Saturday, October 1, 2011

Day 1450 - A Tip for Waiters

We were dining at a fancy restaurant called Johnny Rockets today.  And to clarify, a fancy restaurant to us is any establishment where there is not a buffet line.  The waiter was one of those struggling actors whose true bitterness is hidden behind the facade of a happy-go-lucky 1950s waiter.  The kids were behaving great because they got crayons and a coloring activity menu.  But then it happened.  The waiter brought them balloons.

To me, there is nothing worse than giving four year old twins a balloon.  So after we finished our lunch, Lisa and I decided to leave the balloons as we walked out.  But then it happened again.  The waiter followed us out the door with the balloons!

"Hey, Daddio!" said the method waiter.  "Don't forget the balloons for the kiddos!"

I wanted to kick him in his water balloons.  I shoo'd the waiter away, and thankfully the kids didn't see the balloons because were playing around on the 4th floor railing of the shopping mall.  Thank god for vertically-inclined railings!

The waiter looked at me as if I was the worst parent of the year for not allowing his kids to bask in the glory of a balloon.  I know all of you non-parents just see the smile on a kid's face when they're carrying around a balloon at the mall, a zoo, or the ICU ward of your local hospital.  But let me tell you what would've happened if we took the balloons home...

For the rest of our day at the mall, we would've had Emma and Andrew running around with balloons entangling mannequins, display racks, and slow, elderly people.  Somewhere along the way, one of the kids will have lost the balloon and watch it flying into the air.  Cue the hysterical crying.  Meanwhile, the other kid who still has the balloon eggs the other one on by saying, "I still have my balloon!"

To stop the hysterical crying in public after repeated consolations of "It's only a balloon.  It's just going to fly into the air and kill a bird," one of us ends up scouring the mall for a kiosk that sells overpriced balloons.  Cue more hysterical crying from the other child because they're pissed off that the new balloon is better.  Watch Daddy mutter profanities while pulling out his wallet to buy another balloon.

When we return home, the kids continue to run around with their balloons entangling furniture, pendant lighting, and slow, elderly people (Crazy Gaga and Lazy Papa were in town).  Momentarily, the kids forget about their balloons and play with their other toys like Del Taco collectible cups, Souplantation bowls, and Olive Garden plastic breadsticks.

But as the days progress, one balloon will lose its helium before the other.  This will make the owner of this particular balloon livid, angry, and jealous.  Observe this furious child try to take the other child's balloon away.  Look at how the two children push, hit, and claw at each other.  Notice how the child with the better balloon protects it from the angry beast.  Amid the clutter, the child protecting the balloon is pushed over, falls on top of the balloon, and said balloon pops.  So despite the lack of helium of the former balloon, this child takes joy that this balloon still exists.

What does the kid do about the popped balloon?  Pop the other balloon of course.  Now we have a house echoing the bloody cries of two pissed off kids.  Mommy's and Daddy's foreheads show as many veins popping out as Madonna's left forearm.  Not knowing what else to do to put everyone at ease, what does Daddy do?  Take everyone back to Johnny Rockets for lunch and balloons.

And THAT'S why you NEVER give kids balloons in restaurants.

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