So, Morgan met the me and the kiddos at S&S Cafeteria for kids' night on Monday evening. It was not to be our night. Still overtired, yet overly excited from a super fun playdate/birthday celebration that morning and early afternoon, they were simultaneously wiggly, loud and cranky.
Dell Harper wasn't being too bad- just a little overhyped that we were dining in her favorite establishment. She gets Jello at S&S and gets to have it first, before her dinner. Every preschooler's dream. The 99 cents kids' meals, which are comprised of actual vegetables, are every mother's dream. Especially mothers like this one, who are not averse to a little Southern home cooking themselves. (My college friends are rolling their eyes at my understatement here. I could have eaten at Weaver D.'s every single day in college without complaint).
Deeds, on the other hand, was acting like a complete pain. He has decided that he is too grown for a high chair, and pull the old stiff as a board routine when I try to bend his legs to set him in one. I thought I would circumvent this issue, and dashed off to get him a booster. Nope. Was his sister sitting in a booster? Then he would have no part either.
Fine. Morgan's had a long day at work, and I am starving. Dell Harper is happily enjoying her green Jello, so I decide to let Deeds do the same. I plop him in the seat, and let him go at it, while I dive into my squash casserole, turnip greens, green beans, and chopped steak (I skipped my cornbread, because I'm such a healthy eater, ha). Nothing is pleasing to my boy. I won't let him have the salt shaker, nor the pepper. I keep attempting to get him to eat some carrots, or green beans, or mac and cheese. The audacity!
Finally, sensing he is about to erupt, I hurry to my feet, pick him up and head out to let him run around outside a bit. He's 20 months old, and we are pushing it by 6:00. Life with small children, right?
An older lady, probably about 80, stops me on our way past her table. This is not an unusual occurrence. There are lots of older people at S&S, and they generally seem to enjoy the toddler antics that ensue at my table. I do not find these antics enjoyable, but whatever. She is poised, with a nicely coiffed fluffy white cloud of hair, big saucer like blue eyes, and a lovely blue sweater. I ready myself for the usual "Enjoy it! It goes so fast!" Etc. Etc. Etc.
"You are ruining that child."
"Oh?" I manage.
"You are paying him far too much attention, and he has you wrapped around your finger. Spoiled rotten, and just trying to get your attention. You need to just set him in that chair, tell him to eat his food, and go about your dinner."
Stunned, I reply "Well, ma'am, I am trying to take him out of here so he won't ruin everyone else's supper with his fussing."
"No one minds. He is going to be just rotten. I had an uncle like that. Rotten on Resurrection Day."
"Excuse me?" I thought that I knew every phrase in the book used by elderly Southern ladies, but apparently I am mistaken.
"Rotten. On. Resurrection. Day." she enunciates clearly. "Now go back to your table, put him in seat, and quit paying him any mind. You are turning him absolutely rotten."
Mortified, I said "Yes, Ma'am," and slunk back to our table. I hiss out of the side of my mouth a brief synopsis of what just happened to Morgan. He can't stop laughing- mainly at my face which is rather red with both anger and embarrassment. Also, he frequently is of the opinion that I don't pay enough attention to our children and their activities. I'm still facing this woman across the dining room, and feel her eyes upon me as I let Deeds sit in my lap to finish his supper.
While Morgan followed the children as they chased each other with their balloon swords and complimentary suckers (damn you, S&S, why have you betrayed me?), I tried to eat my dinner with composure, while not meeting her eyes or pretending anything was amiss.
She had the temerity to sweetly wish my goodnight as we left.
I replied just as sweetly, "You too! Thanks for the child-rearing advice, you old bitch! Night!"*
*This is a complete and utter lie. I would never do that, except in my head, a couple hours after it happened, while I was laying in bed trying to sleep.