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Out to Lunch

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I should have known that taking four young children, ages 7, 5, 3 and 1, out to lunch would guarantee surprises.  It was Thursday – the day that our Grands often eat lunch with Husband and me.  Husband had invited me to join him at his workplace for a fund-raiser luncheon and because I was sure that the employees at his office would want to see our Grands who live in town, I invited them to go with me.  “Are you sure?  I’d planned to keep Elaine (1 year old) with me,” my daughter said.

I was sure.  “Oh, we’ll be fine.  It’s just for thirty or forty minutes.  The people that your dad’s office haven’t seen Elaine,” I said.  And, I thought, Elaine is easy.  She often consoles herself with her thumb, and when I took her on a previous outing, she’d calmly laid her head on my shoulder.

Before we went in the insurance agency where Husband works, I told my Grands,  “They’ll have soup and salad.  Choose something.  Even if it’s not your favorite.  There’ll be crackers you can eat.  I’ve brought mac and cheese for Lucy and you can eat some when we get home if you’re still hungry.”

Each Grand chose soup:  tomato, chili, chicken noodle.  And they loaded small plates with crackers.  With several people’s help, all who commented on our well behaved and cute grandchildren, we carried food and drinks into the conference room that had been transformed into a dining room.  I seated our three-year-old Grand beside me and held Elaine in my lap.  The two older Grands sat across the table.  And we began to eat, along with the other thirty or so people in the room.  All adults.  My Grands’ behavior matched theirs.

I opened the plastic container of mac and cheese and offered Elaine a bite on a spoon.  She grabbed the spoon from my hand, dumped the yellow-orange pasta on my pants, and slung the spoon onto the floor.  When I bent to pick it up, Elaine grabbed the paper tablecloth and ripped it.  Not a problem.  No spills.

I put a few bites of food on a paper plate and encouraged Elaine to eat with her hands.  She suddenly grabbed a handful of macaroni in each hand, stood on my lap, threw the food onto the floor, sat down, and clutched the tablecloth with both hands.  Before I could pry open her hands, she stood and arched her back against me.  My bowl of soup and several drinks spilled.  Our other Grands held onto their soup bowls and stared wide-eyed.  Somehow I settled Elaine onto my lap, and then she squealed.  A sound that could mean pain or anger or fright or frustration.

Elaine’s seven-year-old brother leaned across the table toward me and said,  “Gran, this isn’t going like you’d expected, is it?”

Husband rescued Elaine and she happily ran and squealed in an office hallway far from the conference/dining room while her siblings finished their soup and crackers and ate homemade cookies.

When we got home, Elaine ate mac and cheese.  I ate crow.

 

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One Response

  1. How funny but what were you thinking( just kidding) Love those stories

    Like

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