With a text. We text a lot a lot-- my friend and I. Throughout our chaotic days of motherhood, we text each other funny antic-dotes or videos. There are often texts about the adventures of Bennie or how loud a kid can cry. Apparently her daughter is going to give mine a run for her money.
My money is on Bennie, hands down.
So, like I said- it all started with a text.
We have been trying for months to get together for lunch. But, for one reason or another- our friendship of late has been completely technology based at 140 characters a pop. Today, in the midst of the busiest time of year, today we were able to get together at the Mother Mecca of Chick Fil A and feast on fried chicken and french fries with the plans of our cherubs playing so well in the playground.
How stupid was I?
Well, for starters... I thought it made perfect sense to tell Bennie that she could not go in holding the shirt she slept in. A minor fit ensued. The fit grew. She fell out on the asphalt screaming, rolling over and burying her face in the same place where cars park and oil drips. The ground was hot, which I thought would cut the fit short.
People in the drive thru stop and stare. The line does not move. Instead, I move. I pick up the thrashing child under my right arm and over my right hip and have Fuzzy in his bucket on my left side. Leenie is at the helm stopping the stopped traffic for us to cross.
Pregnant women and men in wheelchairs are holding the door for me.
Bennie is screaming. People are staring.
"Bennie, if you are going to throw a fit- you have to do it outside. Are you going to continue in this fashion?"
I open the door and she rounds the corner to sit down in the space between the two sets of doors. We suppress giggles. She looks doe-eyed at us from the ground. A patron enters her time-out zone and opens the door for her to go back inside.
Fuzzy is abandoned at the back of the line while I order for my family. It costs $13.36
How do I so clearly remember that it is thirteen dollars and thirty six cents? Let me tell you...
When one has to have their hat in their hand because one forgot to replace the cash and cards in their wallet, one tends to remember the amount. That same wallet that I searched high and low for before I left so I could pay for my lunch. Yeah, that wallet.
As I am searching through my wallet, I know what I have done. I have unloaded three children from the car with promises of Chick Fil A and they have heard me order these gifts from Heaven and now I have to load them back in the car to drive to the bank to get money to get back to CFA to get them back out of the car and back inside to order their food a second time. This is going to be great.
I bang my head against the Coke machine. As I am banging my head, I spy my check book. How do I have a check book and yet no cash? What gives? Can they take a check? Let me ask...
Bennie has hopped off and found herself a high chair with wheels. She is pushing the wheelie chair throughout the restaurant screaming "CHICK! CHICK! CHICK! CHICK! BAQU! CHICK! BAQU!" I tell her to turn it around and find a table closer to the playground. A nice man with long hair pushes her high chair to our table. A nice woman picks her up and follows that long haired man.
The man who holds my fate in his hands as I hold my checkbook says that they will take care of my lunch today. I am both incredibly relieved and horribly embarrassed at the same time. The cashier gives me a hug. Bennie shakes her Sprite on the table. The drink, not the fish. Leenie is screaming from the playground. Fuzzy is asleep.
To keep this story short, I will skip to the highlights:
- Bennie screamed at the placemat. She was not a fan.
- Leenie decided she wanted to play with the toy instead of getting ice cream (this little detail will be important to mention when she screams later on about wanting ice cream and tears out of the playground with a red face, crying, and screaming, "I WANT ICE CREAM!" on repeat. I would have to chase her up and down the tables trying to grab her. Her shoes? Gone. Her want for ice cream? Loud. The people dining? Most impressed.)
- They were passing out samples of their new frozen lemonade-- which was pretty good. Leenie wanted one. She did not like it. Bennie wanted one, so she took my friend's and started drinking it. She was a fan. As we chatted, she makes her way under the table and over to Leenie's frozen concoction. A few sips in and she the brain freeze set in. She whacked the drink to the ground, frozen lemonade going with the way of the cup and gravity.
Bennie jumped in her new puddle to clean. Leenie screamed from the playground so loud I had to shush her before finding wipes. Fuzzy slept. Friend nodded and laughed-- passing a stack of napkins as we got down on hands and knees to clean.
Tommy comes to assist us in our endeavors. He mentions his mop. I thought that it could be done with wipes. Mind you, this is like saying laundry could be cleaned without soap or the evening antics could be done without wine. It just doesn't happen. He mentions his mop again. We agree.
Tommy returns with a very large machine. A very large and very loud machine that is used to clean up spilled frozen lemonade. On the side of the glorified squeegee are the words: MOP-IT 3.
Tommy says, "Yeah- we call it the Mop-It."
"Oh? Not the Mop-It 3?" I think, but am too far gone to say anything. He fires up the Mop-It 3 and fires a button for it to release water. The Mop-It 3 is pushed forward about two feet, backwards about two feet, forwards 18 inches, backwards 18 inches. A table is moved. Forward 36 inches, backward 36 inches. a second table is moved. Forward 48 inches and so on.
Leenie is playing in the playground.
I am laughing. This is a lost cause.
The Mop-It 3 has done its job and silence returns to our domain.
Bennie heads to the playground to terrorize little children.
Friend's children polish their halos.
As the Mop-It 3 rolls off to his home, we notice that it left an ... odor....because said Mop-It 3 cleans up more than just frozen lemonade spills. When kids eat too much chicken and play too hard- they probably get sick and Tommy rides in on his white horse known as the Mop-It 3.
Bennie grabs her nuggets and heads back to the playground. I tell her she cannot go in with her stash. She needs to either give them to me or sit down and eat. She stuffs them in her mouth. I pull them out because I want to not perform the heimlich more than once a day. Sidenote: when children get into peanuts, they can choke on them. Keep 'em up high.
Bennie is screaming. Fuzzy is screaming. Leenie has changed her mind about her choice on ice cream. I look at Friend and say, "Ya know- I think this is my cue. It's time to head on." Leenie commences screaming and running.
Bennie is back under my right arm, flailing. Fuzzy is in his bucket on my left side, flailing. Leenie is red-faced, flailing. A nice lady offers her a mint instead of ice cream. We slowly make our way to the car.
Three children screaming makes a beautiful crescendo of music. And to think it all started with a text.