Saturday, May 16, 2009

Those People

In the many years I have worked in the restaurant business, I have seen plenty of poorly behaved children. You know the ones. They dump the sugar packets all over the tables. They drool in the salt shakers. They throw everything within their grasp all over the floor. They shriek and howl and run about while their parents seem oblivious to their horrible behavior. And while some people would say that these are bad children, I would argue that these were bad parents. But I think we would all agree that nobody likes "those people."

So when we went to our favorite local pizza joint tonight for dinner, I never dreamed it would have gone so badly. The wife grabbed a booth with Jack, while Ella and I stood in line to order. Tired and overstimulated from the Renaissance Festival, Ella soon began crying for her mother, who was all the way back at the last booth, the farthest distance she could possibly get from the counter. Being tired, and not wanting to lose my place in line, I foolishly put Ella down and said, "Mommy's right there. Go get her." I watched as she ran, not in a straight line, but serpentine through the restaurant, laughing and making a scene the whole way. Then Jack decided to run to daddy, stopping to linger a little too long in front of the front door, ignoring his father who was repeatedly calling his name, each time with more volume than the last, drawing too much attention to himself.

After we ordered, we took turns playing a racing video game. That went badly as well, resulting in fits of temper when each one was required to give the other a turn at the steering wheel. Next we washed hands, and Ella became upset when I refused to let her wash up in the urinal. Then we went back to the booth and managed to get the salt, pepper, and parmesan shakers out of harm's way just before the pizza arrived.

Jack refused to eat. In fact, he refused to do anything but jump up and down in the seat of the booth. Ella was a little more sly. She acted like she was eating, then while our guards were down, she began smearing her pizza all over the plate glass window, creating a pizza Pollack. They both banged their forks on the table for awhile, until Ella dropped hers on the floor. Jack went after it, spending an unnecessary amount of time under the table doing who knows what. I was too afraid to look. Then, Ella made a break for it, running from her mother who was suddenly calling for a box and spanking Ella's butt simultaneously in true mother multitasking fashion.

And as we were leaving, some of us sobbing, and all of us exhausted, I could not deny the fact that we had become, "those people." I was a bit embarrassed to say the least. But, in my defense, I must point out that our twins are not bad children, and neither are the wife and I bad parents. We were just your average happy family, having a bad day.

1 comment:

lavalamp said...

pizza pollock, being an artist myself, i find that a witty term, good work here Blaine! Katie told me about it so i figured i would check it out