The Breakout!

Last night ended a week long snow break. We were able to get the kids outside a few times throughout the week, but for the most part is was way too cold with 15 inches of snow, so we stayed in watching movies, playing games, building forts, jumping on couches (because what else are you going to do cooped up for 7 days with four kids?!), eating snow cream, reading books and doing a craft or two. Yesterday we were OVER it! When church was cancelled we decided we had to get out of the house and do something. So, after nap time, we went to the grocery. Remind me never to do that on a Sunday, at the end of a long snowy week, during seasonal changes in their merchandise, with all 4!!! But we made it and all left with smiling faces. Our next 'breakout' decision.....go out to eat. Of was a perfect idea! We'd take our 6, 5, and 3 year old sons and our precious 2 year old daughter who have been cooped up, mostly in their pajamas all week, and ask them to sit politely at a restaurant for an hour so we can enjoy some time out of the house. Seriously people. I must be delusional!

We have these moment with our kids that we affectionately call "whack-a-mole". You remember the game, right? Our kids occasionally like to behave in such a way that we look like we are in a nerve-racking game of whack-a-mole and last night at dinner was one such occasion. While, generally speaking, our kids are well mannered and well behaved, they are very busy, curious, independent and loud children. It was a steady stream of full on bad comedy.....

"Son, put the knife down"
* preemptive trip to the bathroom with almost trained Elijah
"Don't drink the salsa"
"The straws are not swords"
* Dad, I need to pee
"Come on, why don't you both go?"
* No thanks dad, I don't need to
"Elijah, you can't run off! Daddy's gone to the bathroom with brother!"
* I know! I'm going to catch him!
"SoSo, don't put your drink in the salsa"
"Where is Mason?"
"No, you cannot have a balloon"
* Mom, I need to poop
"Daddy just asked you if you needed to go"
* I didn't need to go then
"Elijah, please sit down and leave those people alone"
* Mom, when is the food coming?
"Son, we haven't even ordered yet"
"Timothy, you do not need another basket of chips"
"Please stop drinking the salsa!"

I mean, seriously!! At one point, I caught Scott looking at me from across the table as I was about to get mad and he chuckled. Chuckled! Usually he's the one to stress out about our public displays of whack-a-mole, but this time, he paused for a moment, probably watching the comedy routine I was playing out, and found the humor in it. Luckily, his charming smile disarmed me enough to realize, that, while I wished they would stop drinking the salsa and playing straw swords, they were actually doing just fine, and we were out of the house together, enjoying one of my favorites. It was then that I realized, with obvious clarity, that the real problem was that my children have all taken after me and my love of chips and salsa! And if I were to be totally honest, they have most likely caught me at home, drinking the last drops of salsa from the bowl before putting it in the dishwasher!!

So, to the lady at the nearby table I caught smiling at us several times throughout our meal, thank you. Your smile so openly showed me either that, 1) You are a get it. Or 2) You, like I used to be, want to be a mom so bad you would take these whack-a-mole moments any day of the week, just to be a mom. Either way, I thank you for reminding me that it's ok to enjoy these loud, less then perfect outings with my family.  "Hands up kids, food has arrived!"

*No children were actually "whacked" during this outing, or any other time!