I was mentally patting all of us on the back when we got seated at our favorite family restaurant tonight. My boys can get a little rambunctious in the car (earning their Suessian nicknames, Thing1 and Thing2), but when we get to any venue with an audience, they pull it together. They’ll hold doors for people and even hold a polite conversation.
Except when we go to Dave’s. Dave’s is actually the SouthSide Cafe in Arlington, VT, but true disciples of the place call it by the owner’s first name. Dave serves 4-star quality food in a casual but very pleasant dining room that has about 6 or 7 tables. Many nights we’ll bump into friends and conversations across the room with a few other guests are common. Our kids have been eating here since they were old enough to peer out of their car-seat carriers, and the familiarity is enough to bring out their inner goofiness – not that deep under the skin to begin with.
Tonight, however, we got through most of our meal enjoying actual conversation, but a clean plate is the devil’s workshop. We usually sit the kids at opposite ends and opposite sides of any dining table to divide and contain the chaos. Somewhere between the last curly fry and dessert, however, my five-year-old (who thinks he’s Shemp) managed to catch his older brother’s eye, and I just registered that he had sent a burp winging toward him. But Thing1 was focused on getting dessert and signaled that he was in no mood to play.
Undeterred and unperturbed, Thing 2 attempted to launch another burp-bomb across the table, this time attracting Daddy’s amused attention.
“Stop!” hissed Thing1.
Thing2 just giggled.
“Dad!” Thing1 turned to my husband who was sitting next to him. “Did you see that? He just tried to burp right in my face!”
Dad turned to him with a devilish grin, pausing for just a second as his lips formed the word “What?”, and he birthed a burp just loud enough to be audible only to our son.
Sometimes, they don’t pick it up on the street.