who in her right mind would bring three small children to a sit-down restaurant? Should we suggest to her that McDonalds is next door? Well, we'd just better stick her in a corner, in the back, in a separate room--anywhere there are few guests."

Behind the smiling politeness, it's ever so obvious that my birthing three kids instead of the 2-child average (plus having the nerve to bring them all at once into their restaurant) means I am now a problem customer.

Most of the parents I see around me are holding their acceptable one or two kids, so apparently, I missed a memo somewhere. My babies are not content to sit--if given half a second, my plate will be in their lap, and wearing my food isn't the fashion statement I want to make today.

On the drive home today, I thought about how restaurants seem to perceive my seating needs as a problem. My mind meandered to an old hymn, one line of which reads, "And I shall dwell in the House of the Lord forever; / And I will feast at the table spread for me. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me / All the days, all the days of my life."

I couldn't help but smile. What an inferior table is set before me here on earth. My Father won't make faces at how many children I bring with me to His table. He will welcome all who serve Him completely with open arms...and I'm sure He will be prepared with as many high chairs as are needed.

1 comment:

  1. How true.

    I remember the early days with Sophie. Who am I kidding? It can still be challenging taking her to a sit down restaurant.

    She has really thrown me for a loop in more ways than I can count. I thought I had it all down. Two kids who were teens. Check. I'd done all of this twice. Sure, it had been a long time; but, I had been a Nanny for years. No problem.

    RRRIGHT! She was a squealer for at least her first year. Loud shrills, really. She did not want to sit still, would also grab every single thing she could get her hands on. And I worried way too much about everyone else in the restaurant.

    That's not to say that I shouldn't have been concerned of how my child's behavior affected the other customers. I just worried too much.

    You enjoy those babies. I'm sure it's not something you want to do weekly. But each time you take them out, they learn a little more about what it's like to be in a public restaurant.

    I think it's great that you take out three small children including twins.

    I cannot comprehend it.

    Just picture that table in which we will one day dine. You can sit by me. I won't mind.