Mali and I have been home for four days now. (Iz went straight from the Pacific Northwest to San Diego with my mom, who also came on our fabulous boating trip).

Leelo was not happy to have his wee sister back home. Apparently he thought she was gone for good. So I am spending this week while they are still both out of school searching for distractions. Hiking in Butano with Jennyalice and Lucy was good, very good. All three kids blazed the Little Butano Creek trail there and back again, in record time, with no whining, and with only one banana slug casualty. The forest was, in Jennyalice's words, "primeval." Cool, soothing, green. We were all in a good space.

Which might be why we didn't really notice how tired those kids were. Had we not been so drunk with success, we might not have taken three tired hungry overactive children to a crowded family/tourist restaurant where we had to wait a lot longer than we were told, and staffed by pinched-faced and overstressed waitstaff who came over to ask us, "Are these [big gestures to two tables of tourists in corners] people going to be able to enjoy their meals? Because that's what we're concerned about. That these people will be able to enjoy their meals." Jennyalice and I looked at each other, I got shocked tears in my eyes, and said, "we're leaving," and we stood up and left, dragging one really unhappy autistic boy who had been promised bread and two preschoolers who sobbed and howled, "But we're soooooo HUNGRY!" through the crowded restaurant.

In hindsight I should have told her that we just needed bread. But I was too surprised by the waiter's calling us out. Now she'll never know that Jennyalice and I always, always order too much food and always, always overtip.

We're going back though. Seymour and I have been taking the kids to said restaurant for years, and it is one of five or so restaurants in which Leelo usually has a good time. I'm not letting one callous and compassion-challenged waiter piss in that pot.

Anyhow, the restaurant debacle is off my chest and off the point. We want to set Leelo up for success in outings with Mali, so this morning I'm taking them to the Monterey Bay Aquarium with Ep and Merlin. I am hoping that an early morning late August visit will mean fewer crowds, because while Leelo loves the Aquarium, he can't take it when we have to elbow our way past the other visitors. We tried going right after Christmas and had to leave early, even though we had Therapist A with us that time. Today it will be just us five, and hopefully fewer crowds. I want to see both Leelo and Mali have happy times "together." That is all I care about at the moment.

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  1. Um, are we just talking about kids being jumpy and noisy because they're waiting to sit down and eat? And once they sit down to at least a basket 'o crackers things settle right down? It sure sounds like the waitress overreacted.

    Hope everybody has a happy time at the Aquarium. :):)

    Love, Laura

  2. I'm pretty sure I know where you were. And next time call me to meet you there. is not far and i will kick ass as needed.

  3. Glad you are not letting a waiter put you off.

    Hope all goes well at the Aquarium!

  4. Anonymous7:20 AM

    You should have complained to the manager and told him/her that you would be letting people know how his restaurant clearly lived in the dark ages by allowing such insensitive and completely ignorant behavior by his staff. I would have made sure that staff member was fired.

  5. Anonymous2:52 PM

    What a bitch! Waiters often dislike serving women and children because they think it's extra work and they won't get a decent tip. It's discrimination and the manager needs to be informed.
    My husband and I used to take our young son to a restaurant near a retirement community. Many of the elderly diners were nice and friendly but some acted as if their lives were being destroyed by having to share the dining area with a baby.
    We got some nasty glares (at a baby!) and some unpleasant comments. One older couple stands out in my mind for being hostile. They glared at us and our son (who was being very good,) and the lady said loudly, "We always left the children with a sitter so we could eat in peace. Those people must not have enough money to afford a sitter."
    Now, my husband and I are attorneys. We had (and still have) plenty of money to hire a full-time nanny if we wanted one. But we enjoyed going out as a family and after a hard day at work we liked to relax with our child.
    I told the woman I appreciated her concern. I think she was surprised that I spoke to her instead of cowering meekly under her disapproving stare.
    I called the waiter over and, smiling sweetly, told him we would pay for the old couple's dinner because they were on a fixed income and couldn't afford to dine out very often.
    Their jaws dropped and they didn't say another word. Our son was well-behaved as always and we had a very nice meal.
    I have no time for child-haters.


Respectful disagreement encouraged.