“It seems like a good idea” never is. Ever.
Itâ€™d been a long short week. And when I went to pick up the boys, Destroy was sitting on the floor of the playground poking his finger through the toe of his shoe.
Lets get new shoes after school the boys asked. We’ll have a dinner date I thought. That sounds like a great idea I thought.
So we set off for the Gates of Hell â€“ our plan was to procure the necessary new kicks and snag a cookie on the way out. Search and Destroy were enthralled with this special after school adventure.
With a toddler pulling at each arm we scuttled and shuffled through the mall toward Stride Rite. The flatiron kiosk vendor stepped in front of us. â€œHow do you typically do your hair. Looks like you like it straight. Do you have a moment to let me show you some tips?â€ Really dude? Do I *look* like I have oodles of free time? Shoes await!
The boys tore into the store with eyes alit. They leapt up onto the padded multi-colored bench with the chosen soles clutched firmly in their grasp. Everything was going so well!
â€œI need a cookie now,â€ I was informed. But being the good mother I am, I was able to dissuade them from the sugary mound of ooey-gooey delicious dough by bribing them with pizza. Because the sugar on that comes from the pineapple on the pizza. Itâ€™s natural.
So we awkwardly teetered toward California Pizza Kitchen for an impromptu night out on the town â€“ requiring just a bit of encouragement to keep moving at Build-a-Bear, Disney and Lego. (Theyâ€™re 3, it was 5 oâ€™clock. This totally counts.) And because it was 5 oâ€™clock, the restaurant was mostly empty and we were seated immediately.
â€œOnly you three?â€ the hostess asked skeptically. â€œYou and two kids? And theyâ€™re twins?â€
â€œIâ€™m Batman,â€ Destroy corrected. â€œI got new shoes.â€
â€œJust me and the superheroes,â€ I confirmed.
A nearby manager laughed. â€œDinner alone with them? I think youâ€™re the superhero.â€ (Why thank you nice lady. Alas, I am merely their foil.)
Not so much of a superhero, of course, that we werenâ€™t seated in the back corner of the restaurant â€“ as close to â€œPut them outsideâ€ as possible.
Destroy was initially upset that he was the odd man out, sitting across from his brother and me at the table. But that was remedied when only one set of crayons was left at the table, so priority was given to the big boy sitting alone. That was exciting for about six scribbles.
Fifteen minutes later, we still hadnâ€™t placed our order. The boys were getting restless. So was I; I started packing up. A women several tables over was shooting a death glare.
Yes lady, yes. That would be my kid under the table. Crayons roll. Heâ€™s being productive and picking up his crayons ok. The blue one didnâ€™t have a match. This was necessary.
We didnâ€™t leave. Our server had finally acknowledged our existence. And at this point we were all in. Dinner or bust.
Destroy finally got his Hawaiian pizza to inhale. Search ordered the crispy chicken â€“ which came with sides of ketchup and dressing for the nuggets and broccoli side.
Scrunching up his face into a goofy grin Search swiped at me with a zesty ranch-drenched floret, “I’m painting you! That’s preposterous!” (I made a mental note that our copy of Art and Max would be mysteriously vanishing into a salad dressing daze of its own.)
But at this point Search was attempting to drape himself over the booth behind us. So I had other parental duties to attend to. Also, small ice cream sundaes had arrived.
Search bolted upright. â€œICE CREAM!â€ he proclaimed to the greater Silicon Valley. Destroy didnâ€™t say much as he was shoveling frozen confections into his mouth as though it was in danger of melting prior to total consumption.
His eyes got wide. He dropped his spoon. We made eye contact. â€œCold,â€ stated Destroy.
And with that it was time to go. I know my limits. Destroy, still reeling from the brain freeze, demanded, â€œUp. I need up.â€
He grabbed for me. And pop goes the blouse buttons.
Why thank you 3 year old. My twin boys have now introduced the Silicon Valley shopping contingent to my twin girls.
You know, maybe it wasnâ€™t such a bright idea to hit the mall solo, sans stroller, at the end of the week, while still in my work heels. But well-played tot, because you just became my 34-pound accessory.
With one muppet snuggled against my open shirt, I called for his brother, who was busy squatting in the center of the walkway. He ignored me. I called again.
Noted. Carry on.