Archive for August, 2014
My husband and I ate at a restaurant that had such an extensive menu it was divided into Volumes 1 and 2. After reading Vol. 1 I needed a break to rest my eyes. Have you ever noticed the higher the prices, the dimmer the lights? Anyway, the lights weren’t so dim that I didn’t notice the strand of hair in my food. I stopped eating. At last night’s dinner the dead bug in the kale made me stop eating. I’m assuming it was dead – it was on its back, legs suspended in air. When I poked it, it was crispy – just like the kale. On the heels of this I read an article in USA Today that reported some restaurant chains are cutting the number of menu items. The theory is less is more. More quality. Faster service. Hotter food. I just hope it’s less hair. They say, “Too many choices make it hard for consumers to make a choice. I agree.
I don’t know why restaurants have never adopted the limited children’s menu for the adults menu. Basically every restaurant offers the same items: chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, hamburger and pizza. Why? Because they know that’s what kids like and will eat. They don’t thread into uncharted waters. They stick with the tried and true.
When our kids were little and we gave them something to eat they didn’t like, we served it on their favorite Disney plate, giving the illusion that it was likable. They could be excused once they ate the beets covering The Little Mermaids mouth. They could be excused once they ate the meatloaf off of Simba’s tail. Who knows, maybe if I had eaten off of a Lion King’s plate I wouldn’t have noticed the hair in my food. It would have blended in with Simba’s tail.
As a parent the excitement builds the night before. You’re so giddy with anticipation you can’t sleep. You toss and turn waiting for morning light and the hope it brings. You replay all the Staples commercials in your head and agree that it is The Most Wonderful time of the Year. On the first day of school a parent’s expression resembles a kid’s expression on the last day of school.
On the first day of school a parent jumps out of bed like a kid on Christmas morning. Miraculously, overnight the aches and pains that usually slow them down in the morning have vanished and they’ve adapted a new personal mantra – the world is great, the kids will be gone at eight. It is this mantra they play over and over in their head as they float down the stairs to assemble lunches. It is this mantra they sing as they get the kids dressed and fed. It is this mantra they sing as they fling open the front door and wait to hear the roar of the school bus.
It is this mantra they’re singing twenty minutes later for the bus to come whisk their children off to school. It is this mantra they’re still singing (be it) a little less enthusiastically 45 minutes later when calling the bus company to find out where the hell the bus is.
An hour later, putting on socks and shoes to take the kids to school they’ve made some changes to their mantra – the world is!!***!! And why the!!***!! are the kids still here when it’s after eight? Excitement is replaced with puzzlement as to how a bus driver can get lost with all the electronic devices available to them today. There’s a wonderful device called a GPS. Get one! Use it! If the bus isn’t equipped with a GPS, the driver should use the one available on their phone. With a GPS buses would run on time and parents could go back to chanting – the world is great, the kids will be gone at eight!
I saw a news story about a professional potty trainer who claims she can train your kids in two days for $1,750. For parents who don’t have time, are at wits end and want to outsource, this is a viable option.
She has a simple approach – loads the kids up with liquid and sets the timer to buzz every forty minutes. If the timer goes off every forty minutes it means the lady does leave the house. The real challenge would be to potty train a kid on the go.
Why, parents know that sometimes it takes forty minutes to get a fidgeting kid into a snowsuit. By the time she’d dress them in their snowsuit, gloves, hat and boots, her forty minutes would be up and she’d have to undress them. They won’t have time to make a snowball… but they may make the snow yellow.
Sometimes it takes forty minutes to pack the car for a trip to Grandma’s. Bye the time she’d pack the baby bag, high chair, toys, portable crib, stroller and play pen, her forty minutes would have come and gone.
Some may question if hiring an expert is a missed opportunity for parent and child to bond. If a parent no longer changed their kids diaper then they would no longer see the creamed corn and be reminded of last night’s dinner. If a parent no longer changed their sons diaper they wouldn’t worry about going blind from all the times their son squirted them in the eye. You would think a kid with perfect aim like that would be a natural at hitting the Cheerio at the bowl’s bottom; but they’re not, which is why you use the gold star reward system.
Recently I found an old calendar filled with gold potties reminding me of the potty wars with my kids. My oldest would sit on the potty for an hour, finally stand up, move over and go on the floor. My son would have preferred to eat the Cheerio rather than pee on it. And I thought my youngest would go straight from Pull Ups to Depends.
The calendar served as a reminded that time goes by in a blink of an eye… a dry eye that is.
I read an article in USA Today that the average time in restaurants is getting longer because of “phone zombies.” A ‘phone zombie” tweets, texts, instagrams, looks at photos and lingers at their table making for an unreasonably long meal. I wasn’t surprised to read this as lately I’ve been held up in all kinds of situations thanks to the “phone zombie.”
One time I was at a traffic light and when the light turned green I waited for the car in front of me to go. When it didn’t go, I went around and saw that the driver was texting, oblivious to the fact the light was green and he was holding up traffic.
Another time I was in an elevator filled with people. When the elevator stopped at the second floor and nobody exited we all turned to look at the guy who pressed the # 2 button when he entered. This man was on his phone and oblivious to the fact he reached his floor and kept others waiting.
Then there was the time I waited to use a one-stall public restroom. I heard the women inside talking and assumed she was in there with someone. When she exited I realized she was alone, but talking on her phone. This woman was oblivious to the fact that she kept others waiting and spoke unnecessarily loud on her phone.
But, the most unbelievable situation was when I was in the hospital emergency room. A doctor attempted to talk to the patient in the bed next to mine; the patient who was on his phone, signaled for the doctor wait. After the doctor made two attempts he walked away and I overheard him say to the nurse, “Get him off the phone and then get me.” I couldn’t blame the doctor for being angry with the guy. He was probably having a nice enjoyable meal at some restaurant where he was instagraming, tweeting and texting when he was pulled away from dinner and came to work to deal with a “phone zombie.” Why it would have served that guy right if the doctor had posted pictures of his ruptured appendix on his phone and all over social media. It’s called “phone zombie” revenge.