I look at knowing how to cook as kinda like working from home. I really like food. I like good food. And to have a good meal that is well-prepared, flavorful, and has a lovely presentation, I don't even have to get dressed much less put on shoes. But there are times when you really need to go out.
As a single mom with two small children, going out to eat is slightly scary. You have to be fully emotionally prepared for the experience. Mostly, you have to be willing to just let people hate you.
I pick up thrown and dropped food as we eat. I tip my serviers well. I hoarde napkins. I bring wipes. But still, there is just no way to keep it a lovely experience for those around you and those serving you. My kids will scream, crawl under the table, accidentally filp food across the room. They're not being bad. They're not wild. They just have poor coordination and an inability to exercise self-control for that long. They're children.
Tonight, we went out with some friends. And let me just stop right here and say that I have the most wonderful friends in the world. Facing my situation, my friends really stepped forward. My kids and I have been loved and taken care of very well. Tonight a good friend took us out to dinner. We had a great time. The food was wonderful. The company was even better.
The key is truly to roll with it. As long as everyone at the table thinks it is funny to see a pile of food in someone's crotch, all will be well. If anyone is uptight about it, the evening is ruined. Tonight, we laughed and laughed. The kids ran and ran. At home, they dropped into bed and fell asleep before I even pulled the covers up. It was fun for everyone.
And that is the amazing part. I have such a great time as a single mom. My friends are key. It's odd because I have a lot of friends who don't have kids. But my kids and I are having a blast. On the phone, my daughter told one friend, "when will we see you again? I miss you." She then asked, "who are you?" It doesn't seem to matter. She loves them all and they love her.
So, to all of you who are not part of our party, but happen to be in the restaurant, I'm so sorry. We didn't mean to get ice cream in your hair. But feel free to join us. We are having a lot of fun.