Monday, January 14th 2008
Inspiring Strangers to Give Pep Talks

A couple nights ago we went to dinner at a Japanese place with the three boys. We sat near a very nice couple. The woman looked at me, and then – as sometimes nice women do – said, “It gets better. They grow up quickly. Just enjoy them.” Then she looked at her husband and back at me and said that they have three (grown) boys of their own.

I’m always grateful to these women. And then I think I must look like a total crazy mess, and I want to go take a nap and brush my teeth. But since I can’t take a nap or brush my teeth, I usually replay what happened right before a total stranger was inspired to tell me this.

What happened this particular time, in the preceding ten minutes:

Seth-2yr zipped Mike’s neck into a zipper. Small amount of blood. Not so small amount of pain. Mike handled it well.

Caden-3yr and Ethan-7yr touched everything in sight, almost knocking over these weird white barrels in the ‘waiting for a table’ area. I put them both on Sitting, Not Touching Anything status, and put every last bit of energy into enforcing it. This was particularly difficult since Caden-3yr saw a bell with a string at toddler height, so that any three year old could easily ring it or choke if he so desired. Fantastic idea, that bell.

Seth-2yr had the standard fit about being placed in a high chair, and we all survived. Also standard.

At the table, Seth-2yr and Caden-3yr insisted on squeezing out edamame from the pods. Seth-2yr is obsessed with anything spherical and every time one would pop out he’d cheerfully yell “BALL!” Then the edamame would go into the clear soups, which they didn’t eat. Which was fine. Splashy, but fine.

Caden-3yr dropped a slice of tomato on the floor, burst into tears and yelled, “MY POTATO! MY POTATO FALLED!” Then we had the potato/tomato talk, and topped it off with a replacement tomato.

Caden-3yr and Ethan-7yr examined the menus thoroughly and held a lengthy discussion about what the word Fanta really meant.

Ethan-7yr called out, “H I B A C H I” for me to tell him what that spelled. Four times.

Ethan-7yr was tired, and it mellowed him. It doesn’t often. I was grateful.

We took the boys to the corner of the room to see the koi pond. No one fell in. No animals were harmed, although the boys did discuss the possibility of throwing money at the fish.

Seth-2yr had the standard fit about being placed in a high chair (again) and we all survived. Also standard.

We ordered. Caden-3yr wanted chicken but didn’t want to order anything different than Ethan-7yr. Ethan-7yr and Caden-3yr discussed (at length) ordering fish. No one ordered fish or chicken. Fanta was ordered, and there was no conclusion to the ‘what does Fanta really mean anyway’ conversation.

But. It gets better. I’m enjoying them. (really!)

And I got a nap.


11 Comments on “Inspiring Strangers to Give Pep Talks”

January 14th, 2008
11:47 pm

yeah every time we “survive” eating out we vow not to take them out again. At least the lady was nice. We once had a couple sitting next to us ask to be reseated. Thanks for that lady.

January Cat
January 15th, 2008
12:30 am

I never had children, but enjoyed my friends’ offspring. I can tell you it does get btter. They grow up, go pff to college, and… Come home. Then, their parents just want them gone, again. I know becase they all tell me about it.
One young man that I had a close relation with as he grew up, came over just after Christmas. he is a Marine now, headed to Okinawa, then on to Iraq, Someone for my Sunday School’s prayer list.
Take care. Enjoy those boys.

January 15th, 2008
9:50 am

It does?! It really DOES get better? Oh, thank goodness. Three. Of. My. Own. Did you say nap? I thought I heard someone say nap. . .

January 15th, 2008
4:48 pm


Grace Whisperer
January 16th, 2008
4:40 am

Thank you! Thanks for the encouragement! :) I have two boys, 4 and 1. Some days I think I’ve done something very, very wrong in raising them… The crazy things they do!! Your blog continues to reassure me that it’s a boy thing, not a mommy thing… and makes me smile the whole time!

January 16th, 2008
7:37 pm

My kids would LOVE to go to the Japanese place again. The Girl would get sushi and the boy would stick with good old chicken. That’s my boy!

I can’t really see how it can get better than now…

But that nap? Oh yeah, I’m jealous of that nap.

January 17th, 2008
2:29 am

As a mom of 5 boys,it does get better, and then one day you realize how much you miss those meals when the kids are entertaining the entire restaurant, while I sat in the corner hiding behind the menu hoping someone, anyone, would claim them as theirs.

Congrats on the nap, I didn’t get one for 10 years.

January 19th, 2008
7:28 am

Yes, this too shall pass. How’s Mike’s neck? Owwie, as my 2yo Michael would say.

I cringe when strangers come up to us in a restaurant. I never know if we’re going to get a lecture or a nice comment. I enjoy the nice comments and realize that I’m doing the best with what I’ve got. It’s the rude people in the stores that bother me the most. You know, the ones who take a long glance individually at all four of my kids, then ask, “Are they ALL yours?” I’m too polite though and never blurt out the words that want to spew from my tongue that I’m biting. Especially when they have the audacity to ask, “You do know what causes that don’t you?” If only my dh Thomas were with me when they ask, they’d know the answer to their absurd question! LOL

January 21st, 2008
3:10 am

Ok, um, what is fanta?

January 22nd, 2008
11:34 pm

How come I didn’t get the memo that you’ve moved?! And way back in November?! I guess that’s how long I haven’t bloghopped!
Anyway, I’m glad I haven’t encountered any bad comments about my family. Looks, yes…but no one has dared to come up to me to scold me or anything. Thank goodness!

Cheryl Rogers
January 26th, 2008
3:58 am

My family loves to eat at a Japanese steakhouse. It sounds similar. It’s really entertaining, especially for boys, when they make a flaming volcano out of onion rings, let them throw egg shells into their chef hat, etc. At least YOU don’t have to be the entertainer, for a little while.

But they sure do grow up fast. My oldest “baby” is almost 18…

Cheryl, home of new Fast Track to Victory Christian Blog

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