Taking a toddler to a restaurant is always a risky proposition. It’s a little like Russian Roulette – your kid can be awesome or a nightmare. What I never realized until I took Annie to a Mothers Day Brunch with Heather and my Mom was that a toddler could be both – an awesome nightmare.
I was a little worried initially about how Annie would do at the restaurant since it was a nicer joint than the “kid friendly” places we normally go, but I relaxed upon seeing it had a prix fixe menu. I assumed that, because they would be making a bunch of the same thing over and over, they’d get us in and out with relative speed.
I was wrong.
It took twenty minutes to order, then another twenty to bring out the first course. Amazingly though Annie was a perfect little cherub as we waited, and waited, and waited. She was still smiling when they brought out the main course more than an hour after we had sat down.
As we waited for dessert, however, Annie decided that she had had enough. She arched her back, clenched her fists, and cried.
I scooped her up and carried her into the lobby where I was shocked to find a dozen other dads with restless toddlers.
“Bit slow, huh?” one dad said.
“You’d think with a prix fixe…” another added.
We all nodded, miserable.
Just then Heather waved at me. The dessert had arrived. I hurried back with Annie to find a delicious chocolate mousse on my plate. As I dug into it, Annie started to act up again.
“Oh, no,” I thought. “There’s no way I’m going to leave this dessert behind to take Annie back to the lobby. It’s too good!”
It then occurred to me how I could change Annie’s mood – the mousse! I gave her a little bite and she LOVED it. Heather watched, bemused, as I gave Annie another bite. When I gave her a third bite, Heather grew concerned.
“Whoa,” Heather said. “That is way too much sugar for her.”
“But she likes it.”
“Yeah, well, you’re going to have to deal with whatever all that sugar does to her. Got it?”
I nodded, suddenly worried, as Annie smiled with chocolate all over her face.
A few minutes later Annie got a wild look in her eye. I lifted her out of her high chair and hurried back to the lobby.
That is when the combination of restlessness and mass sugar consumption lead to Annie’s morphing “Teen Wolf” style into the most awesome little monster toddler I have ever seen. She ran in circles and waved her hands in the air while indiscriminately shouting every word she knew.
The other toddlers looked at her with both horror and amazement. “She must have got some of that dessert,” they thought, jealous.
Though I now know not to ever give Annie that much dessert again, I must say her display was pretty awesome.